It felt weird walking through St. Ann’s Square this morning. And a little sad. The sea of flowers and tributes that has grown there since the attack at the Ariana Grande concert has been removed. Everything was very carefully and respectfully packed up and taken away. The lady who works at the florists by the church told me they took the upmost care.

Nothing will be thrown away. Some of the the flowers that are still in a good state have been taken to Manchester Art Gallery, where they will be dried and pressed and combined with handmade paper to make books of remembrance for the families of the victims. All the written tributes were gathered up and taken to Central Library. There they will be conserved, listed and put into the city’s archives. All the soft toys will be cleaned and given to charities in the city that work with children. The rest of the floral tributes, some there for three weeks, will be composted and used to grow new life. The city has to move on and St. Ann’s Square will go back to its usual role of a pleasant place to have some alfresco lunch on a warm day or visit a market. But, this morning, in the rain, it did feel eerily quiet.

But life has to go on. The city was full of young people in shorts and wellington boots. They’re off to Heaton Park for the Parklife weekend music festival. It was raining heavily this morning but by lunch it had dried up. The park will be muddy underfoot though. Lots of security though with lots of young people in the city. Of course if we cancel things they have won. I managed to get an Italian girl on the right tram and a bunch of lads up from Essex to the Parklife bus service set up specially to get people out there.

And in Albert Square they are setting up the festival hub for the Manchester International Festival. This biannual event has to show only world premiere works. It’s a big deal. I like to hang out on the roof of the pop up bar where you can sit in the sun and a have a drink among the treetops.

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