The past 6 days.

Thursday, 18th May, 11am:  TV interview  on RT TV (Underground)

Friday 19th May.  10.40pm Birmingham 02 Institute.

Saturday 20th May: Wake 5am arrive   9am  Manchester Central   The Cooperative

11.15am The Ambassador for  member pioneers.   

I speak 1.26.38.

Lord Victor Adebowale.

Young members of the coop.!

The coop schools. 

Leftfield at Apollo live in Manchester. Ends on a song from me.

It’s the last gig (for me) of the tour.

Sunday 8am 21st May. Wake in My hotel, It’s my Birthday

11am a spa. #Birthday
1pm. El Gato Negro for cracking tapas.Birthday.
Online artwork  from Debbie. Look for signs of what’s to come. irst in this drawing.

7.30pm.  King StTown house. My Birthday Party.  Miz holds  up the peace sign

Carla Yvonne and Yusra  manchesters strongest sisters

Carla Henry and Yusra Warsama,  Manchester’strongest.
Shobna Gulati. The wise one. Fun too.  The best.


 Ilyas Nagdee is the National Black Sudent Officer. Naa ACquah  is the general secretary of THE  student union in Manchester.

Anna Chojnicka: CEO of Reach for Change  in Ethiopia.

Julie Hesmondhalgh with camera. She’s an incredible actor in front of the camera.

Shereen Ashton came straight from a performance tonight.

Tom Bloxham caught the creeping outer darkness.

All parties end. Subrina Kidd seems to know what’s coming.

All parties end: Shobna Gulati Charles Lauder and Clive Hunte
All parties end:  Kate and Paul Sapin.

Monday 22nd Manchester town hall.   I attended an illustrious evening hosted by Leader of the council  Sir Richard Leese and Vice Chancellor of University of Manchester  Nancy Rothwelll at The Lord Mayors Parlour. It is a  tribute to  Maria Balshaw on her appointment to artistic director of The Tate.. Marie knows……..All parties end. 
All parties end. 

23rd May, Tuesday Morning. Manchester. Eerily quiet. Victoria station is closed. Horror unfolds.   I make my way to piccadilly  train station. Armed police.  Phone starts to ring: Agent calls. Sky news, Channel Four News, Newsnight, World Service, BBC, World at One. I say no. no. A sense of loss is compounding.  I don’t understand what has happened. I catch my train. The people  of my city converge on The Town Hall.

And a poet called Tony Walsh or Longfella galvanizes our city, the nation and the world with one  poem.  Thanks be to the poets.

11 thoughts on “The past 6 days.

  1. I thought of you when I heard it happened in Manchester. The world is in mourning for those 22 souls. And the hundreds or thousands who had their innocence stolen that night.

  2. the power of poetry shone a bright light amongst the sadness and sorrow.It helped us to let our tears fall,it gave hope to many.At a time where hate can so easily grow this poem gave me the strength to see goodness and pray for better days.Take care Dear lemnxx

  3. Good morning Lemn. Thank you for this. What a week! Your words and pictures remind us of the awful and beautiful contradictions of life. That we constantly have to hold competing view points and emotions – joy at your birthday held alongside sadness for those lost in the arena. Hope and despair sit together as well as love and hate. And as your morning tweets remind us darkness and light , day and night sit together and at one beautiful moment they merge into one. So this is the challenge for us going forward. Merging it all into something good. Love to you Lemn. X

  4. My younger son is a student in Manchester with finals starting this week. And my heart aches for this man (but boy in my heart) whose heart feels for others soooo much, in this city that is hurting so much this week. I think you and he are a lot alike in some ways. (((((hugs))))) to you and those close to you in Manchester Lemn.

  5. Hi Lemn,

    When you wrote about seeing yourself reflected in the train window, meeting yourself coming back I thought of a poem by Ted Hughes, The Pan. And then when I read this today I thought of The Pan again.

    The Pan
    When he stopped at last in the long main street
    Of the small town, after that hundred
    And ninety miles, the five-o’clock, September
    Brassy, low, wet Westcountry sun
    Above the street’s far end, and when
    He had extricated his stiffness
    From the car crammed with books, carrier bags, cutlery and baby things,
    And crossed the tilting street in that strange town
    To buy a pan to heat milk and babyfood
    The moment they arrived
    Hours ahead of their furniture
    Into their stripped new house, in their strange new life
    He did not notice that the ironmonger’s
    Where he bought the pan had been closed
    And empty for two years. And returning
    With the little pan he did not notice
    A man on the pavement staring at him
    His arm around a young woman who wore
    A next-to-nothing long evening dress
    Slashed to the hip, and a white, silk, open-work shawl
    Round her naked shoulders, and leopard-claw ear-rings,
    He did not recognise, nor did his wife
    As he squeezed back weary beside her
    Behind the wheel of the Morris Traveller,
    That this man, barely two yards from them,
    Staring at them both so fixedly,
    The man so infinitely more alive
    Than either of them there in the happy car
    Was himself – knowing their whole future
    And helpless to warn them.

    Isn’t it the most uncanny, tilting, off-kilter, poem?! A ghost poem. I think of it often when I drive down the streets of my hometown imagining my younger self going about her life, oblivious. I imagine my older self looking at me now, so intently, willing me to see her. In times like these it’s good to hold on to images of our future selves, not necessarily happier but more alive. Our aliveness is our tribute.

    And to remember our younger selves and to see how far we’ve come; and what a blessing it was, in fact to have had the privilege to keep on walking. And on we go into our forties, into our fifties… the lucky ones.

    Thanks be to the poets.

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