I had a bit of a wander about today. First to the High Legh Garden Centre to look for some bedding plants. The pots we have around the house were neglected in the autumn due to my ankle injury. The summer bedding held on to December but a couple of severe frosts did for it all leaving the pots full of blackened, decaying plants. Being January there’s not much about but, hopefully, in a couple of weeks there might be something on offer. All I found was some primulas in Bents yesterday, so I’ll put those in when it stops raining. And there are some tulip bulbs I bought which haven’t made it to a pot yet. Poor things. 

I then drove to Chorlton and caught the tram into the city. I hadn’t had breakfast. I thought I’d try somewhere new, well new to me at least. I went to Pot Kettle Black, next to BarberBarber in Barton Arcade. Everytime I get my hair cut I think I should go in but drink so much coffee while waiting for the cut, I go off the idea. It’s run by two local rugby players, Jon Wilkin (St. Helens) and Mark Flanagan (Salford Reds). Rugby players don’t command the stratospheric salaries that the football players of the likes of Manchester City and United do, so they have to look to their futures beyond the game. They took some flack from their teammates about opening a coffee shop in trendy Manchester but their mates will be thinking they were onto something. It’s successful and expanding.

I went for the trendy breakfast of the moment in the UK with crushed avocado, flavoured with lime and chilli, and poached eggs on a slice of sourdough bread. I couldn’t be anymore bang on trend. I had a flat white coffee. Both were delicious. And here’s my new, orange Oddballs OBBLE hat, plenty of those to be seen in the stands at St. Helens and Salford. Not so many crushed avocados though.

Talking of BarberBarber, Johnny has been doing a little on street advertisement for the business. This is his ‘A’ board on Deansgate. The barbershop is always busy but a little promotion isn’t a bad idea in quiet January.

Next to Waterstone’s, the book sellers on Deansgate to pick up a book I’d ordered. Cicero, an Ancient Roman politician, lawyer and orator, said  ‘A room without books is like a body without a soul’. It was on the wall behind one of the Deansgate windows. How very true. Certain modern politicians, well one in particular, might disagree with that, especially as the book I was picking up was about him and none too flattering either I’ve heard. But I doubt if Mr. Trump has heard this quote or, indeed, heard of Cicero. I got my copy of ‘Fire and Fury’ by Michael Wolff. Mr Trump says it’s all lies of course but he says that about anything that he hears that he doesn’t like.

I’m not a fan of him. He’s part of a wave of ‘popularism’ that’s sweeping the world at the moment that’s led to him being president of the United States and Brexit over here. The last time we had this amount of popularism in the world was the 1920/30s and that didn’t end well did it? Sometimes you just need experts to take control. I wouldn’t have dreamed of telling my surgeon how to operate on my ankle and, when I get my car fixed, I’m not in there telling the mechanic how to fix it. So why do some people think that someone with zero expertise can run the most powerful country on the planet? And it’s not as if he actually won! Mrs Clinton got more votes than he did. It seems they have applied a system that might be good to elect a state governor to the process of electing a president and the guy who came second got all the prizes! Democracy? I think not.

Well Mr Trump has done one thing. He’s persuaded me to buy my first ever book about the political process. He might argue that’s it’s all lies but it is an entertaining read I have to say. Almost unputdownable I’d say. I just put it down to do this. So far I’m feeling very sorry for Melania. I did wonder about her. Is having a penthouse, with the accompanying lifestyle, on the top of a tacky skyscraper in New York enough compensation for having to, you know,…..do it with someone like Trump? Well it seems that they spent little time together even when in New York. He used to wander about America playing golf and visiting his other houses and entertaining himself with the likes of Stormy (who looks just like his daughter, Ivanka….just saying) and she was happy, with her son, doing lunch and shopping in New York. According to the book he told her he wouldn’t win and when it was over life would go back to normal. Well it didn’t, did it? And we are all paying the consequences. Apparently the poor woman was in tears on election night, and not of joy. And it did take a while for her to move to Washington.

This was a LOT later in the morning. I needed some coffee and the thought popped into my head as I passed the tower of St. Ann’s Church. They have a little café in there, selling teas and coffees and homemade, by the ladies who go to the church, cakes, biscuits and scones. I had a deliciously moist, buttered slice of Bara Brith, a fruited Welsh tea bread where they soak the fruit in tea before adding it to the bread. And there was a big mug of coffee. All for £3.50 (couldn’t even get the coffee for that much at other coffee shops in the city) with the proceeds going to the church. 

I walked about quite a bit and was delighted to find that my foot didn’t hurt at the end of it. Hopefully it’s another step on the road to recovery. 

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