It’s not often that the wife and I get an afternoon to ourselves. I thought that I would give our stolen hours a brief mention. City Jackdaw is not exactly Dear Diary, but Notes On A Life, is, well, just that.
We went into Manchester to visit the English Academy that we had recently became a host family for, having had an Angolan student living with us for the past few months.
The plan was to make sure that the lad had been attending lessons and not going to the pub each day (I’m joking-we had not been to the place before and just wanted to have a look around) and then go for some lunch.
We found the building, cased out the joint, then made our way into Piccadilly Gardens. Breaking with the usual Manchester custom, the sun came out and blue sky hung over us like an old, long absent friend.
We had been on the Manchester Wheel before, but when it was situated at Exchange Square. Of all the previous visits that we had made into the city center, the day that we had chosen to rise high above the city was not inspired. It was pouring down with rain and the windows were steamed up, so our cataract stricken views were limited.
Not wanting to ride that train again, metaphorically speaking, we passed it by and within a few minutes, looming large on the horizon was the National Football Museum.
It was like it was meant to be. The perfect place to instil a sense of romance. The perfect venue for a date.
Perhaps there was even an area where I could put Jen in goal and take some shots at her?
You can see from the photograph that by now more cloud was beginning to gather, and my wife’s mood was similarly beginning to darken.
I had a sudden flash of insight-a eureka wave of self-survival. I decided to postpone the football museum for another rainy day.
Knowing the way to my wife still being known as my wife is through her stomach, I suggested that we now go for a bite to eat. Jen led me at once into Nando’s, situated in The Printworks. Chicken Chambers turned out to be alright for this sceptical veggie.
After this, aware that the clock was ticking and that the kids would be revving up their engines at school and Gran’s house respectively, we walked back to the car which was parked just on the city center limits. Above us the perennial battle between the powers of light and darkness went on. By the time we reached the car park, just one day after the Spring Equinox, we were assailed by a storm of cold, hard hail.
The customary, familiar Manchester sky had returned.