Category: My Life


I’m on an, enforced, hiatus from my blog. On the 7th of this month I was heading into the city to get some Euros and buy a couple of last minute things for the Barcelona trip. I parked up near Chorlton tram station. It’s Autumn. Leaves are falling. We get annoyed when the train companies cancel trains due to ‘leaves on the line.’ They now have my sympathy. I was crossing a damp pavement, in new shoes with perfect tread, and my feet went from under me and, before I knew it, I was on the ground.

No pain but looking down my leg and the weird angle my foot was at to it, told me that things weren’t OK. Two guys from a local car workshop heard me shouting and came. They called the ambulance and I was taken off to Wythenshawe Hospital. I’d obviously dislocated my ankle. People complain about our health service but I couldn’t fault it. I was in the resus dept in minutes and being seen to. A young looking doctor said ‘you can say ‘No’ as I’ve never put a dislocated ankle back in place before but I’d appreciate it if you would let me do yours.’ A more qualified doctor was on hand to watch and advise. It’s seems a dislocated ankle is either rare or fun to watch and I gathered quite an audience to see the procedure including the two paramedics who brought me in. I was, by now, high on gas and air. I heard myself say ‘They’ve broken out the good stuff now!’ The young doctor went to work. At first there was no pain, but, as the ankle slipped back into position no amount of gas and air was going to shield me from that. The second doctor found himself firmly gripped and I suspect he may have suffered bruising. I think I may have assaulted a National Health Service employee!

X-Ray revealed two fractures and the following day I had an op. My ankle is full of plates and screws and I’m dragging a huge weight around on the leg. The surgeon declared she was happy. Doctors never say stuff like that unless they really mean it. The anaesthetist gave me the impression that I would be lucky to wake up at all. As it was I woke up in a recovery room with a wall of luridly coloured landscapes and thought that was what heaven, or the other place, looked like.

The next morning they had me up on my feet getting about on crutches. I wasn’t brilliant and they tried me on a Zimmer frame, the kind you see be very old people using, and decided I was having one of them. I blame the drugs. No way was that Zimmer frame coming home with me! I’m 50 years away from that as far as I’m concerned! I got them to come back the next day and convinced them I was a lot better, and cooler, on crutches. 

I got out last Wednesday. I was in a little room with an interesting guy called Duncan. Duncan has an infection in his foot, a bad one. He has no idea where he got it from, the most exotic place he’s been recently is Wales! He’d had an op and they were washing the wound through with a constant drip of antibiotics. He has an office job in Warrington but also helps run a well thought of tattoo parlour in Manchester and is a musician. We were in there together, two guys used to doing stuff for ourselves suddenly having to rely on everyone else for the simplest thing. That’s difficult for a guy. We did a lot of talking and I got to see, those hospitals gowns are totally inadequate, all his tattoos and good much more besides. No doubt he saw more of me than I’d usually show a guy on such a short relationship. But being in a place like that you soon develop an intimacy that might take months or years outside. I escaped first but, hopefully, Duncan, won’t have been far behind me. When we are both back to normal I’m going to one of his concerts. In the meantime here’s some of his music. He does have a great voice.

So I’m home and my world has telescoped to my bedroom and the adjoining bathroom for the moment. Travels are well and truely restricted. And the Barcelona trip had to be postponed of course. Next week I go back to the hospital to have my ankle looked at. I’m hoping this restrictive cast is taken off and they give me a cool Moon Boot thing so I can walk again.

So no travels and no pictures so my blog will be on a hiatus for a while. Cheers for bearing with me.

On my first evening working at IndyManBeerCon I was working on receiving the guests at the door. A call came through to see if anyone could be spared to work on the increasingly busy bar of the Northern Monk Brewery from Leeds in Yorkshire. When I was in university I had a job working in a pub behind the bar. I got quite good at it and learned how to pull a perfect pint of Guinness with exactly the right proportion of creamy white top to black stout beer below (did you know that Guinness isn’t actually black, it’s a very, very dark red beer). I didn’t perfect the shamrock on the top even though I am of Irish descent.

Northern Monk had an entire tent to themselves beyond the food village. When I arrived it was already busy. I met Billy (grey T in the pictures), one of the craftsmen brewers, who lovingly talked me through the beers and ales on offer and showed me how to pull them. After a few mistakes I got into the groove and all that muscle memory from nights behind the bar in the Friendship Inn came true.

