Leaving Manchester

You may already know this, and you may not, but me and my girlfriend are upping sticks this week and moving to London, where the streets are paved with gold or have no name. That’s wrong, they do have names. I saw one called Tooting or something. We leave this week though, and this morning, it was nice to wake up to see a blazing fire churning smoke out into the sky across the road from us.

They call that a Salford goodbye.

It’s tough saying goodbye at the best of times. When a city has been your place of birth, and one of the only cities I’ve really properly lived in and gotten to love, it is even harder.

So, what has Manchester meant to me? The short answer is, everything. My family, friends, writing career all have a home here. The pubs and streets which have seared themselves in my mind. The people, the ones you don’t know and never talk to, but you see them everywhere, like a group of extras in a TV show. The history. Not the music though, that can sod off mostly.

As Bad Language, I think that Manchester has given us the most amazing platform to promote weirdness, oddballs and some of the best writers and performers around. Over the past few days we’ve been overwhelmed by the response to us leaving and you wonderful people have said some amazing things that made me remember just why we started doing events in the first place.

My friends Dave Hartley and Nija Dalal have both summed it up better perhaps than I could, and them saying it is a lot less egotistical than me saying it.

For me personally, Bad Language has meant me meeting some of my closest friends, having some of the best times, and hearing stories that have made me cry (both laughing and the other, sadder kind). Of course, you Manchester people, and anyone in the North West, can still experience it all at least once a month. Our co-host Joe Daly will still be hosting, alongside our brand new host, Fat Roland who we announced in this wonderful video.

He also wrote a blog about it in which he declared his upcoming plans for the event. For me though, my visits to the event will be much more infrequent and I’m all the more upset because of that. I can’t wait to see what all of you do, and when I think back to where some of us were three years ago when we all started reading on stage together, and where we all are now…well, the next three years are going to be absolutely amazing.

So, this is not goodbye. Certainly not in this age of internets and semaphore. I’ll still be writing, blogging, and reading at live events.

I’ll still come up and visit you sometime too.

Have a sofa ready.

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