Proper Followers

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Suzie Lowe

I don't usually post other peoples poetry on my blogs, but for Suzie Lowe I will make an exception. She sent me the following piece today:


Close to midnight And wide awake.
Silence in surround sound
What lurks in the shadows beneath my bed.
Listen carefully you can hear my heart pound.
Still awake waiting for sleep, relax, get out of my head.

Suzie Lowe 010416

Monday, March 21, 2016

World Poetry Day 2016

Some nasty submarines below
There’s rusty red and blue ones too
That fight each other in the snow
Who really knows quite what they do

Beneath the water magic dreams
Some tasty submarines below
That deep sea dive for hot ice creams
With Trojan Horses on the go

No matter which way the winds blow
Stripped bare down there like Ulysses
Some hasty submarines below
So may I have the spanners please

Bananas in the Bay of Pigs
The Yellow Submarine’s on show
With broken nuts and bolts to fix
Some pasty submarines below


Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Not tick tocking (like it should)

He shields her from the truth
The lies don’t matter anymore
Breathing becomes nonsensical
The air is thickly around her

No more counting the pennies
She calls to the spirit of change  
Something stops her ticker
It’s not tocking like it should

He screams blue murder
As she gives up the ghost
Banging his head again
Everything goes pear shaped


Monday, February 29, 2016

No Congestion

Machines half-empty some half-full
Bubblegum bouncing on the floor
Some girls blow it into landfill
And others stick it up the door

A bubble blowing bovver girl
Machines half-empty some half-full
Chew chewing spearmint gum don’t twirl
La Automaton – shoot to cull

Jell-o shots and Sherry trifle
Pray let me make a suggestion  
Machines half-empty some half-full
Manchester has no congestion

A sticky artery or two
Some road works not on schedule  
And dodgy traffic lights on blue
Machines half-empty some half-full

Here's a link to a post I originally wrote in 2007 and re-posted two years ago - It's called Congestion What?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Heading back to Arkansas

Alive like you I stumble in the dark
Arkansas I’ll be with you in a mo
Move over my other lover be still
Jill is waiting for me in the backroom

Mushrooms aren’t as magic as you might think
Inking your name onto my upper arm
Charming as the first day that I met you
Useless me talking to anyone else

Elsewhere everybody knows what wot is
Isolated as we may be - speeding
Dingbats are trying to undertake us
Usually we would fight and go faster

Disasters happen with open throttle
Bottle merchants we may be - but alive


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Some Re-posted stuff from Cottonopolis

Little Miss Cotton Cottonopolis
rocks her baby at the factory
in the cradle of industry.
It’ll soon be noon in boom and bust
And she’s just twenty-four hours ahead
She knows that by this time tomorrow
that the whole world will follow
every single word that she said.
And she said:
We’re going to build a canal to bring
coal to town and to link us to the sea.
At noon the next day
the whole world laughed
and said that she was daft
but they waited and they watched
and they copied her by half past three.
And she said:
We’re going to build about
two thousand mills each one eight floors high
with chimney stacks that scrape the sky
we’ll power the looms in boom and bust
with the new technology that we trust
and we’ll fuel those steam engines with coal
that we’ll cart up the Bridgewater canal and
the finished goods we’ll send across the sea.
At noon the next day
the whole world laughed
and said that she was daft
but they waited and they watched
and they copied her by half past three.
And she said:
We’re going to build a passenger railway station
and lay tracks to every city in the nation
and build new dormitory towns to house the hoi polloi.
At noon the next day
the whole world laughed
and said that she was daft
but they waited and they watched
and they copied her by half past three.
And she said:
We’re going to build a university
and a new town hall
a free library and art gallery
and public parks for all.
At noon the next day
the whole world laughed
and said that she was daft
but they waited and they watched
and they copied her by half past three.
And she said:
We’re going to build a ship canal
so ships can come to us
thirty-five miles from the sea.
At noon the next day
no one laughed
or said that she was daft
but they waited and they watched
and the ship canal officially opened in 1894.