At the beginning of the evening there was a lot of ‘beer tasting’. People swirled the beer in their glasses, inhaled the aroma, swashed it about the various parts of their mouths so they could assess the ‘feel’ and the ‘depth’ of the taste. Appreciative noises were made and comparisons with beers drunk at other times and at other events. All rather like a wine tasting. The difference between the two events was that, while the wine may have been spat out, the beer most definitely wasn’t! 

The beer was sold in one third of a pint measures so three glasses equated to a pint in a normal pub. Problems might have arisen because the beers on offer can be, and were, a lot stronger than the mass produced beers that can be bought anywhere. And people were on a mission to try a lot of them. Only the number of tokens you could afford limited you. I saw no one getting drunk and the security people said it was a good event to do from their perspective because everyone was out to have a good time and were so chilled. 

However, as the evening went on there was less appreciation of the beers and more of the how much can I drink attitude. For example…

Young Lady to me: Give me a glass of your favourite beer and then I’ll have another of your second favourite one!

But my favourite interchange of the evening came courtesy of a young, Australian guy…

Aussie Guy: (possibly having had one more than was good for him) What have you got that’s most like an Aussie lager?

Me: (looking along the beers on offer from Northern Monk and finding nothing remotely like an Aussie lager but spotting Billy not busy for a moment) Billy, this chap wants something that’s most like an Aussie lager. What do you suggest?

Billy: (looking Aussie guy up and down with barely concealed distaste) Well I can offer you some piss in a glass!

Aussie Guy wasn’t put off so I chose him a glass of an India Pale Ale flavoured with Passionfruit.

Me: Try that. In some pubs in Sydney that’s considered a cocktail. 

 

I was really busy last week working at the IndyManBeerCon, a festival that celebrates the huge number of artisan crafted beers and ales that are now being produced across the UK in small breweries. These beers used to be a tiny proportion of the beer consumed in the UK, the province of diehard aficionados. Now they are mainstream with people from all walks of life taking the trouble to search out these beers.

The IndyManBeerCon started six years ago and was the brainchild of a guy who owns a couple of bars in the Northern Quarter and one in Chorlton. I’m not sure where it started but its present home is the Victoria Baths, a short walk from the Whitworth Gallery on Oxford Road. It probably started out small but, talking to some of the brewers there, it’s now one of the most important beer festivals in the country. Brewers from as far away as Cornwall in the south to Aberdeen in the north of Scotland came to the city to show off their beers. Some brewers, like Cloudwater from Manchester and Northern Monk from Leeds were here for the entire festival. Others came and went so there was always different beers to try.

The three pools had been drained of course and the bars were set up in them, surrounded by wooden tables. There was recorded music in the First Class Male and Second Class Male baths. The Female pool was turned into a club with DJs and live music as well as the bars. A brewery from Buxton set up in the Turkish Baths. Another brewery took over the Pineapple Room (the stained glass windows feature the fruit). Behind the baths was a tented food village where street food sellers set up shop. There was a huge tent with a chilled Ibiza club vibe about it with more bars. And Northern Monk had their own tented bar.

You booked online for a session (an afternoon or evening) or you could have a weekend pass or a pass for the entire festival. You paid for that online. People arrived and brought their tickets on their phones which were scanned in the street outside and you got a wristband for your session. Inside you were given a glass and a map (I helped with that once). You then went to buy some tokens for beer and food using cash or card. Then you were off round the festival swapping your tokens for whatever beer you fancied. It certainly made life easy for the bar staff. I worked on the token exchange once and it was crazy busy. The bars were busy but at least we didn’t have to count change out. And we could talk to people about the beers. I was amazed how I quickly got to a place where I could chat about the beers with authority. TBH I knew next to nothing but throw in phrases like ‘double IPA’ and ‘hoppy ale’ and they seemed to lap it up. 

At then end of each session the people there (1,500 for each) just seem to melt away and the festival was tidied up for the next session. There was security. We had a very scary lady who went round ‘suggesting’ that people would like to go home and forbidding people like me from serving any more beer after a certain time. I certainly didn’t.

