Friday 11 February 2022

Coronavirus streets in Manchester - LX

Out in the cold of the city

Then I eventually stepped out to do some shopping for dinner, something simple for something nice and fast, I thought as I looked at my smartwatch to see how cool it was before braving the wintry conditions of England’s northwest.

It was just six above zero, I did not need to dress for Tundra, I was already in my walking gear, grabbed a shopping bag and out for a brisk walk to the end of the road and it was impeded on the pavement by family groups walking four abreast holding hands that I had to mutter, Excuse me!

My funny walking gait is like a tiptoeing catwalk speeded up, imagine a less clumsy Charlie Chaplin in a silent film. Then I could be quite observant of how people walk or run, the expectation is putting one foot almost directly in front of the other as best as possible, a dawdle is as upsetting as to seem out of place, and so was it as a lady appearing to jog towards me sent dread to my thoughts.

What we ignore is here

Meanwhile, I pressed on, dodging the crowds that massed around Palace Theatre and the little voices in a long line across the road chatting to each other was as long as I would only have expected at a school. The dark belied the sense that theatre was open a bit early as the children waited for the lights to cross the road chaperoned by a stand-in lollipop man, probably a teacher.

Not a mask in sight, I in my sock balaclava face mask wondering if I had time-travelled to no memory of an ever-present pandemic, even Prince Charles has tested positive and on the phone to one of my dearest, she suffered quietly as I prayed for a full recovery to strength and verve.

To the warren they burrow

The security man at our local supermarket recognises me and greets me as I enter, I would sometimes ask how he was doing, he is unassuming though never dare to determine what store security would do when called to a situation. Soon, they are in a swarm and the person is overwhelmed, it is uncomfortable to watch what I witnessed at the train station local store a few days ago.

After my shopping, the queue in the front of the theatre was as long as it was raucous, the excited kids on probably their first cultural event out in years. Falling down the rabbit hole of my curiosity, I see that Alice in Wonderland in pantomime has come to town on the community programme of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the accounting house. Breathe, you’ll soon be home and far from the milling crowd to make another stir fry whilst Brian watches on the phone.

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