First free public Library, Manchester 1653
First real canal (not river assisted) 1761
The Bridgewater Canal Manchester 1761
First steam powered mill Arkwright’s, Manchester 1783
First passenger Railway Station, Manchester 1830
Manchester Ship Canal officially opened May 21st. 1894 
by Queen Victoria
First Red Brick UniversityManchester 1824

Little Miss Crochet
up from Whatsit?
queues outside the
monastery gates for
bread and honey and
her baby cries for the
milk that she’s not got
and across town the
dark satanic mills
rise up eight floors
above the cut and
the phallic chimneys
tower one hundred
and eighty foot into
the air belching smog
that hurts your eyes
and the bargees down
below are blindly carting
coals to fuel the loom
in bust and boom
and even as the tracks
are going down for the
worlds first passenger
railway station
across the road she still
shares half the basement
with eight children and two
drunken and abusive men
there’s no sanitation yet
they dump and hit and miss
in the river and kill the fish
almost next door to the
Italianate warehouse fronts
of the Nouveau riche that line
in eighteen twenty nine
the streets of Cottonopolis

Cottonopolis = nickname for Manchester UK 
in the nineteenth century
Bargee = boatman on a canal barge
Cut = canal
Whatsit? = the countryside

Sloppy Joe's, mee-mawing, 'what was cotton?'
There they were knocking up the worlds trousers
Once upon a time when the mills were here
Lentil soup for supper, I think, innit?
Outer Mongolia's, eating lentils
Now that the post production rot's got out

Only who could spin a yarn like that now
Cotton was the pride of Manchester once
Trousers that would change the world if only...
Outside in the cold light of day pissed up
Pissed off with the way that they've been kicked out
Innit! and a bit of bread with your slop...

Cotton was the pride of Manchester once
Once upon a time when the mills were here
There they were knocking up the worlds trousers
Trousers that would change the world if only...
Only who could spin a yarn like that now
Now that the post production rot's got out
Outside in the cold light of day pissed up
Pissed off with the way that they've been kicked out
Outer Mongolia's, eating lentils
Lentil soup for supper, I think, innit?
Innit! and a bit of bread with your slop...
Sloppy Joe's, mee-mawing, 'what was cotton?'

Uni-ted in Lublin Warsawza and Dublin
Uni-ted are big in Hong Kong
Uni-ted are thunder, they cheer from Down Under
Uni-ted are strong in Korea

Uni-ted Uni-ted from Bang Kwok to Blighty
Uni-ted they sing in Cadiz
But down my street we all follow the blues
Home, away, win, or lose

‘Cos you know what they say down my end,
well me and my mates anyway
There’s two big teams in Manchester;
City and City reserves

It was Saturday afternoon at three o’clock when the chant went up.
Manchester Boot Boys!
And the Bovver Girls joined in, taking the bubble gum out of their mouths.
And expertly spinning it round and round and round an index finger.
Manchester Boot Girls!
They cried, flicking the sticky gum over the heads of the police line.
Towards the Rockers who gathered on the left side of the steep terrace.
The Boot Boys were a makeshift mob of Skinheads and Scooter-boys and Mods.
Most had Steelies, Hobbies and Docs on their feet and the Mods wore Oxfords.
The Bovver Girls wore Monkey Boots to the match in those days, with red socks.
And the Mods and the Skinheads and the Bovver girls all wore Crombie coats.
The Scooter-boys had Fishtail Parka’s with tin badges on the front.
They rode Lambretta’s with ‘Sex Machine’ emblazoned on the side panels.
The Greasers wore leather jackets with studs and sleeveless denim colours.
They all said that they rode Triumph Bonneville’s and six-fifty Norton’s.
The ageing Ted’s used to stand next to the Rockers on the left hand side.
The Ted’s always wore their drainpipes and winkle pickers or blue suede shoes.
When the game went quiet the Bikers would taunt the Scooter-boys like this:
‘Are you there skin?’
They would sing,
And the chant would come back,
‘Are you there Grease?
And the Rockers would laugh, giving a little wave to provoke the Mods.
‘Back to school on Monday!’
The Greaser’s would jeer.
‘Back to school on Monday!
But soon things would settle down and the whole of the Kippax Street would cheer.
When City scored a goal – everywhere, all round the ground the chant would ring.
Manchester la, la, la, la,
Manchester la, la,la, la...
This is a link to a story about the Moss Side Stadium with pictures of The Kippax Street Stand!

