Manchester was often referred to as 'The Venice of the North' although I am fairly sure that Venice is rarely, if ever, referred to as the 'Manchester of Italy'. This picture gives some credence to that forgotten description, if it were raining, it may have been more authentic! We are used to canals in Manchester although they have never been the tourist attraction they could be, apart from one or two isolated basins. Maybe the imminent move of the BBC to Manchester and the associated redevelopment work around the Salford locks may bring some continental exoticism to the town, but maybe it will just bring another fenced estate and some safe but naff chain restaurants. Fatty Arbuckles 'taste of America' anyone?
No safe food in AW Towers last night though, as a full table tucked into Mutton Casserole and devilled kidneys. Here, for the purposes of the brand of cutting edge journalism we espouse here, are the ingredients for a mutton casserole according to the Use of Prestwich. The wooden spoon is to stir with, not for cooking. Four hours on a low light and the inclusion of a good spoonful of homemade jam (someone else's home, not mine, I may be relaxed, but I am not idle enough for the making of jams) at the end repays the chopping and initial stirring a hundredfold.
An honourable mention to Anthony from Pendlebury this morning, as he was mentioned in dispatches last night. Thank you for continuing to read, Anthony. One of the 'silent majority'!
Yesterday was very, very busy, but graced by the appearance of two old friends, David and Colin. David supports Colin in his day-to-day life and has infinite patience and Colin is enough to bring a smile to anyone's day. Some years ago David and myself tried to set up a support group and transport facilities for people who attend church with people who themselves need support. At that time I used to facilitate the attendance at church of a couple of men who lived in supported housing who would otherwise not have had the ability to go, care plans being poor on Religion in many places. This culminated in a wonderful holiday in Cumbria one year before the management of the house (and the insurance policy) changed and the whole thing was curtailed. Many people, though, work to improve the life and deepen the faith of men and women who, by reason of disability, are almost de-facto excommunicated from the Church at birth. Some places are better than others, of course, but volunteers are few and far between in this field. There are, I was delighted to find, systems in place in one or two big companies who manage residential homes, to enable people to attend Church, in part due to the example of many given freely over many years. Cause for a little joy, on a wet morning at the start of a very busy weekend in the 'Venice of the North'!