Well, yesterday was definitely a “monday of mondays”…but thankfully time marches on and it is now Tuesday. So without further ado, here is this week’s “Lesson Learned in England…” Enjoy!
or An Overabundance of Sauce(iness)
Since my graphic novel course was in Craven Arms, it was more efficient for me to fly into Manchester than London, thereby shaving an hour or so off of the train ride from the airport to Shropshire. I didn’t get to spend any time in Manchester my first day in England, as the course started that evening, so that entire day was spent traveling. However, the class ended on a Saturday and, as my flight out wasn’t departing until Monday, I booked a room using Air BnB and decided to spend my extra time exploring Manchester. (Initially I had hoped to go to London and meet up with Sarah Lightman, but she and her husband had driven up to Edinburgh for a holiday so that was out).
It turned out that Manchester is a great city and I was staying a mere 15 minute ‘tram-ride’ away so ’twas easy to get downtown (though getting back to my ‘house’ was a completely other story–one you’ll hear in next week’s “Lesson…”). A fellow student had recently visited Manchester to see “Dark Matters: Shadow_Contemporary_Art” – the Whitworth Art Gallery’s current exhibit and, at their suggestion, I decided to check it out. After taking the tram into the city center, it was about a 40 minute walk down to the gallery–at one point fearing I had walked 30 minutes in the opposite direction, I asked a policeman how far away the gallery was, only to be informed that “yes” I was headed in the proper direction, but that since it was about 20 minutes away it was “quite a bit of a walk”–the new yorker in me was unphased.
I won’t go into detail about the exhibit (yet) but it was really neat! Afterwards though, I was starving–for some reason looking at art always makes me hungry. Leaving the gallery (their café was a bit expensive for me), I retraced my steps to the campus of the University of Manchester in search of a more ‘college friendly’ priced meal. Luckily it didn’t take too long to find a place, so soon I found myself sitting down, after ordering a sandwich, waiting for the waitress to bring it over.
Now, usually there’s “nothing special” to a café table–you’ve got your napkins and maybe a salt & pepper shaker. However, the first thing I noticed upon sitting down, was a bowl filled with condiments–and not just the usual foil packets of ketchup and mustard (or if you’re lucky, mayonnaise).
No, we’re talking 6 or 7 different types of sauces, each with their own coloured wrapper, making the bowl look as though it were filled with large pieces of confetti! Curiosity piqued, I upended the bowl, spilling the entire pile of packets onto the table, forming a small mountain of flavours–the waitress bringing over my sandwich surely thought I was a bit ‘touched in the head’ as I sat there picking through the packets, marvelling at such a wealth of options to choose from–French or British mustard? HP Sauce? Salad Cream? or perhaps Malt Vinegar? The permutations and combinations seemed endless…
And a bit overwhelming…somehow I found the strength to resist taking 1 of each, as I figured that if by some miracle I didn’t end up smushing them all over my new bag, I’d get stopped at the airport out of sheer incredulousness of motive–“You have all these packets in your bag because you’re a graphic designer?” Somehow I didn’t think such reasoning would fly with the airline security people. Instead, gobbling up my tasty sandwich (wish I remembered what it was) I quickly sketched the sauce packets, gathered them back up into their bowl and left the café to explore more of Manchester…
Tonight–Tuesday 22 Nov!
Remember Dan Piraro will be appearing at Museum of Comic & Cartoon Art at 7pm (19.00hrs). He’ll be discussing and signing his new book “Bizarro Heroes.” General Admission is $12, while MoCCA members get a discount. Check out the MoCCA website for more info.
Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! are you cooking anything?