Up in flames like the chippy on China Lane
This car park on a vacant lot
Was once the site of the burnt out shell
Of the only shop that didn’t get bombed in the war

Shoulder to shoulder shoehorned to attention  
All ages and colours and creeds
From Piccadilly to the Daily Express
With their photographic memories
Those beautiful buildings mesmerising me

Drawing us all - including you - into
The bestest little city in the world
And how we miss our china plates
Woolworth's and The Queen's Hotel
New Brown Street and Swan Lane
And whatever happened to Tommy Ducks

For forty-five years I’ve wanted to paint you  
Map you - photograph you half to death
Your shop fronts change - logos come and go
But the beauty of your facades remain

It’s funny how so many young thin  
Fashionista’s like such old fashioned things
All those gold and diamond rings
That they buy from the pawn shop
Where the sex shop used to be

Some people never get sick and old
They tell the same jokes that they were told
Sell the brown brogues that they sold
In eighteen-sixty-nine and the years unfold
Like the Tib Street Parrot and the price of gold

Fashion is the passion for all ages
The vintage clothes stores are the New Oasis
The inking parlours and the piercing places
For the cafĂ© cavemen and The Millstone Elvis  
We all fall down in the middle Yates’s

Glitterista and her sister are out on the razz
If looks could kill in mum’s ball gown
Up to the nines in The Castle and all that jazz
The wholesale markets are well out of bounds

Advertising boards now clutter the pavements
The hairdressers and the bargain basements
From Diet Deli to the gutter - screaming
All Day Breakfast’s - Bacon and Sausage Barm’s
Non Stop Breakfasts’s - Free Coffee Refills
Hot Custard - Bakewell puddings - Manchester Tarts

But this is an empty car park on a vacant lot
That was once the site of the burnt out shell
Of the only shop that didn’t get bombed in the war

Ragchester, Fanchester
Ragchester, Fanchester

If you think any of the above are new words then think again.
I googled Fanchester and it gave me 143,000,000 hits!

Shining shoes at Waterloo, his medals at his side.
Jon was born in Salford in Eighteen ninety-five.
His Daddy came from Ireland a digger of the ditch -
The Ship Canal to Manchester -
that kept that city rich.
His Mammy was a mill lass in Ancoats Lancashire
She worked long days for little pay -
nothing much to cheer.
Jon's Grandpa was a Bargee -
on The Bridgewater
carting coals from Worsley to dirty Manchester.
By Nineteen ten, Jon’s schooling done –
an apprenticeship that was no fun …
from early morn to after dark
at an engineer's in Trafford Park.
At eighteen he went to France
to fight the German might.
Jon lost all his pals there but he came back alright!
He's got one leg to stand on
but man can't live on pride
shining shoes for farthings his medals at his side.
AS 1991

Waterloo is a railway station in London.
A Bargee lived and worked on the canal barges.
The Bridgewater is the oldest proper canal in England.
Ancoats is an area of Manchester where many cotton mills stand.
Trafford Park had many factories.
Farthings are old money, four farthings = one penny.
The Medals are from the First World War 1914-1918.

From my Paris collection:

I wander alone in this great place
no-one bothers me, hardly,
apart from a few girls,
calling out of upstairs windows after dark.
'Hey English!' and 'Sprecken sie Deutch?'
But I'm tongue tied, except for 
Vingt Gitanes, Sil vous plait!

and Merci becoup, Madamossell!
After a while I start to read the shop front names.
The street signs come alive -
Rue de St. Germain, Montparnasse
and Parc de Champs de Mars.
Advertising bollards suck me in.
Newspaper HEADLINES shout at me.
Eventually, I speak my first French sentence.
But the girl behind the Turkish bar
answers me in broken English.
Chicago, hey Mac? she asks.
Manchester! I tell her.
Oh, Bobby Charlton, she grins.
And I can't tell if she's taking the piss
out of my haircut, or what?
From 1987 rewritten 20697

My version of Shakespeare's sonnet 18:

On the eighth day god created Manchester
More lovely than any place he made
Rough winds and rain to come before Easter
Summer’s over before the world cup’s played

And yet a heat wave has been forecast soon
The sick squid all rides free unfair funfair
This week the planets line up with the moon
It’s not coincidence that we’ll be there

But our eternal summer’s still to come
As everything around us fades away
Our fair ground at Platt Fields will still be fun
And the eternal tightrope will not fray

So long as we with third eye still can see
Enslave the queen and this gives life to me

Any bit of sunshine brings them out
outside my front gate this morning
mourning the death of this cold spring
rings on their fingers banging tins.

