I got up early as I wanted to be useful before going out. So got the stove lit and made a tomato soup with a red onion which had been deep frozen and was a funny texture, but smelled normal and fried in olive oil perfectly normally, plus some big thrown away tomatoes which needed their stem areas cutting out but the rest was fine, and a stick of purchased-at-full-price celery! I also sorted through the second lot of grapes, blanched the good ones and put them in a tray to dry.
I left the soup cooking on the stove and cycled off to the station, where I'd arranged to meet Jackie, my friend from the Northern Green Gathering who lives out in the wilds of North Yorkshire, who wanted some company. So she came with me to Manchester to the social group that I sometimes attend. At Piccadilly we met Janie, and walked down to Night and Day to have a bit of lunch and lively conversations. I was pleased to see Sean, the organiser of the Manchester World Naked Bike Ride, Christine, one of my facebook Scrabble opponents and her partner Simon, Ian, Ellie, Amy and Stephen, Robert, Simon, Laura and Victoria, and several others who's names I can't recall. But we had some good conversations and I was glad that Jackie made some friends. I was very happy to see Janie again, and Sean.
However, Jackie wanted to go to a particular shop called Unicorn but she was so engrossed in conversation that she left it too late... we got on a bus and arrived to find it just closed, with the staff shutting the shop. Bummer.
But overall, the day was lovely. The train trip back was noisy with loads of police dealing with football yobbos. But there was no hassle really.
I got back in at about 8.30pm, and a bit later, on facebook, read something which has saddened me considerably. My good friend Robin, who has often commented on this blog with good humour, posted that last night his wife Stella died in hospital, following complications after weight loss surgery in November. I didn't know Stella very well, I met her about half a dozen times, mostly briefly, but Robin loved her as did their two children. Very sad news. My heart goes out to them. I'm so sorry.