Frivolous Monsters

Archive for the tag “Manchester”

The Reading Room 08 – The Final End

I do not cope well with change. Of that I am sure. For my kamikaze writing career I’d come to rely upon my small table outside the toilet in Costa Coffee and the reading room in the library, as they were the only places in town where you could sit quietly and do some work1, and so I was therefore distraught when I was cast out of the reading room, beyond the reach of spiritually bereft librarians for ever, and it had nothing to do with hanging about with strange men in there like you might imagine. Library

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The Reading Room 01

The Central Library, right by the bus station, is a large Edwardian building built after the Victorian paper manufacturer Thomas Wrigley bequeathed his sizable art collection to the people of Bury thus requiring somewhere to house it.1 It became an ever-modernising cultural centre containing, alongside the art, a museum, an expansive library, reading rooms, computer rooms, and the town’s historical archives. A treasure which undoubtedly still goes unappreciated by many.

Library

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126 Local Sheep

In the run up to Christmas there was a spate of crimes worthy of the local gangsters of old – The Quality Street Gang1 – and perhaps the most audacious act was when someone just down the road from me, under the cover of darkness, stole a whole field full of livestock which the local newspaper totted up as 126 sheep and two rams.

sheep

A Close Shave (1995) / Aardman Animations

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Like A Spearhead from Space?

I only decided late on Saturday night to go into Manchester the following day when I purchased the last on-line ticket for an event which I had known about for months. Talk about last minute decisions, but what can I say? It’s the skin of the teeth, seat of the pants, way I seem to roll.

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Toilet Tales 05

As a local writer of no celebrity and even less fortune I naturally dine at the finest tables and hang out at the trendiest scenes. And by that I, of course, mean the library reading room and the lowliest possible table in Costa Coffee outside the toilet door where no-one ever wants to sit. But by frequenting these locations it does put me in the sphere of influence of certain local characters.

Costa Coffee

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Toilet Tales 04

When I was at Bangor University there was an edict passed down by the head of department that no visiting prospective student should be taken above the sixth floor, because they didn’t need to see what went on up there; for a clean-living physical chemist like himself he considered the organic research groups to be dirty, seeing as they actually did proper chemical experiments, and for him, safely ensconced in his first floor office, they were the departmental shame.Bangor View

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Toilet Tales 02

Having given up a so-called proper job to become a writer I reviewed my end-of-year accounts where in the In column I had fifty pounds which I’d won on the premium bonds, the two tickets I’d won to an American podcast recording in a science-fiction bar, and the two I’d also won to a National Theatre play. And that was all. I’d once been disillusioned about the paltry sums earned by writers, but even so this was going some.Space Monkeys Manchester Bryan Johnson Brian Q Quinn

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Toilet Tales 01

     The Daily Telegraph finally got with the programme and printed an article on “café conquerors”, and “coffee shop lingerers”; those hardy souls who consider the price of a coffee to be the rent for office space, which they then proceed to hog, so it’s nice to know that I’m clearly a trend-setter seeing as how I got in on the act before it became over-fashionable. A trend-setter and an all-round menace to society, it seems.

bury Read more…

Local Legends

I do love a local legend; the affectionate term for the group of characters who, combined, can be defined as the people who make our communities unique; whilst, individually, they can be summed up as that nutter who lives down the road. I once found a national website called Local Legends, compiled from local contributions, which chronicled some of these hardy heroes who clog up our high streets. Looking up the local area the most amusing feature seemed to be someone called Mad Denis who had a biography which lets the reader know that he’s mad, and that he’s ginger, and that he’s well known for “showing off his large belly and shouting “I am the Lord” at the top of his voice”. I like it how his biographer felt compelled to finish off this Who’s Who entry with: “Not to be approached”.

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Saying Shoo to a Goose

I once found a good-looking Asian checkout girl in Tesco who had piercing blue eyes. She was a right Peter O’Toole. I didn’t have the courage, the first time I saw her, but on the second occasion I asked what I thought was the obvious question.goose Read more…

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