Tuesday, April 3
Room 411, Travelodge Central, Manchester, 19:12
I slept well. I woke up once and fell back to sleep after five minutes of contemplating my new calendaring arrangements. I woke, fully refreshed, at 7:20. Irma either felt better, or glad to see me go, or both.
I spent the morning catching up, planning ahead, and preparing for Manchester. I had several chats with Nathalie about research and grant applications. I arranged for us to attend Speech is Silver at Hanaholmen at the end of May. Matteo and Maria signed up immediately.
I spent an hour or so making a Powerpoint deck for Thursday and, to my delight, found that I could make it entirely from existing slides. I had to add an overlay or two, but I did not have to create any slides from scratch. I resolved to completely standardise my slides, so they will all form cards in an infinitely extendible but uniform pack.
I couln’t make up my mind whether I needed to take my laptop or not. Eventually I put it in my case and left. Three metres down the corridor I turned back. When I took it out of my case I realised I had some things I needed to copy into Dropbox to access in Manchester. I did this and left again. I had my iPad wireless keyboard, and did I feel modern.
I got to the bus stop to catch an earlier bus than planned. I went upstairs at the airport to go through security and got through at walking pace. I went into the non-Shengen area and decided to go to the away@home lounge for some lunch and a guaranteed charger for my iPad. I had a very good tomato and pepper soup and a great chickpea and coconut curry.
I suddenly remembered that I had forgotten to update dibdibdob.com, while the punchline of my speech referenced exactly what I had not done. In the lounge I used several apps to do everything I neded to do from my iPad. I updated the site so that people can download pdfs of Cultural Democracy: the manifesto as soon as I finish my speech.
An hour or so later I sent WhatsApp messages to Irma and Naa as I waited for the bus from the terminal to the plane, in case someone had assigned me the role of Buddy Holly without asking me.
On the flight I re-read the book I will help launch on Thursday: Culture, Democracy and the Right to Make Art. This time I read it from start to finish. I found myself very impressed by my chapter. I found it almost as good as the others.
At Manchester the airport reminded me strongly of the times Irma and I visited Liverpool. It made me want to go there again with her. Now. I bought a one-way ticket on the Pennine Express. It will head to Edinburgh. I hoped merely to get off at Manchester Piccadilly. This proved more complicated than expected. Different companirs run different trains and the porter almost put me on a train run by a company that would have charged me £50 for travelling without a valid ticket. I marvelled at the benefits of privatisation and got off.
Finally reaching the station I got a free bus to the hotel, the Travelodge Central, where I checked in, and chatted to the man on the desk. Now I look out of the window of room 411. I see this. Hello, Mister Danté, I think: which circle can I see now?
I will go downstairs and chat to the man on the desk. He can do nothing about my wifi problem, which only Virgin Media can solve. My problem: I have no wifi. There we go.
A trip to Tesco Metro will provide me with spring water, juice, scotch eggs, and a surprise for Naa. She will not necessarily want her surprise but I feel certain that it will surprise her.
I will go to bed at 21:30 Manchester time.