Sunny afternoon at Newsam


Went with an old friend to Temple Newsam, near Leeds. It manages to be at once quite close to town yet in the middle of nowhere (a 1-mile cab journey that takes ten minutes).

But alas, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside the house; there is a delightful marble sculpture of a girl with a dog, called ‘Gratitude’. It was worth the price of entry just to see this charming study.

Journal Entry, 21 Mar 14:

Well, it’s about four years since I started work in Salford…everything was amazingly optimistic at the time, and I rushed out and bought new shoes and shirts and a linen jacket. And a load of CDs, one of which was a disc of piano music by Busoni, including the transcription of the Liszt organ piece ‘Ad nos, ad salutarem undam’ which is currently being broadcast on Rad 3 from the Royal Festival Hall. So I would walk to work, listening (on my Hitachi MP3 player) to Busoni, or Elbow, or Biffy Clyro.

Meanwhile, over on the US Gay lifestyle web magazine The Advocate, I found an invitation to explore ‘England’s Second city’ as a possible holiday destination. Cautiously opening the link I found that the article was about my home town Brum – a pleasant surprise! Some lovely photos of the place, too. No doubt there will be indignant complaints from Manchester, whose residents firmly believe that they have the C2 status. After all, Manchester has the world’s greatest footie team along with New Order, Elbow, Robert Powell and Harold Shipman. Who could ask for anything more?,3