The Angel of Purity….not me you will be surprised to hear but a piece of beautiful stained glass in the Turkish Baths area of the Victoria Baths. Here she is…

As I said in my last post I’ve been having fun helping out at a beer festival at the Victoria Baths. It’s been tiring but great fun even though I went through the entire event and didn’t drink a drop! I was way too busy. The Victoria Baths were built in the Victorian era as a public amenity. You could learn to swim in them. Or, because a lot of houses in those days lacked bathrooms, you could actually go and have a bath. There was a sumptuous Turkish Baths suite and rooms where you could ‘enjoy’ water treatments. There was one room with something that looked like a huge Bain Marie. No one could work out what they did in that. But you could melt a lot of chocolate in it without it turning grainy. It opened at the beginning of the last century but closed in the 1980s when the city went into serious decline. People preferred the modern pools and the Victoria Baths was abandoned and was gradually falling down. But it’s a stunning building and is listed.

The BBC did a competition on TV so the nation could choose a building to save. Victoria Baths won and got £6,000,000 which, to be honest has barely touched the sides of what this building needs to have done to it. But it’s now safe, the façade is looking good and some of the interior is looking as good as it did 100 years ago. Work needs to be done still though. And I wonder what happened to the buildings that lost the competition. 

They still occasionally fill one of the pools. There are three. One for First Class Males, one for Second Class Males and one for Females. It was built in different times of course. The pool for the women is the least elaborate which is insulting by our standards but, as a male, I would have really resented going through a door marked ‘Second Class Males.’ So some swimming still happens but, if they want to refurbish the rest of the building they need to raise more money. Having events like the beer festival with thousands of people paying to attend raises a lot more than a bunch of seniors doing aqua aerobics on an afternoon. 

The part of the building frequented by the First Class Males is full of beautiful stained glass, with representations of guys doing manly things like cricket and boxing. The stained glass is less spectacular for the Second Class Males and almost disappears by the time you reach the part where the Females swam. 

There’s a lot of these dark green tiles everywhere. Not to our taste in a modern bathroom, but appropriate for a Victorian public baths.

And the fishes on the mosaic floors may not be as accomplished as the Roman mosaics I saw in Cirencester a few weeks ago but I thought they were charming. I’d have them in my bathroom. 

 

Before I get to go on my trip to Barcelona in a few days time, I get to help with a beer festival at the Victoria Baths. It starts tomorrow and carries on until Sunday. I was working on it yesterday which was a set up day. Artisan breweries from around the UK, Europe, and even America, are coming to Manchester to show off their products. Cloudwater, the one I discovered last weekend, will be there. Yesterday was a day to do dull, but very necessary, preparations so that the actual event will go well.

I caught the tram into the city in the rush hour. It was packed. The entire carriage was entertained by a very well dressed lady who spent the entire trip telling her friend, by phone, what a total b**ch her sister was being about the sister’s birthday party. It seemed the sister thinks that the birthday party is all about her. TBH I thought that birthday parties were all about the person who was having the birthday. Not in that lady’s world it seems. It was a relief to get off at St. Peter’s Square and not have to hear all the drama anymore. I headed towards the library, she in the direction of the art gallery still complaining about her b**ch sister. If someone’s birthday is like that in their house just imagine what Christmas must be like.

I had some time so went into the Starbucks on Peter Street for a coffee. I like this branch. It’s in a modern building with plate glass walls and you can enjoy all the beautiful architecture of Central Library, the Midland Hotel and St. George’s House (formally the old YMCA building). 

I still had time so I decided to walk to the Victoria Baths. The route takes you through the universities and the hospitals to the Whitworth Art Gallery and then you take a left. The students are back and I was travelling against the flow of the people as they made their ways to whatever early appointments they had. They’ve changed the traffic flow in this part of the city. Cars are now completely banned from the Whitworth Art Gallery as far as the Palace Theatre. Only buses, bikes and people, all segregated along Oxford Road, are allowed and the sense of calm and quiet is wonderful. It’s a vast improvement with the university on both sides of the road joined, safely, for the first time in its history.

It was a warm, sunny morning. I was able to appreciate the architecture of the older buildings and check out all the new building projects on the campus. They are even creating a new park on what was Brunswick Street showing off the original Victorian buildings. Looking forward to seeing that finished.

I worked all day at the Victoria Baths and then headed back to the tram station at St Peter’s Square. I could have walked again but there was a Mobike near the baths so I decided to use it to get back into the city. I’ve been using them for fun so far and this was the first time I’d used one as it was designed to be used. Getting about the city quickly. I also worry about the bikes when they end up somewhere quiet in the city. Some people don’t appreciate the bikes as much as I, and many others, do. So I wanted to leave it in St. Peter’s Square which is a Mobike hub. Here it is in the square.

