Monday, 23 June 2014

I have that kind of face.

I've covered this before in previous posts. I'm a pretty closed-book person. Not 'shy' exactly, but I'm pretty damn comfortable in my introvert ways thank you very much.
Yet I still seem to attract people. Wherever I am, whatever I'm doing.

I could be sat on public transport looking out the window, my bag on the other seat, ipod plugged in, deeply engrossed in a book, arms and legs firmly crossed. Not exactly inviting conversation.
And low and behold, even if there are a hundred other free seats..someone will come and want to sit next to me..and talk to me.
And I'm too polite not to. But why me? Do I have that kind of face?

I'll give you an example.
I've recently moved to Manchester. I live in the converted Macintosh Mills on Cambridge Street and across from my building I made a charming discovery.
In the engine house of the Chorlton Mills lives the International Anthony Burgess Foundation. Anthony Burgess - for those of you who aren't aware - was a very talented Manchester born writer and composer - his most well-known work perhaps being the haunting novel A Clockwork Orange, which went on to spawn the notorious Stanley Kubrick film.
Anthony Burgess
But anyway, at the IABF there is an extensive library, bookshop, a cute little cafe and work space for local writers and performers to do their stuff. There's tea and there's cake and there's peace and quiet. Which is more than enough to please me.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to venture in. Take my diary, order some Earl Grey and get some writing done in such a creatively stimulating place. That was the idea anyhow.
And that was going pretty well until the inevitable happened.

A drunk man came in.

I didn't see him at first. I just heard a male voice from the counter ask for a bottle of wine and "several glasses" for him and his friends. He was alone.
The girl assured him they didn't serve wine (it was 10:15 am after all). "That's okay" he said "I'll just have a whiskey then"
"We don't serve alcohol sir"
"You don't?" There was a hint of irritation in his voice.. along with the slurring from no doubt previous merriment that morning.
"I'm a poet" he suddenly said. "Can I recite you one of my pieces?"
"Of course" the girl said. A look of amused guardedness on her face.

And off he went.. into countless verses (some sounding rather repetitive) of love and roses and other such romantic drivel..all from the top of his head.

Until now, I'd been eavesdropping with my back to him.. but he'd seen me. Oh he'd seen me alright.
"What is she doing? What is she writing?" he demanded.

This could go either of two ways. either I engaged in conversation with him or I ignored him completely. In my experience, the latter never works.. if anything, it makes matters worse..
I turned around. 
"Could you please.. give me even a hint or an essence of what you are writing?" he eloquently enquired (for a drunk man).
"Its a diary. I empty my head in here" I replied.
"And do you think of yourself as a writer?"
"I don't think. I know. I am a writer"

A smile appeared on his face. At least I'm giving the right answers, I thought.
Many questions followed.

"And how long have you known?"
"And who is your favourite writer?"
"Recommend a book for me to read."

All of my answers to he seemed impressed by.
He then regaled me with stories of how he knew Anthony Burgess years ago. "I was 17.. he was more of a friend of my wife, Mary" he explained. "She's Irish Catholic. I was born a Jew. When I met Burgess.. or Mr Burgess as he liked to be called, he told me.. he said I should become a Roman Catholic. He called himself a Catholic Jew 'cause he had a big nose"

 I don't know how much of this was true.. but he sure seemed passionate about it.
He recited his poem to me. It was still as repetitive as the first time I'd (over)heard it.


There were confessions.
"I'm glad he's [Burgess] dead. This world is no place for him. I want the old world back"
"I know everyone thinks I'm a wrong 'un. And I am. I've been to prison more times than you could shake a fist at.. but not for raping writers, don't worry"
Yeah. He said that.
But I smiled and nodded. And soon he went quiet. 

"Do you think its alright that I'm here?" he asked me. "Could I come here again?"
"Maybe. Maybe when you're a little more sober" I said.
"Perhaps you're right." And with that he tipped his hat (flat cap, in fact) and left..crossing himself (I guess he took some of that Catholic stuff on board) and wishing us "a magical day".
Inside the IABF
The girl behind the counter burst into hysterical chattering.
"YOU HANDLED HIM SO WELL?! I want to hug you right now. Are you alright?"
To be honest, it was nothing. Just another encounter with a perfect stranger, whether I had wanted it or not. But for my trouble I received another pot of tea and a slice of homemade lemon drizzle cake. Free of charge.
All in a days work for a stranger magnet.

I have plenty more stories just like this. But that's for another blog post or three.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

I am a terrible blogger.. but guess what?

I moved to Manchester.
Since I last blogged.. I've relocated and gained like 3 jobs. Busy bee I know.. but its not until a couple of days ago that I got wifi in my new flat so blogging wasn't really a reality what with everything else going on. May was pretty much a write-off and I'm not exactly sure where half of June has gone.. Apologies.
Luckily.. I have lots of posts written and ready to post over the next few weeks - some thoughts, some rants, some new purchases and some OOTDs. My new flat has some great features like exposed brick walls that I've just about geeked over as they look so good as a backdrop to outfit posts. 

Just a quick update post anyway..
Watch this space..

lovelovelove Catt xx