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Mar 09 2012

Good morning from Manchester

I am here.

The clouds broke up enough on the short flight to Manchester so that I could get a good look at the Pennines – they’re beautiful!

Manchester Town Hall lives up to its reputation. Also there’s Sackville Hall, part of the University of Manchester, just across the canal from the central downtown area – some drop-dead gorgeous Victoriana. The doors were locked (it was after 6) so I couldn’t go in to gape at the amazing stained glass and ceiling decorations; I plan to go back today and do that.

Geoff and Rick took me along to their Skeptics in the Pub yesterday evening – an excellent talk on Burzynski. Unfortunately the jet lag kicked in and I kept falling asleep – but now that I’m not exhausted any more I’m glad I went.

21 comments

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  1. 1
    deludedone

    Manchester is fine but, you have to come across the Pennines into Yorkshire to really appreciate the North of England! ;o)

    Ian

  2. 2
    dirigible

    Welcome to the UK. :-)

  3. 3
    Ophelia Benson

    I know, I know – but pending that, I have spent a lot of time exploring the Dales via Google Earth, especially the area around Gunnerside.

  4. 4
    David

    Welcome to Madchester.

  5. 5
    anne

    Welcome to England. I hope you have an umbrella.

  6. 6
    Soren

    My flight is in 6 hours, first time in years my wife and I have a weekend without kids. Now I just have to feign doing work for a couple of hours more ;)

  7. 7
    Egbert

    I’d be interested to see if you notice any underlying sexism within British culture (especially Manchester) during your visit.

  8. 8
    Dan

    Have you seen the Peterloo massacre plaque/memorial? See http://www.peterloomassacre.org/index.html

    Dan

  9. 9
    Ophelia Benson

    Dan – yes – saw it this morning (i.e. after I wrote this post) – while admiring the Free Trade Hall.

    Walked down Oxford Road as far as the U. of Manchester. Saw a magpie – I love magpies, and we don’t have them.

  10. 10
    Rosie

    One magpie! That’s terribly bad luck.

    One for sorrow
    Two for joy
    Three for a girl
    Four for a boy
    Five for silver
    Six for gold
    And seven for a secret that’s never been told.

  11. 11
    latsot

    Visit the Dales in person if you can, it’s a beautiful part of the world. Astonishing, beautifully stark scenery and great people.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    Matt Penfold

    Manchester Town Hall lives up to its reputation.

    In today’s money it would have cost between £40 and 50 million. Manchester was a seriously wealthy city in the C19th.

  14. 14
    Ophelia Benson

    I know – all this stuff just screams money. “Look at us we got lotsa moneeeeeeeeee!”

  15. 15
    AsqJames

    Don’t want to be a downer, because the Industrial Revolution truly gave us some awesome heritage, but Vijen’s link highlight’s one aspect of the human cost incurred by the Victorian 1%ers who created such a beautiful legacy in Cottonopolis. Liverpool has an even denser concentration of historical architecture and beauty, much of it founded on the slave trade (as fundamentally was Manchester’s textile wealth).

  16. 16
    Ian

    Ophelia, one of the best ways to find out about our heritage, as you know, is through the folk music and the Spinners (That’s the Liverpool Spinners) are, without doubt, the best. If you can get hold of any of their CDs that would be great.

  17. 17
    Rosie

    Not just money, but loads of civic pride. Glasgow is the same. Sometimes I think this country lives on its nineteenth century capital architecturally, philosophically and in literature as well.

    The murals in Manchester Town Hall are marvellous – the ones by Ford Madox Brown. They show a very positive attitude towards immigration – Flemish weavers are greeted with enthusiasm. The art gallery is great as well. The people are very friendly – at least in my experience.

  18. 18
    boggle

    AsqJames: so the cities were built on money made using slave labor. So what? Long time ago, brother. I suggest you don’t visit Italy, Greece, Spain, North Africa, Japan, China, NYC, Vegas, LA, or anywhere in the South.

    Damn, but depending on your definition of “slavery”, you’re probably best moving to a self-built ranch and living off food you grow/catch yourself, because we live in the middle of one of the most exploitative ages ever devised by man.

  19. 19
    Torquil Macneil

    “One magpie! That’s terribly bad luck.”

    Simple enough to inoculate yourself against the effect: just repeat ‘where’s your wife Mr Magpie?’ three times and you’re done.

  20. 20
    Simon Blake

    My favourite fact about Manchester Town Hall is that its design is by the same architect who did he equally lovely Natural History Museum in London, my all time favourite building.

  21. 21
    Free Games

    Its like you learn my mind! You seem to understand a lot about this, such as you wrote the book in it or something. I believe that you could do with some p.c. to drive the message home a bit, however instead of that, that is great blog. An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.

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