So I’ve been out. I volunteered for Innovation Forum Manchester through someone I met through a startup meetup through Yes, everything links to everything else. This is karma at work — I gave it my time and I received way more than my mind could have conceived. I now belong to a team, and not just any team, but a team of PhD students — 5 in all who lead this worthy cause, and never did I feel left out. I was different and I liked it. I was the more creative one so they appreciated what I had to share when it came to delivering a successful event. And so IFManchester was born, witnessed by at least 120 academics, industry influencers, policy makers, and a Dame.

I am blessed. I wouldn’t have been able to say this three months back when I’d cry myself to sleep at night thinking what I was going do in the morning home alone, while the hubby geeks away at work, in this whole new world called Manchester. I have always sung that song as a kid from the animated movie Aladdin, now it has made a new meaning to me.

I am literally living in a whole new world, a city like any other city but different; a city like London but with a soul expressed in music, coffee shops, bookstores, and startups; a city of empty textile warehouses, independent street performers, and diverse Oxford Road studentry; not just a city, but the city of the father of Computer Science, of the university with 25 Nobel laureates, and that red post box that survived world war two.

Need I mention football?

Ian Brown said “Manchester’s got everything except a beach.” Honestly, who needs water when it rains all year? And where there is water, there is life, and so Manchester is befitting its very name which originates from the Latin “Mamucium” (Mancunium) or the Roman name for the 1st century-settlement and fort and a Latinised form of the Celtic meaning “breast-shaped hill” (Wikipedia). Oh thou breast that giveth life! It is a throbbing living city of worker bees and rock bands who remind us everyday that the roads we walk are winding, the lights that light the way are blinding. A free walking tour by young historians such as Josh Martin wouldn’t hurt. If technology companies are to garages, rock bands are to empty warehouses.

And if Manchester did have a beach, then where is God who is just? If it did have the perfect weather, then the world would be tilting.

It’s been a dry stay until today. Oasis (pun forced). Bliss.

Manchester. Oh my wonderwall.


Coffee shops in Manchester (photo from

alan turing memorial

Alan Turing Memorial at Sackville Gardens




Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. […] three Sundays attempting to attend a regular Sunday mass in Manchester, we finally figured out the closest church to our flat, and got there on time — a much bigger […]



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

About hellopenville

Writing is my one true north. (The other is eating spaghetti. I make the best pastas in the whole world I swear!) I have been writing since age 10. I remember being in another school a lot because of Campus Journalism contests. I was a grade-school copyreader, headline-writer, and feature writer, who emerged to be a college editorial writer and eventually a TV news writer. However, I have always been an insecure artist. These constant condescending thoughts always stopped me from creating: “No one would read this.” “This has been written before and therefore no one would read this.” “This is not interesting enough and therefore no one would read this.” “This is not relevant, or factual, or trendy enough and therefore no one would read this.” But I learned to risk to write even if no one reads it, than not to have written anything at all. To resist writing is to resist truth itself, to betray that which comes freely to you when you do not allow it to be manifested through you. I didn’t think writing was serious work. But every time I thought about writing, it would make me nervous. It would rattle me and frighten me. I would shake the ground under me. Aren’t dreams like that too? Read more at


England, Travel


, , , , , , , , , ,