And so today I travelled two hundred and fifty miles to Manchester. Tiredness has crept into me like a homeless person. “Would you like some chocolate with that” asks the man in Euston station’s newsagent. A multinational is forcing its workers to take a last minute swipe at my wallet. It’s called Point of Sale. POS: It’s plain wrong. The service on the train’s the same “you can get a coffee deal for an extra ninety five pence.” Really! I don’t want a coffe deal for an extra ninety five pence.
I arrive in my home city and it is gorgeous. The sun’s shining. I check in to The City Inn
and eventually walk to Albert Square where a marquis is set up for The Manchester International Festival. Here I meet author and colleague Jackie Kay. We read together to a sold out audience followed by a question and answer session led by the amazing DJ and friend Dave Haslam. I sleep soundly at the hotel. I should be here a few days so I can see more than a stage and an hotel room.