Tinsel town it's not - Sunchester
Manchester with wheels - tyres screeching
ching ching cheers the mad mullah sings
singing over his car radio.

Radiotelegraphy phew!
hewn with an axe wheels within wheels
heels from 
Columbia - streetwise
wisdom comes from knowledge acquired.

Acquitted but guilty as sin
Sinbad  says - any bit of sunshine.
Thanks for reading this mini-collection

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Scooby-Doo in Dunfermline

Everything in life is groovy baby
Maybe but they tell me those days have gone
One day they’ll come back everything goes round
Sound days when the sun was always shining

Inglenook fireplaces and all that jazz
Razzmatazz champagne corks popping sideways
Way out and what was that word you told me
Meandering across the Roman road

Ad hoc like no one thought of this before
Forty five years ago in teenage town
Drowning in beer crying over spilt milk
Silk ties Crombies and Lambretta scooters

Scooby-Doo in Dunfermline with Gregor
Gorging spare ribs jam tarts and everything


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

For a girl I work with...

Smoking's fine...
Butt, don't drop on street.
Smoking Fine!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Why don't you love me?

Shirley goodbye you don't love me no more
You never call up to say Hi
Shirley goodbye please don't lay down the law  
Or tell me a sweet little lie
Shirley farewell you must hate me for sure
I don't really know but goodbye

Shirley goodbye you don't love me no more
You never call up to say Hi
Shirley goodbye please don't lay down the law 
Or tell me a sweet little lie
Shirley farewell you must hate me for sure
I don't really know but goodbye

Why don't you love me me-oh-my
You make me really want to cry


Don't forget you can read all my NaPoWriMo entries 
over at my Naive Nonsense bloggage.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

NaPoWriMo 2015

It's April and that means NaPoWriMo.  This year will be the seventh time that I have participated in the challenge to write thirty poems in thirty days. You can find all my entries over on my other blog 'Naive Nonsense'.

Monday became Tuesday with brand new tyres
I don’t know how these things happen so quickly
Rickshaws were never that fast anyway
Anyhow that’s the way things are these days
Crazy as spaceships that clouds ride upon
Uppishly thinking they cannot be seen
Leaning on lampposts waiting for mother
Others are spending their money with us
Useless as troglodytes without a cave
Saving for days when the rain might not come
Numb as a numbskull on bacon and eggs
Egging on robots and aliens too
Sooty and Sweep and Christopher Robin
Sobbing for Paddington and for Poo Bear


Saturday, February 28, 2015


She’s the ecstasy
The luxury of lust
She flies to me; she knows I need her too
Her smudged and painted face extremely blue
The floating lady in the picture
Is her portrait she’s got style
She gets my vote
She knows she makes me smile
She’s the ecstasy
The luxury of lust

The floating lady

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ninety nine words.


Some people count sheep to get to sleep
Not me I count daft things like tiles and floors
I've got thirty odd walls in my house
And three or four invisible doors

But I’m stuck in the attic afraid
Looking up through the crack in the roof
Waiting for the full moon to come back round
So I can make my way down before dawn

Outside I can hear the birds singing now
Must have fallen asleep or through the hatch
I tell myself as I reach for the clock
It’s eight thirty time to get up and go

Friday, December 05, 2014

Two fifty or bust.

The ancient bus stutters to a halt, I get out and start to run up the hill. It’s raining hard and someone’s chasing me. I hate running and I hate rain, but most of all I hate hills. I can hear a man behind me, he’s shouting and he’s catching me fast. I reach the top of the hill and jump over an old stone wall, big mistake I realise, as I reach out and grab the overhead electric railway cable to break my fall. Just then I sense a train coming towards me, without thinking I let go of the cable and land on top of the speeding locomotive. I lie flat, clinging on for dear life, I’m soaking wet now and it’s still pouring with rain. After a few minutes the train pulls into a country station and I manage to clamber down onto the platform. I make my way outside, and board a waiting bus. The driver looks familiar, but I sit down near the back and hope the heater will help me get dry. The bus starts to move, but I have no idea where we are going. It creaks and groans as it begins to wind its way up a long wooded road. We overtake a cross country runner; I know I've seen him someplace before, but when and where? The bus is making a horrible gurgling noise now, and it all comes flooding back to me as the ancient bus stutters to a halt.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

