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.