For reasons I think it best not to go into, I had a pretty shitty bank holiday weekend. Sunday was best, mainly because it meant I got to undo at least part of the damage of Saturday (don’t ask…) but also I think it was probably the only day when it didn’t bucket down.
This is just a series of thoughts and bits and pieces, starting on Friday, going through to today…
Friday was I heart MCR day, and the idea was that employers in Manchester would let their staff out at 4pm to watch the events in Exchange Square and staff would go shopping. My own workplace did a partial sign up on this, the outcome of which was that I went home at 5pm with 1 hours time in liu. The staff who stayed later got more time in liu, and t-shirts.
On Saturday I headed towards town and made my way over from Ardwick to Oxford Road, and dinner at 8th Day to cheer myself up. Then I started to head towards town, with the idea of buying birthday presents in the Arndale (something I never do, but since I had to buy them anyway I thought I’d show willing…) and tea at Whittard as I had some back pay in August.
En route, I met one of my colleagues who was having a longer journey than usual between his places of work that day. Why? because Manchester Pride was on. I think it’s indicative of the shit few days I’d been having that I had completely forgotten this.
Apparently the religious right were out in force, picketing, but they were massively outnumbered by the Pride marchers and spectators. ‘Sodomites burn in hell!’ was the general refrain apparently, and just to keep in topical and varied they were also shouting about the evils of Coronation Street and Lady Gaga. One of the cast of Coronation Street was so peeved apparently that they got down off their float and started remonstrating with the bigots.
Another float was hurling free Fairtrade chocolate at people in the crowds, and one of the enthusiastic participants in the religious right lobby got hit right between the eyes by a bar of chocolate travelling at high velocity. Apparently it was probably an accident, but my colleague still wishes he’d caught it on camera.
Before continuing on his odyssey, he advised taking a right down Charles Street and going past the University buildings around there as the best route to Piccadilly.
I have some experience of dodging/navigating my way around processions, so I wasn’t too worried. I’ve been caught up at various times in Hazel Grove, Marple and Stockport carnivals on more occasions than I can count, and once you know that you can’t cross a parade line, no matter how much you want to, these things are easy to navigate… time consuming, but always fun.
Even skirting the back streets of Piccadilly and the village I could see and hear the parade, which looked magnificant. I wasn’t tempted to join in though as my joie de vivre was somewhat lacking, and also I always equate Pride with extortionate prices and lots of music I don’t much like.
In the end I decided it would be impossible to get to Market Street, so instead I walked it to the Appollo and got the bus home again. Or as far as Longsight anyway, as the scallies on the bus and the speed of the bus were driving me mad by then, so I walked it from Longsight instead. It was that kind of day really…
There appears to have been very little mention of I heart SLFD this past week or two, but I know of at least one thing that SLFD should be proud of: The Working Class Movement Library on Salford Crescent.
Thanks to the government cuts, and more directly, to Salford Council, the Library has lost a massive chunk of it’s funding this year and, as such, will have to make up the shortfall itself somehow. This will be very difficult, as £80,000 isn’t something you tend to find down the back of a sofa, and even if it was, they’d have to be finding it every year from now on.
I’ve visited the library a few times now, and I’ve always found the experience fascinating. The scope of the collection, and the size of it, is mindbogglingly huge and complex, and the staff and volunteers are a lovely bunch of people who always make you feel welcome and will always be willing to help dig things up for your research. I like this library a lot.
David has also used it, for his PHD in his case, and spent his time there engrossed in copies of Temporary Hoarding, the Rock Against Racism magazine. “WCML was great!” read the email I got off him. “Four page Gang Of Four interview with Lucy Toothpaste and Irate Kate!!!”
I knew exactly what he meant.
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