To the poor/pure

You dangle us like puppets on a string
Your husband and your other lovers
Your man and his mans man under your spell
Your mythical calligraphy and all
That numerology don’t baffle me
Psychology technology et vous
I don’t need drones and camera phones
Or mathematical ability
To figure out the things you say to me
You had me running for awhile
Naughty backroom kisses misses
In the secret stable holding hands
Who cares about the day we went aloft
Or if we did or didn't have a plan
Who’s twisting your other lovers now
Pure is pure like god is to the poor
And gold is good but not as good as god
Nobody understands you like I do
And to the poor and pure all things are pure

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Ignoring red lights...

Up in the cloud
the cars criss cross
ignoring red lights

Up in the cloud
I always knew they could
why did we wait

Up in the cloud
where we all went
when the money ran dry

Up in the cloud
beneath the alien ship
where they can see what we do

Up in the cloud
waiting for you to come home
desperately trying to recall my dream

Up in the cloud
that came down before
the cars began to crash

Up in the cloud
under the cover trying to get warm
wishing I could get back to sleep

Up in the cloud
where everyone wakes up
a year late


Monday, May 05, 2014

Another little song...

Girly I tried to find your shop today
Retraced the steps from my place to yours
But it wasn't there it had gone away
I remember it well it had red doors

And a broken clock that didn't chime
I wanted to buy the record player
(You had it in the window last time)
And give thanks with you to god in prayer

I found the shop but you weren't there  
It was all locked up like your cold heart
Sometimes I think that you don’t care
Why do you have to be so smart

Cottonopolis was never like this
Before you came my little Miss

Saturday, May 03, 2014


Monday’s are madding half insane
Idiots running the inmates fate
Nobody knows when to make the call
Imagination is only a game

Shout if you want to talk
Anti-establishment drowning in hate
Games not made for playing on boards
Abracadabra don’t use the phone

Only and even the lonely will fall
Unnatural as a deep sea diver
Tempting screws with a dodgy bent fiver 
Bald as beetroot and wrangler cords
I sit waiting for you to call home
Down here on the funny walk

Down here on the funny walk
I sit waiting for you to call home
Shout if you want to talk
Abracadabra don’t use the phone

Monday’s are madding half insane
Bald as beetroot and wrangler cords   
Imagination is only a game
Games not made for playing on boards

Unnatural as a deep sea diver
Anti-establishment drowning in hate
Tempting screws with a dodgy bent fiver 
Idiots running the inmates fate

Only and even the lonely will fall
Nobody knows when to make the call


Thursday, May 01, 2014

Little song for Girly...

NaPoWriMo has finished for another year 
and you can read all my entries on
My pub-poetry page

Here's a little song I wrote for you -

Yesterday only you said
You didn't love me that way
But I'm stuck inside your head
And nothing we do is okay

But you couldn’t help yourself
Girly you're turning me blue
You should leave me on the shelf
For this love could never be true

Every day you change your mind
Will you won’t you leave that man
Who said that true love is blind?
You only want me ‘cos you can

And if you leave that man so fast
How long will our loving last?

Saturday, April 05, 2014

My NaPoWriMo 2014

I'm doing the NaPoWriMo thirty poems in thirty days challenge again this April. I am posting them on my Naive Poet Danny Waise blog if you would like to take a look please come on over.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Like those advert guys.

I want to fly not drop out of the sky
High up from an aeroplane or mountain
Fountain upon fountain of youth reclaimed
Meditating contemplating something

Ringing in my ears tears on my boat race
Facing up to the fact that I can’t fly
Fly me to the moon no not me not I
Why can’t I just fly like those advert guys?

Wise up tie me to the end of your string
Fling me up in the air behind your Bentley
Gently enough for me to fly but not too far
Park in the lay-by and float my boat slowly


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The mother of invention...