While I was in the city I wanted to buy some new Vans for my trip to Barcelona. I’d seen a nice pair a few days ago and promised myself that, if they were still available at the end of the month, I’d have them. I jumped on the tram to Exchange Square to get to the Vans store. From the platform I saw my Mobike being picked up and ridden back down Oxford Road to the universities from where I’d brought it. Hopefully it will be fine.

The Vans store was packed. The city stores were having a ‘Student Night.’ They were all offering discounts to the new students. It helps welcome them and gets them to come into city centre and find where places are. I’m not sure how many sales the stores made from the students. Maybe they’d prefer the stores to be full of people like me, with good jobs and good credit who don’t blanche at the price of their third pair in two months. Well one was Converse that I haven’t even worn yet. The girl behind the counter did ask if I was eligible for a student discount which was nice to hear, but neither of us were convinced. I went for a glass of wine.

Here’s my new Vans in all their glory. I’ll be needing a new shirt to match them for Barcelona I think.

 

I had a few Saturday jobs to do, nothing arduous or anything so I had a bit of a mooch about. There was a Maker’s Market on Salford Quays and I’m looking for a particular stall holder who makes cool bars to put in your garden shed. I could have checked if he was there but it was more fun to turn up and see if he was there. I do enjoy a good mooch at a nice market. He wasn’t there but that’s no biggie. I have his card.

I decided it was an alternative transport day. The Mini had a day off and I took the tram to the Quays. You get off at Media City and the market, when it’s on, is just across the water by the Lowry Theatres and Art Galleries. We are a very congested city, one of the worse in Europe apparently, though I’m kind of used to it. It’s just the way it is in my world. We’re not as bad as one of those Asian cities like Bangkok or Mumbai but I do know when not to go out and where to avoid. FYI, anywhere near the Trafford Centre is best avoided from now until Christmas. 

We’re not restricted to the trams of course. We have masses of buses but, in my opinion, they just add to the congestion and, in some place, exacerbate it. Mobikes are the latest idea to have hit the city. Thousands of these cool bikes have appeared in the city. You download an app and use it to unlock one. The app tells you where they are. Once you’ve had your ride, you lock the bike and it’s ready for the next person. I’ve had fun on them over the summer. I need to have some more adventures on them. Here’s a whole row of them by the tram station at Media City waiting to be taken on an adventure. 

I’ve not done this yet but I want to. It’s a Waxi. A water taxi service that has started using the city’s canals and rivers as a way of getting around. They have just opened a new route from here at Media City to the centre of the city at Spinningfields. The cool looking, golden roofed building is the latest Alchemist cocktail bar. So you could have one here and then pop into the Alchemist, Spinningfields to have another. We were there last week.

I took the tram into the city centre. Passing through China Town, I saw these Mobikes by the Imperial Arch. They are a Chinese idea and a Chinese company. I wondered if these were trying to get home.

Adding to the Far Eastern vibe of the area were these three Buddist monks in their saffron robes. The building behind the blue tarps is a rather attractive, red brick built, Victorian warehouse. I’m pleased to see that it’s being restored after a disastrous fire a couple of winters back. Sometimes, they just pull them down. I like new buildings but we should save what is good of the past. Two homeless men died in the fire. We think they started a fire to keep warm but it got out of control. A very sad story.

I’ve heard about ‘Game of Thrones’ but have never seen it. In the UK it’s on some obscure satellite TV channel that we don’t have. And it’s not on Netflix either. I could go and buy a pile of CDs but I hate the way they clutter up your life. I could buy it on the Apple Store but it’s too big a show to watch on the iPad and I can’t work out how to connect the iPad to the TV. I’m told there is a way. Ideally it would be on BBC 1 on Saturday night after ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ but there’s little chance of that. I’m hoping that whoever owns the rights will release it to some other, more accessible, channel once the last series is shown. I’ll only be ten years behind then. It’s doubly irritating we can’t see it as it’s made here in the UK, full of actors from the UK. It’s well thought of but you struggle to find people who have actually seen it. It’s not one of our ‘water cooler’ programmes. Of course it could be like ‘Breaking Bad’ which they hid on some subscription channel in the UK and when I finally got to see it, it was now where near as good as people made out.

