I woke up around 8.10am which is later than I would’ve liked but is at least better than waking up at say 10 or 11, that would really fuck up my plans for the day.
Speaking of which…
Knowing that I still want to go and photograph Manchester today, and that I really only have this one day to do it, I first off check the weather on my iPhone.
Apparently it’s going to be partly cloudy today, but ft the rest of the day it looks like rain, so it turns out this really is the only day I’m going to get to do this.
8.30AM – MAKE TEA AND CHARGE PORTABLE CHARGER
I remember that i haven’t charged my portable phone charger that I’m probably going to need today, so I stick that in and make a cup of tea while I’m waiting for it to charge.
I read up on a couple of websites and then head into the bathroom to get ready.
8.46AM SHOWER AND GET READY
I’m going to skip back exercises and Tai Chi for today, mainly because I’ll be walking around Manchester for several hours so that will be plenty of exercise for the day.
Saying that, I feel fat and ugly and generally like a waste today. This is horrible and I don’t like it. I need to start making some serious changes.
I shave, brush my teeth and have a shower, then get dressed in what I think are probably the best clothes I have that still fit me but are comfortable enough for all the walking round I’m going to be doing.
9.10AM – WALK TO CASH MACHINE
I have no cash, and the biggest problem about the otherwise beautiful parish where I live is that the nearest cash machine is about half a mile away, so I walk there and withdraw £30 out of the cash machine.
I need to break a note for the bus, so I go into the general convenience store and buy a reduced priced pasty.
I eat probably three bites of it then throw it away.
The bus comes, and I’m on my way.
9.45AM – CATCH THE V1 INTO MANCHESTER
My original plan was to get into town and go the same cafe I went to on Saturday, relax with a cup of coffee and then carry on my journey into Manchester, but when I arrive at the bus station, the V1 bus is waiting so I decide to jump on.
The V1 is this fancy new bus that I believe is supposed to make getting to Manchester quicker, or at least more comfortable or something.
I’ve only ever used it to get to the Monday night AA meeting before so this should be interesting.
I use the time on the bus to update this journal and jot down some ideas about a few things I’m working on.
10.37AM – GET OFF THE BUS IN MANCHESTER
And so just over two hours after I woke up, here I am in the so-called ‘Capital of the North’ ready to start my day.
First things first, I do want a coffee, so I walk for a few minutes into Picadilly and find a Costa.
10.44AM – COFFEE
I order my usual mocha and sit down for a few minutes just to get myself together and plan out a strategy for the day.
I definitely want to photograph the Alan Turing statue, some street art and a couple of locations that will help me with the clients I have in Manchester.
Whilst I’m in town, I also want to buy a Manchester fridge magnet because I’d decided that every place I visit has to be represented by a magnet on my fridge, and I also want to get some new posters for my kitchen from Afflecks.
That’s for later in the day though.
11AM – PHOTOGRAPHY TIME
On the dot, it’s time to do what I came for.
I spend most of the morning around the Victoria / Manchester Cathedral / National Football Museum part of the city.
This is where my clients are, so I spend a good while getting as many photos as possible.
I consider that the work part of my day done, then I head to Deansgate by way of St Anne’s Square looking for a place to get lunch.
I contemplate a burrito place bye then settle for Cafe Nero at Deansgate.
12.55PM – CAFE NERO
At least I know what I’m doing here. I order coffee cake and another Mocha. Fuck it, it’s my day to treat myself.
At this stage, I realise that the portable charger I brought with me wasn’t as charged up as I would like, so I basically have to make do with whatever charge I have left.
1.14PM – PHOTOGRAPH THE NORTHERN QUARTER
I get back to work next by bringing my camera through the Northern Quarter and photographing as much as I can.
I start to really desperately need the loo, so after a while, I start to leave the Northern Quarter and make my way towards Canal Street by way of Piccadilly, stopping in a pub simply to run down to the loo, do what I gotta do, and get out again.
That was probably dangerous because all day long I’ve been tempted to drink. I think that is just bad force of habit from the days when I used to come and walk around Manchester regularly with the sole purpose of getting as pissed as possible and trying to get laid.
Hopefully the more I do things like this, the more experiencing these things sober will become the norm, and the less that thought of “go on, you can just have one” will come into my head.
2.55PM – STOP FOR A GLASS OF COKE AT CANAL STREET
By the time I get to Canal Street, I’m thirsty and ready for a sit down, so I headed to the Thompson arms because it’s always the one place near/on Canal Street that is quiet and where I’ve always felt comfortable whenever I’ve gone in.
I quickly get a glass of coke, drink it, and get back out again to make my way towards the Anal Turing statue, only to find that there are people sat on and around it.
I decide to kill some time so wander back into town, taking a few photos as I go, and drop in on a sauna.
3.32PM – SAUNA
On my way there, I stop off at Afflecks Palace with the plan to get three posters, but the time I find the one Rick and Morty poster, I know that’s all I need, so I grab that one for £3.99 and head to the sauna for a bit.
This is a good experience for me, and actually better than I thought it would be. I hadn’t done the sauna in a long time but found it relaxing, quiet, and a real treat for my sore and aching back.
I basically just alternate between the Jacuzzi, the sauna and the stream room for the better part of two hours, just allowing myself to unwind and take it easy, something I surely need and deserve.
5.25PM – BACK TO TURING STATUE
By quarter past five I start to realise that I still need to get a few shots before I head home, so I get myself together and get back out, walking through Picadilly back to Sackville Gardens to photograph the Alan Turing statue, which is now free of people and looks good in the early evening sun.
I’m not convinced that I got the perfect shot but I do think it’s good enough for what I need to do, so with that, I decide to grab some food and head home.
6.25PM – BURGER KING
I decide on Burger King because there aren’t any near where I live and I remember them being good, but this experience proves otherwise.
The service is painfully slow, the staff act like they’ve all lost the will to live, and the food, when I eventually get it, leaves a lot -and I mean a LOT- to be desired.
6.35PM – BUS BACK HOME
I get out of Burger King with my food and make my way toward the bus stop just as the bus comes.
Fortune continues to favour me later on when I land back into town just as my connecting bus home pulls up.
7.55PM – CATCH UP WITH SAM
I’ve missed my girl today so I dive straight after her and this is me and her for the night – listening to music, laughing and joking, having fun, generally just being together all night long until around 1.30AM when I finally log off and get some sleep.
REFLECTIONS ON TODAY
I didn’t get everything done in Manchester that I wanted to do, but I feel like I got enough done and actually had a really nice day that was different from being attached to my laptop for the day.
I can always go back to Manchester if I feel there is more to explore (and there is much more to explore), so I’ll do that when I get the chance, but for now I can be happy with this experience for today.