Bill Nighy at the Malmaison

I’m still in Manchester.  Wow this city is changing. I walked through the Northern Quarter to have a coffee and go to my event at the Crown Plaza on Shudehill.   I stop at a place called Teacup which uses Mr Scruff’s designs to sell great tea and stuff. Good stuff.  While sat in there I meet all kinds of people I know from Matt of Manchesters  legendary venue Matt and Phreds   to Segun Lee French.  It makes me miss Manchester even more.

My friend Maxine from
A national Voice
comes to meet me and we shuffle over to the newly built
Crown Plaza where I read poems and speak of my life to lots of people in the
Care Services for children. It is a serious conference. Here I meet  Mick Stein who has a manuscript he wants to show me. It documents a booklet  from Black and In Care with my poems in it, dated 1984.  1984! In minutes i am on stage.   The event is good to go.  I have never felt as at ease as I do now in  talking to professionals about my experience.      

Afterwards  I travel back to the hotel. The Pirates of the caribean actor   Bill Nighy is outside signing autographs before checking in and he is spending a generous amount of time with waiting fans.He is on the national treasures list isn’t he.    I met him with David Hare some time ago in a theatre in the west end  where we were both performing.  (oh that sounds so luvvy)   We are both of us Grumpy Old Men.   I decide to book the hotel for an extra night rather than do the three hour jounrey home.    A few friends descend on the Malmaison and I sit there until I realise I haven’t eaten and have a craving for Chinese so back out in the rain we spend midnight at Kwok Man in Chinatown, a restaurant for whom Christmas can not come too early.

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