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About a month or so ago a strangely shaped parcel dropped on the mat. It came from Powergen, I think. I may be doing them a disservice, but if not then a plague upon their house.

The first bit out of the box could be useful – a carbon monoxide detector. I’m quite up for that, assuming that we switch on ancient gas fires, which we don’t. Except at Christmas, so if you hear nothing from me after Boxing Day, fear the worst. Read more ›››

For Whom the M6 Tolls

The M6 toll-motorway opened today, surprisingly a month earlier than planned. I don’t often travel that way, but when I have, getting through that section has been a nightmare. My only worry is that you have to pull in at a toll booth to pay your two quid. So there you are, belting down the m-way at 70mph (honest, officer) only to come to a grinding halt to hand over your cash. Read more ›››

Escape to New York

Bereft is a lovely word. In a whisper it embodies “being without” or “taken away.” Me and the kids are “bereft” this weekend because Mum has taken herself off to New York, but she’s earned it, as have Hil and Paul. (This is a works outing on a grand scale.) Personally, I quite liked the old York!

To be Frank

This is the third in my occasional Great Mancunians following the death of Frank “Foo Foo” Lamarr from cancer last Friday. Now Frank would not exactly be called great in the obvious sense, but he was a great institution in the city. Drag artist, nightclub owner and tireless raiser of money for good causes, Frank’s Foo Foo’s Palace Club is just

Drag artist, nightclub owner and tireless raiser of money for good causes, Frank’s Foo Foo’s Palace Club is just round the corner from where I work and his Rolls Royce with the number plate Foo 1 was regularly seen in the area. Read more ›››

“How much are the bay windows, Maureen?”

They’re always giving something away at Piccadilly Station. On Friday, it was Bailey’s Glide which is a sort of thinned down version of the famous Irish Cream (be prepared to prove that you’re a responsible drinker to enter this site – tight security, I don’t think). They say that it’s longer and not as strong, but then it would have to be if you drink it by the bottle, rather than by the glass. I passed on that one. Read more ›››

The Kiss

The long trailed and much hyped, Todd Grimshaw’s smackeroo on whatisname in Corrie was more than a let down. I carry no flame in either direction, but what was the point? A fleeting brush of lips, whatisname all offended? What does it tell us?

Not a lot. Not when compared with the church’s debate on homosexuality. That great bastion of morality that is collapsing around its own ears on the subject. And does anyone care? No. Read more ›››

The Joy of Sects

I’ve just been listening to a chap called Danny Wallace who had the brilliant idea of starting his own sect. It started with an ad in Loot that simply said “Join me – send a passport photograph” … and someone did. Soon Danny had a rapidly growing following.

His problem was that his followers wanted to know what it was they were actually going to do and pressed him for an answer. He toyed with the idea of using his sect for mischief, but then opted for niceness. Read more ›››

The Saint of Longsight

I’m full of admiration for the people who do jobs I know I couldn’t or wouldn’t want to do myself. People like Gerry O’Shea whose inner-city GP practice caters for the most chaotic of people – drug users, the homeless and the dysfunctional. Or working in a busy city A&E; where gun crime is rife and likely to arrive at the front desk. Read more ›››