26/05/17 I am on the bus to Manchester. It’s been four days since the murders at the Manchester Arena and since then I’ve seen my corner of the world turned upside down. There was even a bomb squad by my old flat in Wigan last night….
Manchester means so much to me.
My first gig was in Manchester when I just started high school. Jason Donovan at Manchester Academy. He took off his shirt revealing a sweaty, hairy chest *sick face emoji* It marked the end of my Stock Aitken and Waterman fascination and I moved onto metal and grunge the very next day!
Getting the bus into Manchester in my early teens. On my own. Getting off in the stink pit that was the Arndale bus station, mooching through band t-shirts in the Corn Exchange and underground market and feeling so cool in Aflecks Palace- I am still transported back there whenever I smell incense. My first club night when I just turned 17- I still remember the sheer top and green eye shadow I wore!
Then a bit older, and beery nights in the Northern Quarter, taking mum with me when I had my brow pierced and taking her for lunch in Night and Day Cafe to laugh about the fact she thought I had fainted.
Cocktails and meals with friends. Casablanca at the Cornerhouse on Valentine’s, food festivals, beer festivals, art festivals and more. Going back to uni for my post grad and graduating in the Bridgewater Hall.
Now barely a week goes by where I’m not in tow For a meal, to a gig, a spot of shopping, or meeting friends. I don’t live in town but I consider myself Manchester.
All of those memories are why I’m heading back today. I won’t be kept away from the city I call my own. Yes I’ll be wary, but what’s the alternative? You could very easily never leave the house. This city has too much to offer for me to let that happen. I can see from the bus window that people are here. Smiling and chatting, eating and enjoying the mini heatwave. Screw you hatred, we all love Manchester and won’t let you win.