Bomb Scare! 3rd May

Staffordshire Arm


I have a very wet neck! The sort of wet neck that means I’m not going out for a while. She says it’s for my own good, I say it’s horrible having a wet neck trying to crawl all over your body. It just won’t dry!

I know it’s going to happen when she reaches up high in the bathroom, then she takes my cat tags off. No matter how much I try to avoid her She still succeeds, at last this time Tom didn’t grapple me to the floor.

Poached egg on crumpets with mushrooms and a few veg

Back to normality and tea in bed this morning, with last weekends newspaper. Followed by the breakfast we’d planned to have on Wednesday before coming into Manchester, but decided against as we’d have had to be up earlier. Poached eggs on crumpets, yummy.

We took our time doing things today, well we have been rather busy this last week. Our mooring is reasonably quiet for a city centre. The fans from the gym swimming pool sound like the next boat have got their webasto heating going all the time and this morning there must have been a class going on as I could hear instructions being shouted. We’re also just around the corner from the Youth Hostel, so during the day large groups of youths pass by taking their suitcases for walks. Today we had one group leaving as another arrived, hope they all ended up going in the right direction.

I had various things I wanted to buy for work. We are unlikely to be near to an art shop for a while, so I wanted to get another sheet of mount board ‘in case’ for my model and some red paper to be able to make some scale red velour tabs (curtains). So I set off on foot to Fred Aldous on the other side of the city centre.

Boy time at the museum

Mick opted to visit the Science and Industry Museum which is almost next door. We had a great day looking round a few years ago and it is well worth a visit. So we parted ways, girl shopping and boy engines and planes. Just a shame that yesterdays downpour meant that half of the exhibits weren’t available as the building had leaked so much. After ten minutes he returned home to keep grumpy Tilly company.

Lots and lots of rice flours

I took a slight detour into China town to visit an oriental supermarket. I was wanting some gluten free soy sauce, not easy to come by, and some more white rice flour. In amongst the huge selection of rice flours there were bags of Glutenous Rice Flour. You may wonder why I’d be wanting flour with glutenous in it’s title as I follow a gluten free diet, well the glutenousness (I know that’s not a word) is because it is made from sticky rice the sort you get in sushi. This is also called sweet rice flour or Mochi flour and is apparently good in moderation in cakes. Happy with my purchases I carried on across the city centre.

Manchester Town Hall

Manchester Town Hall is currently closed for refurbishment. I remember one Christmas when my brother was at the University here they had a giant inflatable Father Christmas climbing up the clock tower. A lovely looking building, which one day I’d love to have a look around, it’s meant to be splendid inside.

Lock down

Onwards to Piccadilly Gardens. Except my path was blocked. Police tape flapped in the breeze from every lamp post to bollard. A bus had been positioned across the road and numerous Police stood around giving directions to the masses of people who had been stopped in their tracks. I’d wanted to go to Primark and Debenhams on my way to the art shop, but it looked like they were in the cordoned off area. Someone said there was a suspicious package in the gardens.

Time to get to know some of the back streets then. I wiggled my way round and headed to M&S instead, all the staff from Debenhams were congregated on the footpath here, some had sought warmth inside.

Police tape everwhere

A walk through the Arndale Centre brought me out to another cordoned off side of the gardens. here trams sat empty at the tram stop. People wearing Metrolink high vis were giving people directions around the locked down area and where they could get the next trams from. I wiggled my way round more streets until I got the the right one.

Fred Aldous had the things I wanted and I could have my large piece of card cut in half to make it easier to walk through the streets with. This was handy as my route back to Oleanna would take me along the other two sides of Piccadilly where people were now gathering as they wanted to get home.

Checking on line later, there had been three suspicious packages, two at Piccadilly and one in the toilets of Oldham Library. The police reported the packages to be ‘non-viable’ whatever that means. A 26 year old man had been arrested and some reports were that he had an arsenal of weapons, but the bombs had been a hoax. The city centre was still locked down this evening.

A DIY gluten free burger

Ernie had been good to us this month so we decided to blow our winnings on a meal out. A good burger was in order (I miss them), so we headed to the Handmade Burger Company where they do gluten free buns. We stuffed ourselves with burgers, breadbuns and chips, with a side of coleslaw and a glass of wine each. Mine came so that I could assemble it myself. Very tasty they were.

More tower blocks going up

For a Friday night everywhere was that bit quiet. We suspect the bomb scare had both put people off coming into town but also with half the trams and buses not running it was hard to get there. We resisted an invitation for cheap shots at a bar along the canal and headed home to sit with the grumpy one and drink some of our cheaper still wine.

Back to the Staffordshire Arm under the viaducts

0 locks, 0 miles, 6 miles walked, 1 cooked breakfast, 1 slow morning, 2 Green, 1 Labour, 1 boy museum, 0 planes, A1 into 2 A2, 6 sheets red paper, 2 bags flour, 1 bottle soy sauce, 1 city on lockdown, 3 non-viable devises, 2 burgers, 2 glasses of wine, 1 mardy cat.

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