Whilst there, I had coffee with my lawyer, which made me feel very sophisticated. Actually, however, Jo is the long-suffering wife of Cynical Ben (yes, readers, he's taken), for whom I was officially Least Worst Best Man - there were three of us. She also returned my Map Twats flask, which I'd left at their abode on a previous walking trip: a joyful reunion.
After that, skip a couple of blocks and you get to the John Rylands Library, an incredible mock-Gothic reading room stuffed with the finest collection of texts you'll ever see, from Egyptian papyri to early Gospels to Caxton, a Shakespeare First Folio and first Sonnets, a Gutenberg book and a first edition of Joyce's Ulysses, of which I've now seen three of the 1000 copies printed - the one for sale was €40,000. The core of the collection was the Spencer family's library - Diana's family gave up reading in the 19th century and sold the lot. Seriously though, if you like books, or architecture, or mad Victorian schemes for public improvement, the Rylands is amazing. (Both the Art Gallery and the Library are free, by the way).
Lunch in Chinatown, then home having only purchased two books: E. H. Gombrich's A Little History of the World which is utterly charming and you should all buy a copy, and a comparative book on different poetic forms which you may not appreciate so much.