A fortnight ago our youngest son started an intensive barbering course so he can learn a skill and start funding his own gig tickets.

It must be a proper course as it says “London” in the title, even if it’s actually in the backwaters of Manchester.

Authentic barbers pole

A few yards from the Arndale, the Gardens and City Arms, I can’t think of a better place to be 18, apart from the checkouts in Jack’s in Chatteris.


I spent the first week with Matt, staying in the estimable (cheap) Ibis Budget, theoretically there to offer fatherly advice and pay for stuff but also so I could tick a few late GBG19 pubs.

I won’t make that mistake again.  Let them go.

Anyway, I felt awful after that Bradford blow-out, so I spent more time drinking black coffee and wandering as pubbing.

There is so much of hidden Manchester to admire.


Matt had been to one of those guerilla food pop-ups behind the Star & Garter in a place called Mayfield I’d never heard of.

Apparently this bit of urban wasteland is being given an Ancoats style makeover and is being used for gigs by up-and-coming artists.


Like Ariana Grande, Queen of Manchester, who played there last week.

While Matt found new stuff, I rather boringly went back to Bundobust, which must be retro by now. Trestle tables, veggie Indian food, terrifying stairs, craft.

Proper grub

Have you got any low alcohol beers ?” I asked, pathetically.

Why isn’t this in the GBG ?

No ?  Oh well, Track Sonoma it is (NBSS 3.5).  Citra would be proud.

The next day I went Old Skool and had the Rice & Three at Yadgar curry café.  The Manchester Beer Guide used to list all the curry cafes, one of the reasons everyone should move to Manchester now.


Matt may be the only real outsider in his barbering group, mostly from the ‘burbs, but he got them to go for a Friday curry at This & That to claim his honorary Manc status.

By Wednesday, I was confident enough to share my pride with the world*….





  1. Blimey that beer menu is a bit scary -the kind Mr S dreads seeing when he has the car parked outside ! Will be very useful,having a barber in the family -free haircuts (PS Mr Sharp only has the odd pint when driving -he’s not completely stupid ! )

    Liked by 1 person

      1. And if you’re annoyed or in a sulk you may put your head down and adopt a hunched posture that gives you a ‘hump’ on your upper back – and the main definition of ‘cob’ is ‘lump or rounded object’, as in the shape of a ‘cob-loaf’, hence you will “have a cob on”.
        Which only proves what a wonderful language English is.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And I’ve got curvature of the spine, which is what can happen ‘when I’m 64’, and so have permanently got a cob on but that only helps enhance my curmudgeonly reputation.

        Liked by 1 person

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