Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week. It's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. He's several people all at once. Sometimes Sleuth even gets serious @mcrsleuth
SLEUTH & THOSE TOWERS (AGAIN)
A few months ago Sleuth pledged to make no more mention of the Two Towers of Dol Gur Dur (aka the Gary Neville-fronted St Michael’s development adjoining Albert Square). Sleuth had, he felt, said his piece, made his feelings clear, as had the 7500 people who signed a petition to block the scheme, the multiple heritage groups who publicly spoke out against the plans, and the 70.4% of consultation attendees who said they either ‘opposed’ or ‘strongly opposed’ the proposal.
However, I'm afraid Sleuth must break his pledge, after he learnt that somebody within the St Michael’s partnership had accidentally tipped all those recommendations – the ones complaining the towers, so close to the magnificent Town Hall and within a council-certified conservation area, were too large to sit 120 metres from the city's most important building - into an oil drum, doused them in lighter fluid and lobbed in a match, because the weirdest thing happened: when submitting the final planning application the developer had somehow calculated that the tallest of the Two Towers of Dol Gur Dur needed to be 7% taller than first outlined.
Imagine that. And not only that, somebody also forgot to mention this fairly significant height increase in the statement distributed to press. Oh well, at least they've changed the colour of the towers from black to brown eh?
Wait for it...
CGI PEOPLE REACT
And here you can see how a bunch of CGI people in CGI St Michael's Land reacted to the news that they'd really gone and made the towers taller...
SLEUTH, RIMMER AND SNACKS
Sleuth was walking through Albert Square recently when he bumped into that charming celebrity chef Simon Rimmer doing yet more filming. "It's going to be about Great British snacking," said one of the world's most amiable Scousers turned south Manchester resident. "Did you know," said Rimmer calling Sleuth over, "that Manchester men over 45 are the country's greatest snackers?" "I didn't," said Sleuth hiding a Ho's bakery pork bun behind his back, "but that explains the burger in your left hand, the hotdog in your right, the uncooked carrot in your jacket pocket, the raw brisket in your sock and the pork pie hat that is, in fact, a real pork pie."*
*Only some of this is true.
NEW OLD PUBS & ALCOPOPS
Sleuth's sorry to hear that Salvis owner Maurizio Cecco’s attempts at bringing a bit of his native Napoli to Norden have fallen as flat as a hand stretched pizza base. According to responses on the re-established Norden Arms’ Facebook page, the village people were unhappy with Osteria Norden charging ‘city centre prices’. Commenters were almost unanimously thrilled that the venue is to return to its former incarnation of a pub. No-one more so than this local, who had a positive response from new landlord, former estate agent Michael Stewart, to her request: “can have Smirnoff Ice please I only drink that.”
THE SITE SPECIFIC SLEUTH
Sleuth was talking to a Norwegian post-graduate of six months at the Alliance Business School. “So where are you living in Manchester?” asked Sleuth. “I don’t know the name of the area, but there’s a Tesco and a Subway nearby,” said our Norwegian friend, Jens. “That’s a bit like being lost in a forest, phoning for help and describing your position as standing next to a tree. You’ve narrowed it down to around 10,000 places in Great Britain,” said Sleuth.
SLEUTH RECEIVES A SIGN FROM EVERYWHERE
Sleuth was walking through St Peter’s Square and was attacked by blue signs telling him to look both ways from so many directions he had no idea which way to look and fell over.
SLEUTH AND THE CASH ONLY SPONSORSHIP
Sleuth was at the National Cycling Centre (NCC) for the Track Cycling Championships on Saturday. He tried to get some food but couldn’t. “We don’t have any card facility in the NCC. All the catering and all the merchandising is cash only. You’ll have to go to the cash machines at ASDA,” he was told. How very 1985, thought Sleuth, how very weird. The event, by the way, was sponsored by HSBC, which made Sleuth smile. The cash free HSBC.
SLEUTH'S WEIRD RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Sleuth was in one of his favourite places, the Portico Library, when he saw the pre-World War II, Manchester Cookery Book from the Municipal School. He saw this recipe for black coffee with salt and an egg shell. Very odd. Sleuth is going to try it. Maybe get a hipster barista on side as well and make it feature in one of the 35,000 city centre coffee shops.
VIEW OF AN EGG
Speaking of egg, Sleuth’s been having a long drawn-out disagreement with Confidential’s content management system, which has been randomly replacing images in old articles with other completely unrelated images. So far Sleuth has found an old rig masquerading as a lasagne, a bacon butty as a bridge in Salford, and Manchester Cathedral’s stained glass ‘Fire Window’ replaced by a photo of a tattooed nipple.
Still, this could be Sleuth’s favourite yet. Here’s the current view to the south east of Manchester’s Library Walk… an egg.
SLEUTH'S SNAP OF THE WEEK
This was taken on the way to the National Cycling Centre. There was a brooding evening sky and a fine looking Etihad Stadium, even ASDA looked heroic.
SLEUTH AND EMPLOYEE MORALE
Sleuth was in a meeting this week with Confidential publisher, Mark Garner (aka The Fallen Man), when he took a cold call from an employee motivation outfit called Perk Box, who were trying to flog him a series of employee perk packages. After a good few minutes of sales patter, Garner chipped in. “I appreciate the call, young man, but you’ve one main barrier here… I don’t like any of my f***ing staff.” Charming.
SLEUTH, PEDRO & A SPECIAL SWORD
And finally... put it down, would you Pedro?