We are currently at the train museum in Manchester. Ooh, that sounded like I meant, ‘Coming to you live from the Manchester Train Musuem!’ – there’s an example of words that have never been uttered. It is beautiful here, though, and I shouldn’t make fun. It’s actually called the Museum Of Science and Industry, or MOSI to those with a season ticket. (It’s free.)
The Museum is an historical celebration of the things that have been thought up, designed and engineered in Manchester. There are some pretty amazing examples – the first steam train (of a certain type I can’t remember), the first railway station that catered to passengers as well as cargo, engines, commercial computers. Huge planes, textile weaving machines – everything up until the discovery of graphene in 2010.
As impressive as it all is, I can’t tell you how much I really despise museums. Not the fact that they exist, because it’s great that someone has taken the time to put a whole bunch if important stuff in the same room, so that we can look at it, quietly and en masse, for hours at a time. I am impressed that someone is that into the past that they care so much that it’s not forgotten. And, as Andrew scolds me, fruitlessly, as I, heartlessly, make fun of his love of the large, dusty warehouses that are museums, ‘I would not be sitting here sipping that latte, at your leisure, without those people!’
It’s just that walking around saying ‘mmm’ at it, at a pace that would make the one toed sloth scoff, makes me feel like putting my eye out with that pre-rafaelite eating utensil just by the Duke of Marshmallow’s second cousin’s signed bus ticket. Or whatever.
Andrew’s scalding is true enough. I like the people. But I can’t talk to them. In fact, I asked the guide what his favourite thing about Manchester was, and he said, ‘modernisation.’
I have to admit, the factory engines were pretty excellent.
Then we went to a pub. It is the best pub I have ever, ever been to. Also referred to as The Wharf Pub, in Castlefeild, Manchester. It has layers and hidden corners, laden with wooden chairs and leather couches surrounding fire places. More than one fireplace. rooms upon rooms of the stuff. The beautifully finished tables – our is of copper – are covered with flower jars and the walls are lined with books. There are games – we played dominoes (and had to look up the rules) – and had pints of beer. Then we had dinner. Oh, Good Lord. The fish, which was plaice, was in a sauce made with leek and grape, with kindler potatoes and beans, and it was bar none the best thing I ever remember having eaten. Everything else will now be compared with this fish dinner. To boot, I am reading Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue. Manchester rules.