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Sunday, September 26, 2010

People in Glass HousesHaving turned a blind eye to the Wheel of Manchester, I walked around the corner to see the sight-seeing site of the glasses on the right. That's the Urbis centre. Sponsored by Windowlene. I expect. It's currently closed because they're re-opening it in 2011 as The National Football Museum. According to their website, visitors will be able to "get hands-on with footballing fun", which is surely where Maradona went wrong.

Anyhoo, whilst considering the wisdom of handing out footballs in a building made of glass, I wandered down New Cathedral Street, which is basically Wags Central in Manchester. It's where all the designer boutiques are. I started looking out for soapstars and footballers' wives, before realising I wouldn't recognise them if I saw them. At which point I spotted this...

Kinky Boots
That's the paparazzi lying in wait outside the Ugg shop. There's even a TV crew on the right. Personally I'm more likely to shop in Boots than Ugg, but I can spot a photo opportunity when I see one, so I hung around for a bit...

And nothing happened. In fact the TV crew got so bored, they started filming me. No, seriously. I'm currently on film somewhere in a Manchester editing suite, surrounded by people trying to work out who I am.

So with very little happening, I wandered off towards The Printworks...

It's a sign!
I think they've been the victim of a smooth-talking sign salesman.

I then headed towards the Arndale Centre, before looking at my watch, realising how late I was, and heading back along New Cathedral Street. Where I was instantly blinded by camera flashes...

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "Blimey Phil, those Wags are getting younger by the day". Well as it happens, that's not a Wag. It's a small girl attached to an oxygen tank. No, really. And the paps were going crazy for her. No wonder she was breathless.

Now, I admit I'm not really up on celebrity culture, so the identity of the girl remains a mystery to me. But let's face it, there can't be many ten-year-olds on oxygen who get papped by TV crews as they go after-hours shopping at Ugg. So if someone can enlighten me, I'd be grateful. I need a good celebrity-encounter story for my next dinner party.

Anyhoo, excitement over, I headed back to the hotel for the gala dinner and dance. Sadly, I was still feeling the after-effects of my stomach bug, so it was more a case of trying to hold on to my dinner whilst doing the quickstep to the toilet. In fact I headed straight back to the Travelodge five minutes after dessert. I was a party pooper in more ways than one.

Day two of the conference featured some entertaining lectures, hungover faces and gravelly voices. Let's just say the bloodshot eyes weren't all on the big screen at the front. I spent the morning sucking Bisodol tablets and regretting the sausages I'd eaten for breakfast, but despite that, it was an interesting day. Well, half-day. We all walked out at lunchtime.

Our journey home was a seven-hour jam-athon of traffic chaos, made slightly more bearable by the excitement of almost running out of petrol. Fortunately the only breakdowns we encountered were of the nervous variety, but despite that, it was 8 o'clock by the time we rolled back into Sussex. I felt a bit bad that my colleague had done almost twelve hours of driving in just a day and a half, so I've insisted that no matter what, I'm driving us all to next year's conference.

Admittedly it's in Brighton, but that's not the point.


Dave said...

As I'm sure you'll agree, that looks a bit like your good friend Julie.  Probably not an oxygen bottle, but nitrous oxide.

Phil's Mum said...

I thought the Arndale Centre was in Eastbourne.