Monday, August 14, 2006


On the train on Saturday, halfway between here and Manchester, a girl with a pink nanopod thingy settled into a seat across the aisle from me and Girlfriend.
In the spirit of all things Mancunian, I contemplated stealing it from her just before dismounting at Salford Crescent, leaving her tuneless and Piccadilly bound, then selling it on to one of the nerds at the blogmeet.
Lucky for me I didn’t, because it transpired she was none other than Lovely Kate The Manchizzle, the organiser of the whole shebang. What a blogmeet faux pas that would have been.

It was different from the last one we went to. Then it had been odd to meet people for the first time and yet feel as if you knew them already, or as well as you can know a stranger after closely scrutinising their diaries for a sustained period of time.
But Saturday was different because, with the exception of Manchizzle, Crinklybee and to an extent Mancubist, I didn’t know anybody there. For all we knew, they may just as well have been a bunch of, say, computer enthusiasts.

So it was a bit odd, but good odd.
We sat around in the café at Urbis, but somehow it didn’t seem - to a retiring type like me, anyway - very conducive to mingling. I think somebody counted twenty two of us.
It was better afterwards when a hardcore subset marched off to The Hasbeen and Halfwit, a caravan of geeks with name stickers on our T-shirts, and took to drink.

Favourite moment was when wide eyed and innocent Andrew, who has diligently kept a journal for years but - get this! - doesn’t publish it on the internet, ended up next to a bloke who then proceeded to show him his tattoos. At length.
Crinklybee was as friendly and chatty as I’d hoped him to be - although a decent haircut and a shave wouldn’t do him any harm - and it was a great pleasure.
There was Mancubist who writes terrifically well about stuff happening around Manchester, and Craig who has a whole portfolio of money spinning blogs. After learning this I made a point of going on about how repugnant adverts on blogs are, but he took it all in good heart. Girlfriend took a bit of a shine to him on account of his Gary Kelly eyes.
There was Ian who rants amusingly, Geoff who writes eloquently about The 43 Bus, Yer Mam who gives good musicblog, some bloke who writes about the telly, a man into model trains, and several others I don’t mean to offend but who have managed to slipped my memory. It’s easily done.

Noticeably: not many girls present. Manchizzle, Girlfriend, and Yer Mam’s girlfriend (I think) and that was all. Then again, I suppose blogging’s not really a chick thing, is it?
Obviously, there were a few weirdoes and undesirables present, but I just told them I was Backroads and they didn’t bother me after that. I can recommend it.
So to summarise: enjoyed v. much. Kudos to Kate for putting it together. The next one’s in November, apparently.

The journey home was tedious though. “I’m sitting in the railway station…”

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