I, along with a lot of others, was enjoying the sun in St. Ann’s Square. I had a Pret a Manger picnic and was enjoying the girl sat by the fountain who was playing her guitar and singing. She’s often there. She was one of the street entertainers who was allowed to sing in the square while the flower tributes were there, her voice clearly heard over the hushed tones of the crowds who came to pay their respects. 

Suddenly the peace was destroyed. People were shouting at the other end of the square near the Royal Exchange Theatre and police were arriving, purposely walking across the square towards the centre of the noise. Someone was firing off a klaxon. The atmosphere of the square was ruined and the singing girl gave up, packed up her guitar and moved off. I was annoyed as well. The flowers may have gone and the flags are no longer at half mast but the square is still sacred ground for Manchester. 

I fiinished my picnic and wandered down to where the noise was. The centre of it all was the HSBC bank on the square. Apparently they have some business interests in Israel. Some local people with contacts in Palestine were outside protesting about this. And where they appear you can be sure that the local supporters of Israel won’t be far behind protesting against the protestors. They did it, big time, a couple of years ago, when the centre of their attention was a little store on King Street selling products using Dead Sea mud. I have every sympathy with the Palestinians. If my country had disappeared off the face of the earth and I ended up living in an overcrowded scrap of land without proper facilities I’d be aggrieved. I also think that Isrealis should have a place to call home as well. I have no idea how they will ever square that circle, it’s a problem that’s been festering, on and off, for thousands of years. It’s not going to be solved any time soon I think. And it is one of the roots of the problem that led to the Manchester Arena attack a few weeks ago of course. Not the only one, but one of them. But I did think that, given the importance St Ann’s Square has assumed in the city’s life recently, they could have found another spot to noisily protest in.

I walked down New Cathedral Street. The guitar playing girl from the square had found herself a new spot between the Zara store and Marks & Spencer’s. Outside Harvey Nichols these street artists, called Nomadclan, were creating a piece. It was all a part of an event going on in the store. One of the American airlines (possibly American Airlines, I forget which) are launching new, direct routes from Manchester to several American cities. San Francisco is one, Boston another. The picture isn’t finished yet. I think it’s an American eagle?

I had a chat with them and they told me there was a complete piece of their work at Victoria Station so I went off to find it. It was on the hoardings around the Hotel Indigo site. They have work in the Northern Quarter as well.

« »