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a blog by Chris Barrow

Manchester and man colds

Manchester City Centre. My business meeting is a success and I enjoy lunch at the new Hilton – roast parsnip soup and a turkey main course (my first of the season) – lovely restuarant and excellent service, although we are deep in business discussion and so miss perhaps the finer points. I also have time to do a little Christmas shopping, including a pop into Harvey Nichols to stare in wonderment at the Oliver Sweeney bags and shoes – no purchases though, my team would kill me. Manchester is heaving with shoppers and the “wheel” is back again – I’m noticing how many of these contraptions are appearing around the country – somebody somewhere must be making a good profit. By the end of the day my sore throat of Monday night is settling down into a chest infection and the symptoms of “man cold” are manifesting themselves. Women have no concept of the suffering we men endure when we have any such symptoms – it puts childbirth and other tubular complications to shame. The “man cold” robs us of our spirit and natural charysma, we don’t feel as sexy as normal and the irritating behaviour of other people can appear magnified. The next few days will be tough. Last night I managed to arrive back at the airport in time to see crowds of British Airways passengers tearing their garments and gnashing their teeth as most of the their services have been cancelled due to thick winter fog all over the UK. Frantic business men and women wail into mobile phones or punch furiously into Blackberry’s as if they are having a sudden arthritic attack. Hotel rooms are hastily booked and plans changed. The inevitable angry idiots with low self-esteem decide that if they shout loud enough at the check-in staff, the fog will lift and flights will be re-instated. No doubt they will claim that the weather is an act of God, sent to punish BA for their discriminatory dress code. Amazingly, I wander up to the Air South West desk, expecting the worst, to be told that Cornwall is clear and our flight through Cardiff will now be going direct to Cornwall (Wales is fog-bound) – so I take off on time and arrive 40 minutes early to a frozen but clear Newquay- my luck is in. But I do have a “man cold” this morning – so I’m adopting my pathetic look.

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