Yesterday was picking-up day at Kirkby Gallery where I have been exhibiting my bags and jewellery for a couple of months. I sold pretty well and was fortunate to be asked to leave some work for the newly created Craft space. I was a bit shellshocked when I got there because the gallery was magnificent; very large and very modern, not what you would expect to find in a place like Kirkby (no disrespect to Kirkbyites).
The journey from Manchester Victoria to Kirkby was another matter. Man Vic is begging for a refurb ( I travelled from Picc to Vic, as the stationmaster at Marple HILARIOUSLY put it). It is cold and dark and pretty characterless as stations go with more staff hanging around than passengers. The journey took me through the Victorian outer city grime but failed to deliver a pastoral film set once out of Manchester. Everything had that look of being powdered with the stuff that gathers on top of your wardrobe. I was also looking at the outside through windows that were dirtier than my own glasses, and that’s saying something. I think I should suggest to Northern Rail that they might consider a discount to passengers if they agree to clean their own window prior to departure – bring your own vinegar and shammy leather.
I read somewhere that a futuristic architect had proposed to build a giant metropolis that ran from Manchester to Liverpool. The space is lying in limbo at the moment and begging for a bit of inspired planning. I nominate the Manchester to Kirkby rail route as the dullest and slowest journey in the whole of the UK rail network. If I was to compare it to food, it would be like sitting down to a plateful of pasta, potatoes, rice and white bread marinated in Night Nurse.