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The south of the north 
Greetings from Manchester...
So far so good.
I rage deleted the confirmation email from this hotel. It arrived minutes after I could’ve canceled for a full refund. It read:
Thank you for choosing our hotel for your stay in Manchester.
The en-suite rooms are above our lively nightclub which is open until 6am Fridays and Saturdays. You can enjoy a drink downstairs or dance your cares away on the dancefloor.
I’d actually hoped to get some sleep. Big day tomorrow and all that.
If it wasn’t for the groaning road, the hollow stairs outside my door, the shouty party in the room through the wall and the cabaret downstairs, the noise might be manageable.
A moment ago four partygoers burst through my door. I thought I’d locked it. Looking for the office which they were told was the second door on the right, they somehow confused the number 2 on first door on the left and tried that. My door.
At over £100 for a room barely bigger than the bed, I’m thinking I should have slept on a looping night bus. I may have to reach into my wash kit and pull out the silicon. I only use it in emergencies. If you make two globular balls and bury them in your ear canal, you can effectively heal up the holes on the side of your head. Rendering you completely deaf. You won’t even hear the fire alarm. That’s the only downside really.
At least I’m in Manchester. It’s been too long.
Earlier in the week I popped to the Center for computing history. I was meeting up with an old friend Stuart Mackintosh at the exhibit for Leo, the world’s first business computer. Before I ran off to play the retro arcade games I captured this short conversation.
And yes. I had these all to myself.
There are two films I recommend this week. The documentary ‘This Mountain Life’ by Grant Baldwin is stunning. It’s not long. Make some time for it. Check the trailer then find the whole thing. I watched it on Prime.
And the other film I recommend is ‘Everything, Everywhere All At Once’ which is bonkers, lovely and brilliant. I was still staring at the screen 20 mins after it was over.
For supporting subscribers yesterday I posted an image rich dispatch with some street photography and a series of images created using Midjourney.
I asked the machine learning algorithm to imagine if LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Mastodon were human, what they might look like.
As it completely slipped my mind to render something for Substack here it is.
Yes the lack of nipples is somewhat disconcerting but I’m more bothered as to how it knows that I often write in the nude.
I uploaded a couple of photos I took of George Cockroft AKA Luke Rheinhart to Wikimedia so they could be used on his wikipedia page.
I’m here in Manchester for the National Creative Writing Industry Day. First event of this kind for me. I’ve even written a pitch for my book. All I need to do is live up to it now. Even if it isn’t well received I shall be sure to let you know at least some of the juicy details in the next subscriber email.
I finished the book Educated by Tara Westover. I can’t say I enjoyed experiencing the systematic abuse and indoctrination on the Mormon survivalist homestead. But there is no denying it was a really well written account of a fascinating upbringing I would not wish on anyone. Repetitive in parts, it’s still an incredible read.
Four months between newsletters.must be busy. In case you missed it, Midnight Quatermass has dropped a cool little zombie tale.
Why I gave up on England.
Bass, how low can you go? Well, this one is tuned to A0.
I have no idea if it’s sat on a lay line or something of the like, but I have a certain reverence for this place.
Ten years after my last visit I finally get back to my favourite curry house in the UK. I’ll save the rest of my photos for a subscriber post, but this place has survived for 30 years for good reason.
I really like the design of the Peak Design LEASH Ultralight Camera Strap. Worn over the shoulder like a sling the camera can be brought up to the eye swiftly and then dropped out of sight again. Or if you like, it can be worn like a normal camera strap. Either way it is light and comfortable. I bought mine on eBay.
I appear to have an adopted a writing uniform. The first time I was aware of the concept of indoor and outdoor clothes was when I visited Moscow in 1991. I was given some jogging bottoms and a sweatshirt. During lockdown I brought back this why-dress-to-go-out-when-i’m-not-going-anywhere mentality. I wear a shortsleeved sweatshirt which is a copy of the one Steve McQueen wore in The Great Escape. It looks like this but I picked up mine in a Triumph motorcycles sale. And on the bottom I wear some grey joggers. Nothing fancy about them.
Learn all about ‘The secret life of marbles’.
Thanks to Chris Pugh for his continued subscription, he’s fleshing out his own publication here.
I must thank the paying subscribers that pay $5/month to get all the content I share into this feed. If you are able, please upgrade to become a paid supporter. I’ll make it worth your while. Either way… Thank you for reading.
An angry post about Deviant Art’s embracing of AI art.
The percentage of people smoking has declined.
The secret life of fatburgs.
Farewell to the Toot.
I’m here on Flickr, or search Documentally@octodon.social on Mastodon.
Two men next door were having a lovers tiff over some wet trousers hanging in the shower. I opened my door and knocked theirs before tip-toeing back in here. They stopped rowing and opened the door to no-one. All is now quiet. At least next door.
I wonder if a beer downstairs will help me sleep…
“Manchester… the belly and guts of the Nation.” ~ George Orwell.
See you out there.