This morning I took our new Swiss student into Manchester, showing her the route she will have to use and the landmarks to look out for. It’s ironic, when you think about it. I’ve been lost in London; in Rome; in Stockholm; in fact I’m collecting capitals. When I have acquired them all I will start on the lesser cities.
Being my home city, though, I think we should be safe.
After safely depositing her in the Academy of English, I headed over to Waterstones, where, with the help of collected points, I was able to purchase two books for the princely sum of sixteen pence. Sixteen pence! That should appease the wife when her eye should fall on yet more additions to my library.
I read one of them in the Royal Exchange with a coffee, quiet and rehearsal-free. I am returning here in October to catch A Streetcar Named Desire.
Caffeine goes right through me these days, so on my way to the bus station I called into the public toilets. I don’t know what exactly I had just missed, but there was a guy in there who was telling all and sundry in a very loud voice:
“Unusual smells set off my nose!”
Maybe the men’s toilets aren’t the best place for him, then.
I caught the bus back home. The last time I made this journey I came up with a whole story which I immediately wrote for inclusion in an anthology. This time around, I just had a random, unsolicited thought:
It’s about time we got used to the idea of death.
It is, perhaps, the only absolute in life,
but even then we are confronted with choices.
I’ve never been a happy traveller.