Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In Manchester

I was working in Manchester today. It has a very different feel from Leeds: it all seems much bigger. To me it seems more like London. If you like the "buzz" of cities it has plenty - unfortunately I don't like it, really, I find all that big-cityness a bit intimidating:

This is Oxford Road, near the Palace Theatre. There was lots of traffic: I just happened to seize the photo-opportunity in the half a second when there wasn't much.

I like the hidden, Victorian bits of the city best:

It's all rather gentrified in lots of places now, of course, like Leeds - and like Cardiff. I was working with someone who'd visited Cardiff recently and told her that I used to live in Splott, which was then one of its least glamorous areas with rows and rows of Victorian stone terraces.

Of course Splott has now become Cardiff Bay and is all marinas and trendy cafes now.
"It's so posh that they pronounce it Spleau these days" she said, joking.

The building where I was working was the Staff House Conference Centre at Manchester University. It was not new, nor terribly old - but it did have a rather good spirally staircase which I liked:

Unusually for those kind of places, it had quite an old-fashioned, friendly feel to it.

Even the usual long corridor was less soulless than most, because they'd tried to brighten it up with plants:

I see a lot of those kind of corridors, whilst I'm waiting to be called into the room to do my roleplays. I could do my first round in Mastermind on "Decor in Hospital Corridors of the North of England."

It was an interesting and enjoyable day right until the moment when the 16.07 train to Middlesbrough, which was taking me back to Leeds, from Platform Four at Oxford Road Station, disappeared.

Firstly the sign told me it was on time - it told me this for a good ten minutes after it clearly wasn't on time, in fact right until it was about ten minutes not on time at all.

Then it disappeared from the sign completely and was replaced by some other train. A little ripple of grumblings wandered round the assembled passengers, who took it with remarkable equanimity, being British an' all.

Finally, and falteringly, it crept back again, two trains later, telling me it was now 33 minutes late. I don't often travel by train, but when I do, this kind of thing seems to happen to me a lot, which leads me to believe that it must happen to everyone else a lot too.

I enjoyed my day in Manchester, and worked with some great people. But I wouldn't like to commute there to work every day. Down the stairs from the bedroom and into the office at home is my usual distance, and that's ideal.


Blogger Jennytc said...

That is my experience of travelling by public transport too, and I don't do it often. There is a long way to go before the powers that be will be able to persuade most of us to opt for public transport.

8:47 am  
Blogger Silverback said...

Oh come on now, Daffers. Arty photos of spiral staircases !!! Don't go all David Bailey on us now .

We want earthquake photos of geckos wobbling about, Stephen falling out of bed and your mother sleeping through it all.

Thanks for checking on my house btw although I'm sure some masonry was lying on the driveway as it tends to flake off even without an earthquake helping it.

4:58 pm  
Blogger Daphne said...

Jennyta - yes, I can see why we stick to our cars - I only went on the train because of the high winds.
Ian - your house is fine. Honestly. It is standing there, British and proud, stalwartly awaiting your return.
Has anyone ever taken any photos during an earthquake that weren't blurred? Just a thought. I should have faked some by wobbling the camera!

5:27 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved the shot of the staircase!

11:26 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home