Saturday, 9 September 2017

10 Years In Manchester

I moved to Manchester from Derby 10 years and 1 week ago. 

It took about 3 days to get used to how slowly people talk and 5 visits into town before I didn't feel like a tourist. 2 months to get used to the trams, 6 months before I didn't think it was weird to see blokes in suits eating a pie out of a brown bag for lunch and 18 months before I couldn't remember how to pronounce Manchester without saying 'Man-chess-duh'.

I doubt I'll ever stop thinking 'backstreets' are cute, but somehow I slotted in from day one.

There's a really special sort of welcome with Manchester that you simply don't find everywhere. Sure there's the odd exceptions, but on the whole people genuinely don't fear strangers and incomers, you are greeted in with open arms, No-one is bothered where my nan grew up, except to hear if it's story-worthy. Aside from being laughed at when I call someone 'Duck', no-one ever mentions that I wasn't born here. I'm here now and that's all that matters.

It's not just me Manchester accepts, it's everyone. You can be who you want to be, love who you want to love. Go into town any Saturday and you'll see people in cosplay, drag, suits and parkas. When someone asks the kids 'who do you support?' they answer Red or Blue, but everyone only hopes the answers are different for the banter. There's no wrong answer to 'what music do you like?', except 'none', because music is massive here. Schools value music, art and drama and so does everyone else. You can stand in the queue in little Tesco between a pensioner and a 6 year old in the same Stone Roses t-shirt. I've seen 3 times more plays in the last 10 years than the other 35 years of my life.

The Arena re-opened last night. This is a huge deal. When I found out it had a re-opening date I cried. I was gutted when it was bombed, I felt personally devastated that someone had bombed OUR Manchester Arena. Quite rightfully, so did everyone else. We've all been to the Arena. I didn't realise at the time just how close to home the immediate effects would be, how many of my own friends would find their relatives and friends had been permanently disabled or killed. How many appeals and personal heartache I'd see on my Facebook feed.

I'm delighted it's re-opened with such an amazing night and I'm proud to be part of a community that instead of ripping apart, voiced their vehement opposition to division. We met violence with multi-cultural street picnics, candles and singing, poetry and art. #WeAreManchester a new battle cry for peace. Don't Look Back In Anger an anthem. The Manchester Bee a symbol of unity.

A post shared by Emma Murphy (@notsuchayummymummy) on

I've been here 10 years and I can't imagine ever wanting to leave. Thank you Manchester for having me. Thank you to the people who live here for looking after me so well, especially for the last 4 years when I've needed it so much. 


The world is currently experiencing something akin to the plagues, so it's somehow timely that today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I have written about this before and I doubt I can do better than that post. We've moved on a lot in the last year - all 4 of our young people are now working and studying, our younger ones are doing really well at school (and sleep in the dark) and we couldn't be prouder of any of them.  You can read my post here - World Suicide Prevention Day.

My thoughts today are with everyone affected by the hurricanes and the Mexican Earthquake.


  1. A lovely and heartfelt post. It has been a difficult time, but everyone has come together. Still so much heartache. Big hugs and love x

    1. And to you too Susan. Everyone really has come together, it's been so heartwarming. Just such a shame it took something so dreadful to happen first :(


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