Week 33: in which Sleuth turns around, every now and then... EEK!

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

Ancoats A-Board Anthem

Sugo Pasta Kitchen, cashless Italian restaurant in Ancoats, has an A-Board out on the street to help people find it. On one side it points the way to the restaurant which is at the far end of Blossom Street, some distance from most of the Cutting Room Square places, while the other side invites punters to ‘turn around’ so as to locate Sugo. Sleuth was out in Ancoats on Tuesday night and fell in love with the person who had taken the trouble to print out lyrics from Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of Heart and stick them underneath the two words ‘Turn around’. Humans are funny.

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Turn around...

Town gets a fright

Speaking of the madness of humans, Sleuth has a friend who cycles to work from a town in south of Manchester. After years of doing this, she just couldn’t help herself. So she took some masking tape and amended the sign, announcing the town of Leek to a word associated with comic strip alarm. 

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...a mouse

Sartorial Bulldog

Sleuth was walking past Central Library when he saw a bulldog wearing a fetching and handsome orange tie. It was sat with a man wearing exactly the same tie. The man was tapping at a computer. “Does your dog always wear a tie?” asked Sleuth. “Of course,” said the man, “when we are at work. We both like to look smart.”

Sleuth Dog
Dandy dog

Stand up, for the Man on the Bench

A crowdfunding appeal has been set up to raise money to restore Irlam's 'Man on the Bench'. The statue was created by a talented schoolboy sculpture some 40 years ago, but the years and vandals haven't been kind to the old fella, and now campaigners need £18,000 to return him to his former glory and his rightful place at Irlam Station. Often thought to represent a tired shift-worker from the town’s now defunct steelworks, the figure (also known as At the End of the Day), as well as having his broken leg repaired, might also gain a four legged friend - as the sculptor, Simon Law, had originally intended. Sleuth would like to suggest that should they raise the money, he chuck in an extra £20 to give the dog a dandy little orange tie, you know, to look smart.

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Man on the Bench

Sleuth gets stoned

Sleuth went on a jolly this week to chef Simon Rogan's (formerly of The French) two Michelin-starred L'Enclume restaurant in Cartmel, courtesy of Confidential publisher Gordo. It was a very fine meal, full of intrigue, innovation and pebbles. The first came topped in a cod mousse with parsley and accompanied by a chicken skin wafer. The second lot were more tricky, with two pebble-like kendal mint cake bites placed on top of a glass bowl of very pebble-like pebbles - hard ones. "Has anyone tried to eat one of the stone pebbles?" asked Sleuth of the server. "Luckily no one has been that, er, silly," replied the server, as Gordo's dental crown came flying over the table, landing in Sleuth's kohlrabi soup.

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Cod mousse pebble
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Kendal mint pebble with real pebbles

Body of evidence

The estimable Howard Sharrock, man about town, sent Sleuth this picture of Parsonage Gardens from his flat. The warm weather has dried out the ground so much it has been revealing, all across the country, what lies beneath. In this case those rectangular shapes in Parsonage Gardens are the houses of the dead, the ledger stones covering the more than 5,000 ex-Mancs which once surrounded the long-demolished St Mary’s church. The graveyard was turned into a pocket park in the 1890s but the dead still sleep there. “Comforting,” said Howard, “to know I’ve always got company.”

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Parsonage Gardens: the dead do sleep there

Hosewine £3.50

Sleuth had taken the bus to Shudehill and was on his way towards Market Street when he noticed that Infamous Diner (infamous due to its terrible food) had undergone a change. A sign in the window read: 'COMING SOON!! NEW BAR & RESTAURANT SAMPLE SALE OPEN NOW!! COCKTAILS £5 BOTTLES & PINTS £2.50 HOSE WINE £3.50 COME INSIDE!!' And Sleuth was just about to too, until he remembered that for the rest of summer he'd put himself on a hosewine ban .

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You can’t sell if you don’t tell

Sleuth was amused by the barbers shop at Brooks Bar last weekend. The New Century lads had decided that their snipping skills needed underlining to the passing chaps of Whalley Range, Hulme and Old Trafford, so they stacked up the speakers and pumped out the tunes. Not sure whether it worked as a hairdressing marketing tool but it broke the journey on Sleuth’s walk home.

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Cathedral Gardens gets rinsed

Looks like Sleuth's suggestion that Cathedral Gardens needed a rinsing out might have been taken a little too seriously. Sleuth loves the addition of the carefully folded Wotsits packet and empty bottle of Lambrini, just for balance.

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Sleuth’s treatment of the week

Sleuth got an email from TMS Clinic on St John Street on Monday. It was titled: ‘20 Year Battle With Depression Cured by Magnets’. Sleuth reckons such use of magnets is really going to polarise medical opinion.* 

*If you would like more wonderful examples of Sleuth’s wit and humour, please send £10 to Sleuth in a brown envelope labelled, ‘Clown-funding’.