Old vine moonshine new wine speak to my heart
My heart aches for the plans that we made
Made in England in the good old days
Ways that were wise once in another world

Other world charm we had it in spades
Fades into oblivion like the lights
The lights that stayed so bright for so long
Longing for a past that cannot return

Gurning like a fool outside the pub
The public face that still thinks that it’s cute
Cute as a cucumber cut into bits
Bits and pieces freeze on the candelabra

Brass monkeys wouldn’t be seen dead out there
Here we go the mother of invention…


Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Pudding crazy...

I saw her in the woods
but she didn’t wanna talk
she was much too busy to go for a walk
she was eating ice cream with a fork

She was really really really
really busy don’t you know
sitting there eating ice cream in the snow

Rats I got tennis bats for shoes
and a one string guitar to pluck the blues
I asked her to play
just for something to say

She said no way mate
I’m much to busy
to go out on a date

I said where do you get
your ice cream from

She said I get ripe bananas
from the Banana Factory
and I bung ‘em in the freezer
and I whiz ‘em up you see
then I sit here eating them
the whole of the day long

I said you’re pudding crazy
but you’re in my song


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So what's new?

Previously posted in January 2007 


People are starting to see congestion charging as inevitable. In Manchester and certainly in Greater Manchester we are nowhere near ready for congestion charging. Yes, there are great queues of traffic entering the city every morning and the same people sitting in the same traffic hell every evening, trying to leave town. And yes the roads do appear to be fairly congested at the peak times. However, I believe the trafic jams are made by bad planning. Speed bumps on ambulance routes as I've mentioned before, bus lanes and cycle routes in the wrong places and worst of all, all those traffic lights. In addition to the above named obstacles there is the added problem of the 'No Left Turn' signals.
One of the things that really annoy me are traffic lights. They always seem to change when you don't need/want them to and they stay red for much too long. The other thing about these often unneeded trafficators (should be spelt traffic haters!) is the stupid system for people wanting to turn left. In England we have to wait till the light turns to green before we can turn left, which means that lots of people behind the left turner, also have to wait and so on, causing unnecessary delays. In some other countries, you can turn left if it's safe to do so. I know that we do have a few filter lights, in some areas, but in general not enough.
Yes, of course we need bus lanes. but most of them are in the wrong places and actually cause congestion! The simple answer to bus lanes is to earmark dedicated streets as 'Buses Only' these busways can easily be made in parellel streets to the main routes, which would keep everybody happy.
YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! We need more cycle lanes. Believe me, I am a cyclist and I can tell you that the cycle lanes on many of our roads in Manchester are about as good as a chocolate fire guard. What a waste of effort, time and money. Lots of cycle lanes run out at crucial places, cars park on them, potholes appear in them. Even on major routes, where parking isn't a problem, the heavy traffic is. In general car drivers don't see bicycles until the last minute. So, the best cycle lanes are the ones that run alongside the road, for example the little stretch that runs through Whitworth Park.
Motorists are already very heavily taxed in this country. Fuel carries a high tax, then there is road tax and insurance and insurance tax. In addition there is VAT added to every purchase, including the sale of cars, servicing and parts. Then on top of that comes the stealth taxes like parking charges, clamping fees, towing away and storage fees if you park in the wrong place or for too long. These days local authorities even have the power to confiscate and crush your vehicle if you do something naughty.
So, what am I saying? Make car parking free? No, far from it. You only have to take a ride down to The Trafford Centre to see what a disaster free parking can be. And I'm not talking about the congestion caused by shoppers at the place at all. No, I think that they should pay a small fee to park, say £1.00 This money would then go to build a rail link and a tram link. How simple a solution is that? I can hear your argument right now, You think that the only people that go to these giant shopping complexes are car drivers. Wrong! The Trafford Centre has a bigger bus station than most towns and this is where the congestion originates as the cars and busses fight for roadspace.
The car parks in Manchester are way too expensive and too difficult in many cases to access. People feel cheated when they arrive in a strange town and are confronted by stupid parking rules. Manchester should be building more car parks and making the developers of all these new buildings to build extra spaces for visitors to the city. Instead we have the crazy situation where the council discourages parking. This is real short term thinking and can only end in tears. A few years back we had this crazy thing where the council didn't believe in sporting competition and sports days etc. in schools were banned or at best frowned upon, a kind of political correctness gone mad. Then, all of a sudden a change of direction. Manchester applied to host The Olympic Games, when that failed a couple of times we went for The Commonwealth Games. So what's all this nonsense got to do with cars, congestion and parking? Well! read on!
