24 March 2013

Salford the Surreal

Winter still hasn't let up for us here in Manchester; we've been told it's something to do with a weather pattern over Russia. It's been awful, around 2˚C most days, rain and grey and windy wet. It's exhausting.

March should be milder, especially after the vernal equinox.

I can't help but think that the planners (NVA) of Speed of Light thought it would be a little warmer by now, too. An art project, involving a hundred volunteer runners dressed in remote controlled light-suits, it seems better-suited to a dark summer's night.

But on Friday night, blistering winds were tearing through Media City. I can't imagine being one of the runners. Why would anyone run in this weather? WHY?

They warmed up for about 30 minutes. They ran by me in silence.

Watching people run by, in their lit-up suits, with only the sound of wind and the waves of the canal, was a weird experience. The runners were like aliens. I didn't want to get too close. 
The only thing that would have been worse than running in that stinging cold weather would have been standing around waiting for the grand finale! Lucky for me, I work in Media City, so when I couldn't stand the cold anymore, I went up to the 3rd floor of my building.

There were moments, during the wait, when I wasn't sure it had been worth waiting around at Media City until 8pm. But then, all the runners crowded together, a huddle of blue lights on the dark, wet ground... and suddenly, their lights turned red and they ran apart, exploding like a firework. They were stunning, glittering, and the whole night made sense. This is why people would run in this weather...

But I'm still unreformed. I'm really glad I was indoors and warm to see it.

**The laughter in that video is courtesy of Internet Man, as I now refer to him. He seems nice.

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