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Posts Tagged ‘Manchester Cathedral’

It turns out Milo’s a sun lover. From cranky, not-quite-satisfied babe to a child who smiles so much he should have jaw-ache: all it took was a little dose of sunshine. Milo spent most of last weekend underneath a parasol, stark naked and giggling. He lay there for hours, occasionally breaking off from laughing his head off to chew on a toy or partake of some mashed banana. For a boy who never spends more than ten minutes doing anything (and that can sometimes include sleep), this was a major breakthrough.

Thursday found us attempting a picnic in town. It’s no mean feat trying to find anything even remotely rural in Manchester city centre: this is not, sadly, a place of lush parks or peaceful gardens. I ruled out Piccadilly Gardens: the young men of dubious character clustering in aggressive groups and the heavy waft of fumes from the 10,000 buses backed up Mosely Street make the Arndale car park a more attractive option. Well, almost.

We skirted Cathedral Gardens, those balding lawns outside Urbis, wheeling the pram around miserably as we searched for a patch of grass we could call our own. I thought wistfully of the little park by Canal Street or the respite of Grosvenor Park, but couldn’t face the walk. And then I remembered – the Cathedral! Surely a place of sanctuary in all this concreted hustle and bustle.

And there it was: a cherry tree in full bloom, its blossoms studding the grass below like stars in a night sky. The sandstone of the medieval building encircling us like a lover’s embrace. Gargoyles framed against an azure sky. I closed my eyes and for a second imagined myself in Spain or France or anywhere more exotic than Manchester city centre on a weekday afternoon.

‘Get off meh!’

A scream punctured my reverie. Two trackie-clad teenagers legged it past the Cathedral – both whippet-skinny-white, their tops tied around their waists – and made for the MEN Arena. Shortly afterwards I heard sirens. The two could well have been connected.

‘So this is Manchester, Milo,’ says I. ‘And if you ever turn into a swaggering, noisy youth we shall be having words.’

Milo belched noisily, bringing up half his milk. Sat in just a vest and hat he gave me an enormous gummy smile and then, I swear, he winked.

‘I mean it,’ I said, and lunged at him, blowing raspberries on his neck.

I knew, of course, that I have no chance telling Milo what to do. He’s got me well wrapped around his chubby little fingers already…

Milo\'s first picnic

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