Sitting in Waterstone's cafe in Manchester, earwigging on other people's conversation, I am amazed at the volume at which some people discuss their life, their problems, their ambitions. It's as if being at a table provides a little bubble of privacy. Maybe it's the lack of background music here or maybe it's the open plan aspect of the cafe here but sitting alone, you can here other people's talk without any problem. Note to self: never discuss anything really intimate and personal with anyone in Waterstone's cafe!
I am here because I have been to the hairdresser's this morning and have time to kill before going on to the Italian conversation class later this afternoon. As usual I had my fix of gossip magazines while having my hair done: who has put on weight, who has lost too much weight, who is doing what. September's Hello magazine still goos about how lovely the Brangelina family is. That issue of the magazine must have been printed just before the great split. Deadlines leave you with egg on your face. Other magazines reveal that the Brangelina split is not as smooth and painless as some would like us to think. He smokes pot first thing in the morning - "waking and baking" is the term for it, apparently - and has been known to be verbally and even physically aggressive with at least one of the children - my guess is it's the teenage son! She has too many eating disorder problems!
Oh my, if there is one thing a gossip magazine loves more than a celebrity wedding it's a celebrity divorce. The first gives them romantic photos and the second gives them a chance to recycle those pictures together with a whole lot more demonstrating that the romance is dead and gone!
My hairdresser told me she is moving on, going to another salon somewhere else in Manchester, trying to be very discreet as she gives me her phone number in case I should want to follow her. (Probably not as it is on the other side of Greater Manchester and more difficult to get to.) she may be leaving that salon but she still has to work out her notice and doesn't want any ructions.
And then, sitting in the bookshop cafe, i realised I was running out of time. I needed to get over towards the universities to the Italian conversation class and had half an hour to do so. Everything packed up, off I went. After a happy two hours talking Italian about this and that I made my way homewards.
Going to Manchester is not a problem. Getting back is a pain. My timing was all wrong for the train so I caught a tram, arriving at the bus-tram interchange in Oldham about ten minutes too late for the connecting bus to home. And there was not another one for about 50 minutes. I went to examine other buses, on a route that would leave me with a 20 to 25 walk at the other end. However, some helpful souls had removed the timetable for that service! Great!
As I stood there fuming, trying to decide whether it merited a £10 taxi ride, the bus which should have come at 19.28 arrived - it was now close to 1945!
Sometimes the unreliability of our service works in my favour!