Manchester, down but never out
My home city was attacked on Monday night. Not at it's commercial or political heart but at it's soul.... it's biggest music venue.
The deluded psychopathic serial killer that massacred 22 people 2 days ago was the antithesis of the city.
He and his kind hated everything about the freedom, the hope, the joy, the wit, the piss-taking, the creativity, the love of life, the love of expression, the love of people and love of union in the city.
In his twisted, undeveloped mind he believed that young people celebrating life and freedom, love, dance, community and music should be punished for this by the ultimate sacrifice.
Some people say that this is a battle between love and hate. If it is Manchester won the second the detonated that bomb because it triggered Manchester's recovery mode, a mode that will come back stronger and more defiant than before.
I've seen Manchester attacked before. When I was 23 another set of ideologue murderers thought that they could scare the city into submission by blowing a hole in it's heart. They failed and the dirty cobbled streets where I walked before with their derelict red brick premises were replaced by beautiful paving stones and buildings of glass where people now eat, drink and be happy.
That's 'Manchester's Resolve', try to knock us down and not only will we get up, we'll get up singing and dancing and laughing more than before. That's what'll happen this time, we've been there before, we know the score.
It's all a bit numb. They'll be anger and then it's going to hurt for a while, but when one Mancunian hurts we all bleed. We'll get through this and we'll be stronger. Manchester's not really a 'Keep Calm and Carry On' place, we're more a 'Get angry, get upset and come back even stronger than a bastard'.
Prepare for heartache but wait a while for louder singing, madder dancing and funnier jokes.
It will come Manchester.