I’m still snowed under with work. But at least I’ll be handsomely paid for doing it. At least I hope I will. I’m working at home for the next two days. Well that’s the theory at least. Some people love working at home, they don’t have the commute and can organise their own time. I’m not so good at it. I find lots of other things that need my attention before I start on the work. I set myself a doable target and then find myself miserable because I only reach it late in the evening and I wonder where the rest of the day went?
Today started off well and I’d got up early and achieved a lot by 8. But I had to go to the docs for a check-up and to give some blood for some routine tests. Nothing to worry about but after my nasty little op they are just keeping an eye on me. This broke the day and by the time I’d treated myself to a coffee and filled the car up with some petrol I knew the day was lost.
So I took my work into Manchester on the tram and headed to my quiet place in Central Library. It’s in its summer lull period at the moment; the schools and universities have finished their examinations and the great reading room at the core of the building was almost deserted. I kicked off my shoes, set out my stuff and just got on with it.
I promised myself a cold beer and some music at the Manchester Jazz Festival, currently in full swing across the city but with its festival hub in Albert Square under warm, blue skies, when I’d achieved my goal. Manchester is in festival mode now until the autumn which is how we like it. It will then take a breath before it plunges itself into the Christmas Markets. And another year will have gone…
Well I achieved my target by 1 and headed to the square. Checking the programme of events told me, that if I walked fast, I could get to listen to a concert at St. Ann’s Church on its eponymous square. I wondered how many people would be there on a work day? Me, one man and his dog? Nothing like it. It was packed to the rafters. The vicar, introducing the concert, wondered what the Manchester Jazz Festival had that God didn’t? Presumably a good band by the turnout today. Though, having said that, I have heard some beautiful church music in my time.
I couldn’t sit downstairs as it was full but went up into the gallery for the first time ever. It’s a Georgian church, very elegant and simple in its design, fitting the style of Christianity that was popular in those days. None of the candles and incense of a Roman Catholic church, just a simple place to commune with God. The building was even simpler than it is now in Georgian times. It was the Victorians, with the need to ‘improve’ things who added the stained glass windows and other decorations. Originally the rich would sit on the ground floor with the richest of the Mancunian society of the day in their private pews close to the altar and to God. Further back would have been the middle classes. Upstairs, in the gallery where I was, the poor would have sat. As I have said in other posts, this pretty church is now one of the most fashionable in the city and the sought after venue for some of the best weddings. I’m sure the poor would be welcome here but you don’t see many of them at the fashionable weddings.
The acoustics are pretty good in here and the jazz was superb. A band called Unfurl were playing. They played an ethereal mixture of jazz but added the rhythms, sounds and instruments and styles of Peru, Africa and the Middle East to it. It was quite beautiful. And it was one of the free concerts that the festival puts on to make it accessible to everyone.