Sleuth continues his 'Interviews with Inanimate Objects' - this time it's everyone's favourite public space

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city each week. It's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. Sometimes Sleuth even gets serious, but not often... @mcrsleuth

How are things going?

Piccadilly Gardens: "I’ve enjoyed the last couple of days man, it’s been good, covered in snow, people don’t get to bitch at your faults so much. Do you know what I mean, dude?

Why are you speaking in a weird sort of Californian drawl?

PG: "It’s all the skunk the kids and the beggars smoke, it’s got into my system man, I’m permanently high, it’s cool, y’know, except when it's not.

Every time I’ve been redone it's turned out crapper than what was there before

What do you mean people bitch about you?

PG: "Well, you’re some of the worst at Confidential, always going on about my wall and the state of my grass, and I don’t mean the wacky stuff, just my lawns. Listen, it isn’t my fault the council can’t lay down grass that lasts, no grass could survive when there are that many millions of feet tramping over it. And then there’s that other thing that doesn’t help."

What’s that?

PG: "Water everywhere. Water from the skies, water from the fountain, and when it isn’t water it’s too much sunshine. Then the council say the sprinklers have been vandalised, every one of them, which must have taken some dedication. I didn’t see it myself, and the grass dies of thirst, rather than, as usual, being churned up and turning to mud."

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"You're always picking on my wall. Yes, I know it's crap..."
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"Remember that time they spent all that money on new grass then forgot to water it?"

The good news is that the fountain seems to working again...

PG: "True the fountain working is a bonus, it's only cost about fourteen million quid to fix these past few years. But that's fine because the council has loads of spare money for services these days. It's the fountain that keeps my spirits up, that and the drugs. It didn’t always use to be like this."

How was it before?

PG: "Oh back in the day, the sixties and before, I looked beautiful, flower beds, walkways, once I even hosted Manchester’s hospital... people respected me. I was a sunken gardens but I never felt down."

But there are plans to tidy you up and finally get rid of that wall.

PG: "Yeah, they’re good plans, but it means more of my public space is being handed over to a private company, and I still don’t get back the land under that crap big red building with a Pizza Express in it. I'm still bitter about that one, man. Thing is, the Legal & General plans are now two years old, they've been threatening to tear my wall down for ages, but nothing happens. It’s hard to stay positive. I worry about one thing in particular."

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"No matter how much grass they put down, I always end up looking rubbish"

What's got you so worried?

PGs: "Every time I’ve been redone it's turned out crapper than what was there before. I suppose the saving grace this time is that it can’t turn out any worse. It’s all down to the money. Anyway, dude, you can help me out with that."


PG: "I’ve got some really good gear stashed in one of those prickly raised plant beds behind the Peel statue. Skunk, spice, coke, whatever you want...

But that’s illegal?

PG: "Oh come on, how often do you see the police around here? Think of it as a regeneration high, man."

You’ve gone insane with all those drugs, they’ve addled your brain. You need to be hard paved and easy to use, you need to be more like St Peter’s Square.

PG: "What that jumped up snobby git? No way, man, no way."

What are you planning for the weekend?

PG: "Just sitting around. Mooching, y’know. Getting a little loose, watching the world go by. I might even get a Burger King then take a dump in a phone box. Peace, man, peace."    

Like that? You might also want to read Code of Conduct: How to behave in Piccadilly Gardens