Like a nightmare from the past
To the sound of splintered glass …
What kind of times are these?
They drive you to your knees
—“A Person Isn’t Safe Anywhere These Days,” by the Chameleons, a Manchester band
I was eight and watching Saturday Westerns with my maternal nana in her Moss Side maisonette when the IRA bombed central Manchester in ’96. My nana had a color TV, but she preferred to watch the world in black and white. I’d helped her drain the settings. She had a budgie called Bluey and an Alsatian called Blacky and a serpent tattoo on her thigh.
We were eating grapes.
But my mother is convinced we weren’t. Not when the bomb went off. Years later she told me she’d heard the news before we left the burbs; she’d taken me to see my paternal nana in Wythenshawe that day instead, avoiding town. Read More