I’ve not read any of the books it’s based on either. But I spotted this one in ASDA a few weeks ago. ‘A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms’ by ‘Game of Thrones’ author George R.R. Martin. It’s the closest I’ve been to the series.

It’s set in the same, mythical world as ‘Game of Thrones’ but the action takes place a century before the events in the TV series. Apparently the events in the book I’ve read explain certain events in the ‘G o T’ books. Not having seen any of the series I missed all those references. The action takes place in a world of knights that reminded me of Plantagent England or France, 600 years ago but with added dragons. I’m told the TV series has masses of violence and a fair amount of sex. This book is more gentle. There are jousting tournaments with deaths and some fighting and there was some flirting but no rampant sex.

It concerns the adventures of a knight, Ser Duncan the Tall. At the start of the book, he is a hedge knight, the kind of knight that wanders the world eeking out a living by offering his services to any Lord who will hire him. Ser Duncan, who is only 16 at the start of the book, but very big for his age, has only just become a knight. Up until then he was the squire to another, older knight, Ser Arlan of Pennytree, who had rescued him from a life of crime in the slums of King’s Landing, which I believe is the big city in this mythical place. Ser Arlan has just died and we meet Duncan as he is burying his former master. Before he died Ser Arlan knighted his squire. Burial over, Ser Duncan goes out into the world alone to see what happens.

At an inn he meets a young boy, Egg. Egg becomes Ser Duncan’s squire. Unknown to Duncan, Egg is actually Prince Aegon Targaryen, a nine year old member of the ruling family of Westeros, the same family that the character played by Emilia Clarke belongs to in the TV series. They all have distinctive coloured hair and Prince Aegon has shaved his off to travel unnoticed on an adventure with his drunken brother. Hence his name, Egg.

Ser Duncan isn’t the brightest candle in the box but is strong, Egg is a small child but has education and intelligence. They end up travelling together and have adventures having developed a respect and fondness for each other.

I enjoyed this book but feel I was missing a lot of the backstory (even though it’s a prequel to the earlier books and the TV show). At the end of this book the indications are they Dunc and Egg will have further adventures that will lay the foundations for the Game of Thrones story. I’ll look out for them.

It’s been a long time since I read a book with pictures in it but, every so often, one of these charming line drawings appeared.

I’ve been working at home today. I got up really early and began and by noon I’d done everything I’d planned to. First thing was very autumnal with mist but, later in the morning, it burned off and we had a warm, sunny September day. What to do with it? Well, at this time of year we usually go foraging for sloes to make Sloe Gin. And, if I say so myself, we’re rather good at it. 

Last year I learned, too late, about a drink called Bramble Whisky. Basically it’s blackberries, sugar and whisky all shook up. I’d looked at a recipe a couple of weeks ago and it advised picking the blackberries on a warm, sunny day. So off I went foraging among the hedges around the fields near home. 

I was out for about a hour and a half. I learned that there weren’t as many blackberries as I thought and they were quite small. I knew that blackberry bushes have nasty thorns but I didn’t realise that they liked to grow mixed up with stinging nettles! I needed 1Kg but when I got home I’d only found about 250g! I then remembered that we had some blackberries in the freezer. We’d picked them last year in Shropshire where the blackberries are bigger and I don’t remember them coming with nettles. So I had enough to start a batch of Bramble Whisky. Here’s the recipe….

Bramble Whisky

1Kg Blackberries.

325g of white sugar.

370ml of whisky.

Put the blackberries in one of those jars that you can seal (see picture).

Add the sugar and shake the jar so the sugar gets distributed among the blackberries.

Pour the whisky over the fruit and seal it up. Give it a good shake. A note on the whisky. Go for a bottle of supermarket own brand. NEVER, EVER use an expensive single malt for this recipe. There’s a particularly nasty place in hell for people who do this. You have been warned.

For the next few weeks give it a shake when you pass it. It’s a good idea to have it in a cool place.

Eventually all the sugar will dissolve into the whisky. You then have to be patient. Very patient. The batch I set up today will be ready by Christmas. And that’s Christmas 2018!

Just before the Christmas season, strain the liquid through some muslin and put into bottles. It would make a cool, homemade present or enjoy it yourself over the festive season.

I’ve heard that you can do something wonderful with the left over fruit and ice cream. But I won’t be worrying about that just yet.

