Monday 20th October
I'm at home working on some publicity for my book and the phone rings. I answer it.
Alex K: "Hi, how's it going?"
Alex K: "I'm going to Didsbury tonight, do you want to come?"
Me: “I'm working on my book. It's Monday night, there'll probably be nothing going on."
Alex K: “I'm going to have a look. I can phone you when I get there and if it's any good you can come."
Alex K explains how he's not bothering with Holly (see what happened on Friday 17th October). He's going out to chat up some nice women.
At 8:30pm the phone rings.
Alex K: "Hi, it's ok, I'm in Didsbury but I might go to Fallowfield."
Me: "Ok, I'll come for a bit. I'm only 15 minutes away and I've finished what I was doing."
I was looking for an internet hosting company for the website for my book.
Me: "Where shall we meet?"
Alex K: "I'll drive if you want. We can meet on the sidestreet where you park the car."
Me: "Ok, see you in 20 minutes."
I drive to Didsbury, then along the sidestreet and see Alex K's car parked, he backs up and I park in the space he's left. I lock the car, get in the Honda Jazz, and we drive to Fallowfield.
We park behind the takeaways, at the same time as we're parking two people drive up and park behind us, also going for night out in Fallowfield. It's like everyone is arriving on a Monday night which I expected to be quieter. But then this is a student area and students go out weekdays rather than weekends, although some people who have careers also go out weeknights because it's a different type of night out.
We go to a recently refurbished place that used to be called Bar XS, it's a nice venue, polite door staff, the place is full of people watching sport. Alex K notices someone he recognises from first year at university.
Alex K: "Hey, how's it going?"
Other guy: "Hi, good to see you. What are you up to?"
Alex K: "We've come out to some bars. What about you?"
Other guy: "Just watching sport."
Alex K: "So what else are you doing, are you working?"
Other guy: "Just lazing around. Nothing really."
A good education at Manchester university doesn't guarantee a good career. It requires some effort to get a good job. We say bye and leave because the guy isn't that friendly, everyone is watching sport in there, and we want to explore more bars.
Revolution – it's ok, busy for a Monday, we stay for 20 minutes.
Baa baa – haven't been in here before. It was called Glass before. Baa baa is well decorated inside, there's a good atmosphere. We stay for 10 minutes.
Now we're back on the street, walking past a takeaway – Mama Mia's pizza place – Alex K notices a lady inside who he might like, and goes inside to chat her up. I wait outside and chat to some guys standing outside an off licence waiting for their friend to go inside and purchase beer.
Them: "How's it going?"
Me: "Ok, my friend is chatting up a lady in the takeaway."
Them: "Really, that's quite cool, what, he just saw her and went in and chatted her up?"
Them: "No way, I don't believe you."
Me: "Have a look." So they go and see him talking away.
Them: "That's cool."
A few minutes later Alex K is walking out of the place and we walk towards the car.
Me: "Did you get her number?"
Alex K: "No."
Me: "So what were you doing in there?"
Alex K: "I got her facebook. She's Italian. She's nice."
Me: "You should have got her number."
Alex K: "I know. But I got her facebook. I'll message her tomorrow."
Alex K: "She was asking who the people were looking in the window. I said it was my friend. Why did you keep looking in?"
Then I realise it was those guys standing outside the off licence who I was talking to that went to have a look at his skills.
Me: "It wasn't me. It was some guys standing outside the shops."
We go to the car, drive to the city, park near the BBC studios and go to Odder – where we had a good night on Friday. The atmosphere is better than Friday – it seems better organised and with a better DJ. More of an arty bohemian crowd though.
We leave Odder and decide to go to Font, there's a queue which is unusual for any venue on a Monday night. We get let in no problems by the polite door staff. Once we're inside we know right away that it's a good venue. They've got it right – classic hits being played, quick service at the bar, music not too loud, lots of people having a good time. We speak to a few random people.
Me: "Is there an event on tonight?"
Them: "No, why?"
Me: "It's busy for a Monday night."
Them: "It's quieter than it usually is on a Monday."
From people we speak to it seems many are regulars who visit many times a week. I get a half pint, Alex K gets a soda water with lime. We sit down, it's a social place. I meet two students – one art student, one fashion student who both give me their numbers. But they're students and since I've written a book for students, I want to help them have a good time and make the most of university. University is something I've done and I've got a career now. Also, many are only here for 6 months a year as they go home during the holidays, so if I meet a student I really get on with it's ok, but I don't actively seek out students.
With this going out and meeting people I'm getting too many phone numbers, so that I'm going to have to change the way I manage them. I get at least 2 every week now and I haven't got time to meet up. I was calling them in turn, to keep it fair, but now I've a backlog and people I call a week or two later think I'm not interested and just calling them because I'm bored – because that's what they do when they're bored. Really, all numbers need to be called within 2 days.
It's ladies numbers that are the problem. The thing is, I'm not telling the ladies about a regular meetup with friends which I should. So what I'm ending up with is the numbers of ladies who expect me to go on dates with them. If I invited a few of them together to meet me there'd be outrage. So I'm going to talk to more guys. Maybe our nights out should be like a gentlemens club. Or maybe I'll try to get an even number of guys and ladies. Then again, why not invite all the ladies along anyway! Maybe everyone can get on and be friends. All the same, it would be good to have more guys along.
Also, nowadays if someone chats to random guys they can think it's gay, but they're probably gay themselves for thinking that. Since if you go to your nearest rough pub, talking with the guys is the least gay thing you can do. It's all too complicated so I'll just keep going out and see what happens.
