Bill Nighy at the Malmaison

I’m still in Manchester.  Wow this city is changing. I walked through the Northern Quarter to have a coffee and go to my event at the Crown Plaza on Shudehill.   I stop at a place called Teacup which uses Mr Scruff’s designs to sell great tea and stuff. Good stuff.  While sat in there I meet all kinds of people I know from Matt of Manchesters  legendary venue Matt and Phreds   to Segun Lee French.  It makes me miss Manchester even more.

My friend Maxine fromA national Voice comes to meet me and we shuffle over to the newly builtCrown Plaza where I read poems and speak of my life to lots of people in theCare Services for children. It is a serious conference. Here I meet  Mick Stein who has a manuscript he wants to show me. It documents a booklet  from Black and In Care with my poems in it, dated 1984.  1984! In minutes i am on stage.   The event is good to go.  I have never felt as at ease as I do now in  talking to professionals about my experience.      

Afterwards  I travel back to the hotel. The Pirates of the caribean actor   Bill Nighy is outside signing autographs before checking in and he is spending a generous amount of time with waiting fans.He is on the national treasures list isn’t he.    I met him with David Hare some time ago in a theatre in the west end  where we were both performing.  (oh that sounds so luvvy)   We are both of us Grumpy Old Men.   I decide to book the hotel for an extra night rather than do the three hour jounrey home.    A few friends descend on the Malmaison and I sit there until I realise I haven’t eaten and have a craving for Chinese so back out in the rain we spend midnight at Kwok Man in Chinatown, a restaurant for whom Christmas can not come too early.

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