After my wander around the Maker’s Market on Spinningfields I headed over to my meeting which was being held in the Port Street Beer House in the N4. It was entirely appropriate as I’m going to be helping with an Artisan beer festival in the beautiful Victoria Baths, a veritable water palace, on Hathersage Road just behind the hospitals and university along Oxford Road. Artisan breweries from all over the country will be setting up bars, some actually in the drained pools, and people will come to sample the beers. I’m not sure what my role will be yet but it will be fun. Work doesn’t have to be all a grind and my job does involve interaction with the local communities and if that is done over a glass of Artisan beer, so be it. This beer festival is one of Manchester’s seemingly never ending festivals that fills in the gap between Pride and the Food & Drink Festival and I have no idea how I’ve missed it so far. I will be tweeting and blogging. 

The Port Street Beer House is on the present eastern edge of the N4 where it looks across an area of surface car parks to the apartment blocks spreading through the Piccadilly Canal Basin and towards painfully cool Ancoats across busy Great Ancoats Street. The car parks are disappearing under new apartment blocks along G A Street already and, I imagine, the developers are circling those car parks that remain. I wish I owned one, I’d be sitting on a fortune. 

I didn’t want to go into the Port Street Beer House too early. I heard some live jazz coming from the bar next door through the windows open to let in the afternoon warmth. The bar is called Stage and Radio. The Jazz, which was old school and excellent, was played by these three guys who wouldn’t go amiss in a jazz club in New Orleans. They played their set and as they finished, more music came from downstairs. I’d noticed a young guy with a guitar arrive and disappear behind the bar. He was part of a rock band that was using the basement as a rehearsal space. I listened to the rock coming upstairs and they sounded good. After my meeting, I went back in and another band had taken the Jazz guys spot. If it does live music regularly, I’m going to have to go back. It was cool.

I liked the way the bar was decorated. Bare brick walls are all over the N4 of course. There were mosaics and murals and old school radios and one of those tape machines that chew up music. While vinyl is making a comeback I don’t see anyone rushing to revive this form of music storage.

Apparently, the girl behind the bar informed me, artisan cloudy white Belgian beer served with a slice of Orange is a ‘thing’ in the N4 this summer. I’m glad she told me, I wouldn’t want to make myself look foolish by asking for a stick of celery or the like.

While I’m discussing work, I don’t want to give the impression that my work is one endless round of fun and games, but they are sending me to Barcelona in October for a few days. I will be working but I’m factoring in some time to look around the city. I’ve chosen a hotel in the Eixample district of the city that looks comfortable and is convenient. What sold me on it is it has a roof top terrace with a view of the wonderful Sagrada Familia a few hundred metres away. I can see me up there with a bottle of chilled Cava on a warm Barcelona evening (much further south than Manchester) admiring Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece cathedral. Again, I will be tweeting and blogging. 

Taking the tram back home I rode on the special ’25’ tram that marks the fact that the tram system in Manchester opened, with its first route from Altrincham to Bury, 25 years ago. Now it is all over the city, new routes are being built with more planned. I also saw the BEE TRAM, decorated with 22 bees, one for each person who died in the terrorist attack in May. I’ve seen it innate marshalling yard but it was the first time in the street. I did tear up. And I couldn’t get my phone out fast enough to take a picture. And at Cornbrook I saw the Rainbow Pride tram again.

The Spinningfields Makers Market was on this weekend and it was a special one featuring lots of stalls selling treats and other doggie paraphernalia. I went yesterday to fill some time before a Sunday meeting. It was work related but verging on pleasure so I wasn’t too upset about it. It was sunny and warm, a prefect late summer (Autumn begins on the 21st) day. The market was on the plaza facing Deansgate between the Gothic Victorian John Rylands Library and the cutting edge architecture of the Armani Store building. One of the places in the city where the old and the new come together and do it so well. 


There was a van doing doggie selfies. You could dress your dog up as well if he/she was amenable. There were lots of well behaved doggies out and about, enjoying the market and the city vibe. 

Or you could have a portrait of your doggie while he/she sat for the portrait. There was a queue for this. We do love our doggies in Manchester.

There were lots of stalls that were selling things to make your doggie’s life more comfortable and happy. And I even saw some things for the C-A-T in your life.

And if, sadly like me, you don’t have a doggie to share your life, there were plenty of stalls for you to enjoy as well.