We leave Font, get the car and drive to the Printworks. We park on a sidestreet around the back of the Printworks near a big car park. Alex K locks the car, we walk along the sidestreet, turn the corner, and there is a modified car parked. A brand new white Ford Focus ST with one of the doors open, the windows open, there's one guy sitting inside playing with the radio, and a guy in a cap and sportswear dancing around the car. He's good at dancing.
Me: "Hi, what's going on. Nice car."
Driver: "Thanks. We wanted something to do so came out to the city."
Me: "Where are you from?"
Me: "Wow. You've come all the way from Warrington."
Driver: "It's not that far, it's only in Cheshire. About 25 minutes."
Me: "Have you done any modifications to your car?"
Driver: "Yes, only a few. I've got these at the front" he points to something added to the bottom of the bodykit "and the angel eyes headlamps." he turns them on.
Me: "They look really good."
Alex K notices someone walk past who thinks he recognises and runs after them towards the Printworks. I carry on talking with the guys with the Ford Focus. It really does look good, it's one of the smartest cars I've seen. I finish talking with them and walk around the block, back to Alex K's car to wait for him to come back. I'm by the car and hear him around the corner of the building asking the guys "Where did he go?" and they say "That way." which I know is going to send him the wrong way because I'd walked around the block back to the car. By the time I get around the corner Alex K has run off to look for me, he's thinking I had enough and went off.
I know he's around here somewhere, so I go look for him and now I'm wandering the streets of Manchester. Then I go back to Alex K's car, there's a bus stop just around the corner. I go to the bus stop and ask a random guy to lend me his phone – which he does – which is quite cool that a stranger lends me his phone. I phone Alex K but his phone is on answerphone. I talk with the guy who lent me his phone who turns out to work at House of Fraser.
Phone guy "I've been working until 7 tonight."
Me: "Where do you work?"
Phone guy: "House of Fraser on shirts. In menswear."
Me: "Do you do anything else, like study?" he looks like the type of person that studies.
Phone guy: "I studied fashion at college but dropped out."
Me: "You should go back, or design some stuff yourself. I could see you as a famous designer. You should get your name out there."
Phone guy: "You're right, thanks."
Then I go back to the car and Alex K returns, the guy at the bus stop is also here now keeping a look out for his bus in case it comes while talking with us.
Alex K: "Where were you?"
Me: "Here by the car."
Alex K: "I didn't see you. It's because you were in the shadows."
Me: It's night time, there's shadows." To be fair I was standing in a shadow which is why he could have missed me.
Alex K says to the Phone guy
Alex K: "Hey, we're going to the Printworks, you should come with us."
Phone Guy: "Thanks, but I've been at work all day and have to get the bus. We could meet up again though."
Alex K: "What's your number?"
He tells Alex K his number.
Phone Guy: "My name's Matt."
We go to Hard Rock Café for 10 minutes then leave as it's empty and the end of the night by now.
We drive south to Rusholme, park and go to a Turkish bar on the corner opposite Whitworth Park. Alex K often says we should go here when we're driving past but we're always on the way to somewhere else. Alex K asks if they're serving food, but it's late now and they're not, Then some guy starts talking to him about Turkey, and when he finds out Alex K goes to Turkey for his holidays it's like:
Him: "Oh yeah man! Turkey is the place to be!"
He sucks on the smoke of one of those big smoking devices they use.
Him: "It's the place to be. I don't like England. I'd like to always live there! Have you ever been to……."
They talk for half an hour.
We go across the road to a takeaway.
Me: "What are you going to this takeaway for?"
Alex K: "To get food."
Me: "You'll be home in 5 minutes. Get something at home. Look at this place, it's a mess." It doesn't look like a very well run takeaway. The window is smashed and the tiles are cracked on the floor."
Alex K: "You're right."
We get the car, drive to Didsbury where I pick up my car, and we drive home.
Altogether it's been a fun night. In future when I meet people I should tell them about our regular meetup every week because it's something to be proud of, and they'll be interested in it and more likely to come along.
Maybe that's what we need – to build our own thing . It's the way people are that they're cautious or not interested unless someone comes to them with a big idea. If we go to people and say – we meet up at a certain place at a certain time, then it will work better.
Reviews: Monday 20th October
Click here for Season 1 Index
Remedy in Fallowfield
Very busy. Décor: 7/10. Clientele: students, graduates, football fans. Entertainment: football on the big screen.
Notes: It has a popular comedy night called XSMalarkey. Polite bar staff and quick service at this big bar in Fallowfield.
Remedy bar in Fallowfield
Revolution in Fallowfield
Medium busy. Décor: 7/10. Clientele: students and a few locals. Music: classic hits.
Revolution bar in Fallowfield
Baa Baa in Fallowfield
Medium busy. Décor: 8/10. Clientele: mostly students.
Baa Bar in Fallowfield
Mama Mia's takeaway in Fallowfield
Quiet. Décor: 3/10.
Mama Mia's takeaway
Medium busy. Décor: 6/10. Clientele: artists and bohemian types. Music: classic hits and indie.
Odder Bar Manchester
Very busy. Décor: 8/10. Clientele: students and a few locals. Music: classic hits.
Notes: A venue that has the music, volume, service and layout done properly. A pleasant atmosphere to be with friends.
Font bar Manchester
Car parking spaces up the hill near the back of the Printworks
Car parked: Ford Focus ST. Colour: white. Modifications: front spoiler and angel eyes headlamps. Owner: James Shabot.
Music: dance. Entertainment: James' friend dancing around the car.
Car parking space near the Printworks
Hard Rock Café
Empty. Muisic: rock and classic hits.
Notes: Quiet when it's late on a Wednesday night.
Hard Rock Cafe
Medium busy. Décor: 8/10. Clientele: students and locals.
Notes: A themed Turkish bar.
Saki Turkish bar Manchester
Takeaway opposite Turkish bar