I know that global warming is the buzz word these days and anybody and everybody is jumping on the bandwagon and declaring their greenness to the world. Not least political parties and politicians. Local, national and international. In general the view is that we need to reduce harmful emissions from vehicles. Of course we do, but there are green alternatives that all of us can take advantage of right now. Firstly, we can say. 'My next car's going to be electric!' If that is too much of a dream, you can start by offsetting, and I'm not talking about planting a few trees to improve the environment that you've probably just destroyed by driving here in the first place. No, I think that there may be a way to generate a little bit of power as a by-product of your journey. Then to use this little bit of captured power to run a couple of light bulbs in the office or home or a computer or tv, perhaps. Well, maybe I am dreaming a bit but who knows what's round the corner?
I just read that the Madchester band James are reforming and are set to play the Manchester MEN Arena this year. I remember going to see them at G-Mex a few years ago. Sit down next to me!CASINO
Also today, they announced that Manchester is to build the first Super or Las Vegas style casino in Britain. That is of course, subject to the politicians having the final say. The slot machine area alone will be the size of a football pitch. That's a lot of pennies!
While I'm having a moan about transport, I might as well have a dig at the Metrolink trams. Who was it that said: 'What Manchester does today, the world follows!' Well, in England it seems to be true as far as the modern tram goes anyway. Since Manchester started her tram system, many other towns have coppied. The problem for Manchester is that we still only have three lines and a bit of a link across the city centre, when what we really need is a proper, affordable and frequent system that goes to the places where people live and work. what we've got and also for the most part, what is planned for the future, is a system that duplicates or replaces the existing railways. That's no good! Look at the Altrincham and Bury lines, they are overcrowded and expensive and they are running on the old British Railways routes. The Altrincham line is actually worse than when it was a railway track, the trains (now trams) still go to Piccadilly Station but Via G-Mex and a shed full of streets, how mad is that?
There are no simple solutions as far as transport and transportation go. The government says that cities like Manchester will have to accept congestion charging if they want to get funding for public transport. The problem in Manchester is that we already have loads of dismantled railway routes, many of them are overgrown with wild trees and junk. Why can't we re-open these lines as tramways? Well, the cost would be prohibitive, they tell me. So, why can't we just tarmac these routes over and run busses on them? Well, that would be too easy I guess, and we would no longer qualify for government funding. And we wouldn't have to pay the congestion charge, would we?
Some of you may remember me going on about our central heating. Well, guess what? Magic, it's fixed! It took just three minutes to change a faulty valve and bingo! we have a silent heating system that actually works. That's three minutes to fix it and three months waiting time for the boiler man to come.
We're still waiting for the man to come to fix the switch on the lift, we've only had to wait since July so far and I've heard that Electricians are pretty busy these days.
You can check out Nicola Batty's Newsletter (AT)
She's writing a work-in-progress-novel at the moment called The Space Between. I think that she's actually going to make it into a trilogy. Anyway, you can clink the link above and have a butchers hook yourself.
One of the nasty things about cycling is the lack of places to tie your bike to outside shops. In the old days shopkeepers used to have a cycle rack outside their shops and you could park up and lock your bike to it. Some places still have them of course, mainly cycle shops, but surprisingly some supermarkets although I was told by the greeter at my local Asda, that they didn't encourage cyclists for reasons best left alone on this blog. Anyway, there's a dead good shop on Great Western Street, Moss Side called Henson's Hardware, they sell all sorts of ironmongery and diy things and the odd tyre, innertube, brake cable and puncture repair outfit. I go there all the time for any bits and pieces I need. It is also known as The Mop Shop as it does a nice line in mops and buckets. How much better it would be though if they had a cycle rack outside with a sign that read: Cyclists Welcome, Punctures repaired!
You can check out my really bad poetry blog StraightTalkingStreetTalkingSweet it has a poem called Salford Madness which deals with the cycle parking theme, sort of!
Fast forward to 2014 - City are in the final of the Capital One Cup at Wembley after beating West Ham in the semi-final 9-0 on aggregate. Phew!