My first day back in Manchester, after a blissful long weekend in Londontown, was aptly despondent. Dragging my carcass to my nine o' clock lecture did, however, provide some light relief in the shape of a kagool-clad Maori warrior hailing a Stagecoach bus to the Southern Cemetary. Naturally.
Although the lecture was thought-provoking, discussing issues of gender and the Oedipal dream in Frankenstein, I had no choice but to return to bed immediately afterwards - not rousing until four. My slumber was plagued by unexplained dark noises ('whales dying'- Tony Lee) and hideous dreams until I awoke facing the realities of starvation; encountering nausea, disorientation, paranoia and probably a degree of hysteria in discovering that the fridge had been PURGED of all my persishables and my cheese had been left on a side to rot. (My last ingestion being a cheese and pickle sandwich at approximately 7.30pm the evening before.) Naturally, I recoiled into my memories of the weekend to escape the grim realities of school, petri dish-like growths in EVERY item of crockery, a rancid kitchen, a rancid bedroom, perpetually blocked toilets and the impossible task of writing two thousand words on how you turn a cow into a Bible...
I had such a wonderful weekend. Thursday night was spent exploring the majestic catacombs of London Bridge tube station which, with the acquisition of some rather tragic performance art, some rather more promising 'vis com' installations, an adorable installation of a chintzy, lamp-lit lounge and a ska band, becomes hot alternative club night SHUNT. A couple of months ago I would have been determined to condemn the entire concept as a 'circus' but with the right company, and an open mind, I was finally able to shed my contemporary art-phobic paranoia and simply enjoy the whole experience. The venue actually slightly reminded me of the Ming Tombs, although the scattering of tea-lights in beer glasses lent it a completely different ambience. Friday was spent sleeping and drinking perfect coffees topped with squirty cream, occasionally punctuated with episodes of Alan Partridge. Saturday consisted of a trip to Covent Garden to find Jian Wei some replacement footwear and to see me in raptures in the Cath Kidston store. A surprise discovery was MUJI, a Japanese minimalist store stocked with affordably addictive stationery and homewear. Jian Wei bought me a chunky perspex holepunch which I can safely say is the most stylish object on my desk. I've subsequently been madly holepunching everything in sight, ever since. MUJI was followed by a Chai Tea Latte and a peruse around the Seven Dials followed by the 243 bus home. (Not the number one.)
The worried face that accompanied us, throughout our panicked rush to catch the National Express back to Manchester, concealed my hopeful desire of missing the coach so that I could stay for a little bit longer.
I wish I was still in London. I wish I was always in London really.