Sunday, March 12, 2006


London is still there, yes, I know it won't be a surprise to everyone, but its nearly a year since I last went, so it's reassuring at least. And despite it being so far south its also in England, so it's cold. Yet I felt the first bits of tree pollen hayfever today, and here in Manchester, its gone again, so perhaps there's a difference. It was a friend's 40th in a really nice pub just the back of the Royal Festival Hall, and because its England the pub hadn't got a late licence so we decamped to the Old Vic bar, where, star spotters, American actor, the very-tall Matthew Modine, was. You don't get Hollywood actors in bars in Manchester, despite our many other advantages. I also went to the world's best secondhand bookshop and got a few gems (aint gonna tell you where it is, I want to keep it full of gems!). But the party was good anyhow, and saw old friends and acquaintances, including Wendy Jones - she had a poem in my first poetry magazine, 1997's one-issue "Bananas from the Windward Islands" - who had helped Grayson Perry write "Portrait of the artist as young girl".

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