Breakfast spread debates intensified by Byron. Introduces ‘Nutoka’, fake Nutella. Students in tizzy. Now have gangs Marmites, Vegetators, and NutCakes. Becomes unsafe to walk halls alone. Keithy and Bob nervously escape to Manchester.
Pick up tix for Man. U. game later. Wander Manchester. Impressed by architecture. Lovely library, next to stern city offices, next to Victorian city offices. Keithy looks at top of building, nearly falls over. Twice. Says “Don’t do that.” Costa for real coffee to fix that. Flat white is heaven. As are comfy chairs. No walking for old men. But walk through mall. So different from Vancouver: use British money. Decide to buy Man. U. scarves to fit in. We do and we do.
Keithy and Bob decide to investigate architecture, library, churches. Fortunately there are many around here.
Stroll around. Realize we must resemble Man. U. players: locals keep saying “G’luck tonite, lads!” Wonder what I signed for in contract. Wonder what position I’m playing. Wonder if I’m nuts. Check out Exchange Theatre. Interesting building within a building. Intrigued by last 1968 cotton prices up near ceiling. Didn’t realize they were so high.
Wander over to Manchester cathedral. Interesting stone colour, layout. Large (large!) thrown pots of Be Still art show intriguing. Not sure if Be Still means ‘quiet’ or ‘continue’. We continue to be quiet. Pre-Reformaton chapels removed, wide interior, new stained glass. Interesting 32 foot folded pipes in Jesus chapel.
Stroll through mall again. Disney in action. And in store. Escape to stare at Victorian Victoria statue. Bob gets pic of Pigeon Rampant on V’s head: traditional British. Travel is so broadening. St. Ann’s church has more Be Still. Interesting seeing repairs/refurbishing from WWII damage. Clapperless bell supports introspective video, meditation: Grasshopper, what is the sound of a clapperless bell? Thousands of suspended white dots represent manna from Heaven. Suspended over congregation in cube form. Dots, not congregation. Chat with artist. Bob would make it irregular. What else is new? This is why Bob is regularly not an artist.
Follow up on artist suggestion and leave church. To go to art gallery. Imitation Game is showing. Stroll through exhibits. Robots look nasty, but colourful. Turner, Rossetti always good. Escape music/drawing exercise. Ditto tonal improv of personal music. Whew.
More coffee, eats. Trams going by are horribly crowded. Decide to take horribly crowded tram. First must find horribly crowded station. Do so. Get to destination: join mass of people heading to stadium. Find Sarah waiting for not-there Annie. Discover scarf sellers speak different dialect:”Setxvn ertwivo edeile, lahds?!” Walk on nervously.
Eventually find proper entrance to stands. Keithy and Bob get giggles in stairwell: like bad dream, circling, never stops going up. Chased by fans behind us. Discover food vendors specialize in meat pies, meat pies, and meat pies. And hotdogs. Like bad Sweeny Todd production. Keithy investigates hotdog. Condiments are frozen. Just like us. Students arrive. Required selfie. (Bob wonders if selfie applies to group. Research question/grant in there.)
Fun time of selfies, bad jokes, explanations. Janine’s honker very popular. Just like Janine. Pseudo-Danish Sarah does not cheer for Daneland. Annie cheers for everything. Byron is Bemused. Russill, Kevin, Isaac, Michael play Switch Your Seat with people. Everyone knows tunes, not words to Man. U. songs. Apparently common to have football match accompany community sing-along. Do these children need Orff? Fan in front of us complains of lack of regulars in section. Solo singing. Man. U. puts on clinic: amazing ball handling. Er. Footling. Ref holds up red traffic card to make everyone stop. So Danish player can be first to get to hot showers. What a nice gesture. Very thoughtful. Very British.
Game over, we head to trains. Impressed by British cueing: we stand in cattle gates until let onto platform/tram. Very efficient. Thought we might need to get a form, get approved, then get it stamped, but no. (See library printouts.) Find Kyran at station. Riotous time in pub: has video to prove it. Train back is smooth, nobody lost. Students race us to hotel and win. No races for old men.