“Oh Manchester is full of Shit. Oh Manchester is full of” you get it now. This was the passionate 16 year old me stood on the Old Spion Kop. I say passionate but it was misdirected passion. When football was life and life was football. Strangely enough I was only telling Mrs Fay this unfortunate story the other day. At the same time I was stood on the Kop with a hatred for Manchester I recalled a time when I told my teacher that if I ever had terminal cancer I would go into Old Trafford and blow myself up. My teacher called me out for what I was and advised me that my views would change in a few years. The 16 year old me was having non of it though and adamant I would be what would now call a scouse Jihadi. Fast forward just a couple of years and the words of wisdom from my teacher made complete and utter sense. I still wince about that moment. Thankfully a moment back in the late 80’s when only me a handful of my school mates and a teacher heard such moronic and frankly disgusting words. No Twitter or Facebook then thankfully and my utter words of shite now only make it to the masses. Little did I know that as a 16 year old knobhead that terminal cancer would knock at my door with my mum and cancer for the best part finishing my dad off. Not only that but the real horror of a suicide bomber wouldn’t be to far away in Manchester that place I thought was full of shit.
So 10.40 last night and I noticed on Twitter a few tweets about something going down at a concert. Soon after some footage of the chaos of people trying to escape from the arena and a whole army of ambulances driving down the streets of Manchester en route to the Manchester Arena. I thought christ this doesn’t look very good at all. I put Sky news on and no mention of anything. More and more was developing on Twitter but as ever there was already some misinformation and blag pictures doing the rounds. I waited until the top of the hour and there was the slight mention of some incident at the Manchester arena. Already Twitter was starting to paint the real truth and my heart was sinking. Eventually the mainstream news was catching up and it soon became clear that there had been a major incident in Manchester. Mrs Fay has come home from a concert herself and I updated her about what had gone on. By this time there was some dash cam footage of the explosion doing the rounds on Twitter and it was plain for me to see it would not be a case of if any people had died or been injured but a case of how many.
I was clinging to some form of hope that because the arena was by a railway station that maybe this had something to do with it. But as the time passed it soon became clear that it was a terror related incident. Next up the news that 20 people had died including children. There I was was watching this whole thing unfurl from a few tweets into a fully blown terrorist attack. Come 2am and the American press were already reporting a suicide bomber. I had to switch the news off the iPad and eventually drifted off to sleep listening to five live after 3am bit numb from what had happened.
I was awake for just after 7 and went for the usual habit of reaching for my iPhone first thing I discovered the death toll had gone up to 22. Working from home I have access to TV news etc but made the decision again to turn it off at 9am. We were now getting to the point where 24 hour news needs to be filled with the harassment of people who had been at the event. Maybe it helps these people to talk to the TV but it makes uncomfortable viewing for me. Keeping one eye on Twitter Katie Hopkins was being the cunt she is and I got onto the city of Manchester was living on the edge of fear with an incident at The Arndale Centre which was a false alarm. As the day progressed the first names and ages of the victims were being released. Utter heartbreak for those involved. As responsibility was claimed and the name of the bomber was released. The ugly side of things rears its head but is soon doused to with stories of heroic behaviour in the aftermath. Just to think as thousands of people running one way are met with a few of the emergency services running fully equipped with first aid gear against this human tide of fear armed with only bravery.
Not much more to add really. “Oh Manchester is full of Shit” Shit dealt out by people who wont win. I don’t know what the answer is but if some nutter wants to blow me up coming out of a gig or drive a vehicle at me there is nothing I can do about it. In reality the odds are so minute but as the fear is pumped into our houses via the TV or in my case social media and TV that raises the stakes and I just wont let it get to me. Luckily after a day reflecting on Monday nights events I can move on and get on with my normal life. As the sun sets this evening on the first day of a nice spell of weather for us all its a different tale for dozens of family’s and friends as the sun is setting on the first day of the rest of their lives. Lives shattered for no apparent reason.
“Oh Manchester is full of showers of tears. Oh Manchester is full of sharp acting emergency services. Its full of shelters for people who couldn’t get home, shy heroes and shattered lives. Oh Manchester is full of sheer inspiration”
Peace (If only)
Fay x x x x x x x x