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