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Posts Tagged ‘The Lowry’

‘This time last year I was mooing like a cow.’

The café assistant gives me a dead-eyed smile, the facial equivalent of backing away and hoping that I’ll go quietly.

‘It’s my son’s first birthday,’ I persist. ‘This time last year I was giving birth.’

‘Uh-huh,’ says the girl weakly, taking the money I proffer for my coffee.

It’s not exactly the feedback I was after. With a sigh, I add her ‘uh huh’ to my list of Inappropriate Responses to the Things I Say. Already on record is the 12 year-old shop assistant in Coast who, after asking me if I was buying my dress for a special occasion (to which I replied, ‘My wedding’), just said, ‘Right.’ Then there was the acquaintance who asked, ‘Is that a good thing?’ when I told her I was pregnant. I didn’t know how to answer, which was probably just as well, as she’d turned on her heel and made for the bar while I stood dumbly, mouth agape like a guppy.

The girl in question works at the Lowry; Simon, Milo and I are here on a wet and windy Tuesday to celebrate Milo’s birthday. He’s had the party (at the weekend) and today is just about the three of us. Sadly, Simon and I have already had a blistering row, caused by me turning feral when I realised Pizza Express wasn’t yet open for lunch.

I can’t help it. I get bad tempered when I’m hungry.

Simon and I nurse our drinks. Milo is snoring in his pushchair. The steam from the coffee thaws our frosty relations and, as my blood sugar returns to normal (thanks to a revolting sarnie), I make my usual cack-handed apology.

‘I can’t help it,’ I say. ‘I get bad tempered when I’m hungry.’

Simon raises an eyebrow and shows me the pictures he took earlier. They show Milo, careering around the Lowry’s play area, a huge grin on his face and pieces of giant Lego in each hand. He’d spent a good half a hour picking up the Lego chunks, gnawing on them and then chucking them on the floor before repeating the process. For some reason, perhaps to do with our huge and unending love for our son, Simon and I thought this was hilarious.

So we had a lovely day together, this family of three. A few days later I was on the phone to my friend Liz, whose son is just four weeks old. She sounded so happy, I told her, and she agreed, saying, yes, she just felt so much in love. ‘The best thing is,’ I replied, ‘is that it never goes away.’ And it really doesn’t; it’s here for keeps.

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Ratings. Babychanging facilities: Yes. Cafe: Yes, but no children’s menu. Buggy-friendly? Yes. Cost: Free. Worth it? Yes. There’s an under 5s play area, plus, at the moment, a good hands-on exhibition (Pop-Up) with activities for older kids.

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