And the little man just kept dancing

This weekend has been a hard one. We’ve been exhibiting in Manchester. We set the display up on Friday night set up ready for an early start Saturday morning and a slightly later start Sunday morning. Add to that a 45 minute drive each way and it’s a knackering weekend. Good though, we had lots of positive interest and of course it’s always lovely to catch up on the gossip with the other exhibitors.

I love Manchester, like every major city centre, it’s just so vibrant and cosmopolitan. The nearest we ever get to cosmopolitan round here is when the cockerel tries to shag a duck.

The wedding show was a bit slow to get going so we kept popping outside for a breath of fresh air and to see what was going on – and to warm up. It was bloody perishing inside. Outside it was warm and sunny, the buskers busked, the living statues moved occasionally, the traffic crawled and honked ( that’d be honk in a tooting kind of way not a ‘poo you stink’ kind of way), shoppers shopped, people sat basking in the sunshine and watched the world go by and the little man danced.

I was mesmerised.

He was dancing in a busy square gruesomely  known as Hanging Ditch.

He was a little chubby man, probably in his sixties, with a little red face and a little pot belly that made him look a bit like an escaped garden gnome. He  danced away oblivious to everyone. I’d like to say he danced to his own rhythm but in actual fact he danced to the cheesy pop music blaring from his portable cd player. As he danced he let out the occasional “Whoop!” or “Hey!”  Every now and then someone would try to join him in his dancing at which point he’d instantly stop the dance and shout “Feck off! ” at the offender, refusing to dance again until his floor was clear.

His audience, shoppers and the patrons of local coffee shops sitting outside enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, watched with good natured amusement.

Ever half an hour or so I’d pop back outside, frightened of missing something, and every half hour the man was still dancing. To my certain knowledge he danced for a good two hours, I have no idea how long he was actually there for. Probably till he was carted off in an ambulance having had a coronary because he was certainly not stingy with his energy output. I don’t know how he kept going, jumping and twisting, gyrating and stomping. He seemed to have boundless energy. I think I’ll have some of what he was on.

Anyway. At one point we noticed a commotion approaching from the right. The man looked ahead warily but continued his dance. Eventually, a band of Buddhists approached, singing, dancing and banging drums – and with their own, larger and louder cd player. The poor man tried his best to ignore them and carry on but he was overshadowed by the vivid shades of saffron and the and volume of the Hare Krishna chant. He carried on his dance half heartedly but I could see he wasn’t a happy chappy.

Still not wanting to miss anything we stood and watched the Buddhists sing, chant and dance. What a treat! Why, oh, why did I have to go inside a cold shopping centre and work when it was all so exciting outside?

In a short while the Buddhists moved on, the little man restored his dance moves to full intensity and I resumed my work.

Oh, how I love people watching. Oh, how  I love a city centre. What a great weekend.

I’ll tell you more about it later.


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