Good evening, fellow Bookworms!
That was me, yesterday evening, at Wagamama after my book club meeting. Weather here is gorgeous at the moment, having what is known as a Proper Summer, most unlike the UK, lol, and definitely most unlike Typical Mancunian Weather! Therefore, I had the rare opportunity to dine outdoors! Not something I usually get to do unless I’m on my jollies abroad! But there I was, eating outdoors in Manchester, and we are talking some time around 8pm here… Yes, I was in town, it was gone 8 o’clock and it was still light and still warm… You may need to sit down with a stiff drink upon reading this!
I need to get on with A Little Life, as the “support group” meeting is on 17th June, so 10 days to go. I am just over half-way through it now, so some epic reading in big chunks should see me get through! I’m currently on page 370 of 720, so another 350 pages to go… I was going to say that I’d like to add Caleb from A Little Life to my Literary Slap List, but a slap would not be anywhere near enough for that arsehole for what he does to Jude, so he heads up the Literary Punch Their F***in’ Lights Out List instead! Wishing this Caleb character was in the ring and facing the late great Muhammad Ali at his very best… THAT level of having his lights punched out…
2016 needs its lights punching out, far too many people taken from us, Ali being the latest legend we have lost this year. Sadly, it was narrowly outvoted last night, but I really fancied reading King of the World, by David Remnick, which is about Muhammad Ali, not just the boxing, but how he transcended his sport. Mind you, I can happily read sports books, and not just football ones! The chosen book for our next meeting, which will be on 4th July, is Deep Water, by Patricia Highsmith. I have bought it, along with Fishbowl, by Bradley Somer, which is supposed to be funny, and narrated by the goldfish!
Having finished The Girl of Ink & Stars on Sunday, in time for yesterday’s book club meeting, I have decided that my new current dose of YA is Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Shakespeare, by Bill Bryson, is also now a Handbag Book, and is a current non-fiction fix.
I guess you figured out the bit about outdoor noodles, but the other aspect of my blog title was witnessed by Steph and I as we met up and chatted. Ken Loach had been in town, so Steph had gone to that event instead of book club last night, but we met up as I was heading along Deansgate from Waterstone’s to the Spinningfields area for my post book club food. We crossed over and stood chatting for quite a while. I don’t know if any of you are familiar with Manchester, but there is a pedestrian crossing between that arcade bit on one side of the road and the John Rylands Library on the other, and we were stood outside the library, appropriately enough, chatting, mostly about books, authors, reading, and other issues of this nature when our literary natter was punctuated by the witnessing of numerous incidences of Bad Cycling, much of which involved going through red lights and not looking what they were bloody doing!
The 2 kinds of Bad Cycling…
- The type done by sports cyclists where they cheat by taking performance-enhancing drugs, the sort of Bad Cycling which has brought shame on the Tour de France, for instance. The “Lance Armstrong” type of Bad Cycling, as it were…
- The type done by utter eejits on bikes on roads up and down the country with no regard for their own safety, let alone that of other road users or pedestrians. This is the type Stephanie and I witnessed rather too much of yesterday evening!
The worst example of this was one complete and utter dickhead who had one hand on his handlebars and the other on his mobile phone, and guess which was receiving most of his attention? Clue: It wasn’t a part of a bicycle! Yep, this utter knob was so busy checking his phone that he went through a red light, just before turning left at the junction where Deansgate meets Bridge Street and John Dalton Street, thus left onto Bridge St, and how this complete imbecile did not get knocked down by a taxi, I shall never know! And it would not have been the taxi driver’s fault, for once! We all know taxi drivers do not have the best of reputations for driving, but the cyclist would only have had himself to blame if he’d ended up in one of Manchester’s hospitals that evening!
Right, here’s a map… After Book Club, I walked down from Waterstone’s along that side of Deansgate, crossing both South King Street and John Dalton Street until I got to the pedestrian crossing which is near where you can see Elixir Tonics & Treats. That’s in the arcade bit with a betting shop and one of those fried chicken places which is a cheapo version of KFC… you get the picture… I met up with Steph here and we crossed the road, and were stood outside the John Rylands Library, hence the little square on the map. The circle on the corner of Deansgate and Bridge Street indicates where the utter numpty on a bike ran the red light and went left while still on his mobile and not looking what he was bloody doing! Eventually, we’d seen too many crap cyclists that Steph felt the need to get home before she risked accosting one of these utter dipshits, and I headed to Wagamama, so off the map as far as this diagram is concerned, but not too far away.
Personally, I think the worst drivers are bus drivers. At least you have a seatbelt if you’re in a taxi, but you have NO protection when you’re on a bus and the driver thinks he’s in the Monaco Grand Prix! I’ve been on buses where passengers have been flung around and hurt, and I am actually surprised it’s only happened occasionally given what a bunch of boy racers bus drivers are and how they never seem to wait for everyone to sit down before they move off… Just don’t get me started on that… No wonder I prefer trams, lol!
Anyway, I think that’s about it for now! Enough noodling around and wandering off topic! I shall be back again fairly soon, I imagine, with more mentions for various books and other assorted waffle! Until next time, take care, watch out for cyclists who are not looking where they’re going, and Happy Reading!
Joanne x x x
Books mentioned in this blog entry:
- A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
- King of the World – David Remnick
- Deep Water – Patricia Highsmith
- Fishbowl – Bradley Somer
- The Girl of Ink & Stars – Kiran Millwood Hargrave
- Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist – Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
- Shakespeare – Bill Bryson