I met Mike in Manchester and we had a coffee and then walked out of the town centre and went climbing all over an area which used to be railway tracks and is now a wasteland studded with lilac bushes.
I forgot about my arthritis and climbed over walls and through fences and got scratched by briars and stung by nettles.
A Victorian passenger bridge crosses the area. Stand under one of the many brick arches and it feels almost physical the way your voice loops the loop to come back at you.
The view from the top of the bridge was extensive- and all the lovelier because WE WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO BE THERE.
In the middle of this wasteland is a large area of tarmac marked out with parking spaces. It clearly hasn't been there long because it's guarded by state-of-the-art floodlights and the weeds haven't got to grips with it yet. But there weren't any cars. Neither were there any signs of there ever having been a building or other facility there that the car-park might have served. Odd.
We kept coming across abandoned porn magazines. Why don't people take them home?
Hah, on reflection, I can answer that one for myself.
We left the wasteland, and followed the river Irk back into town and stopped off for a final prowl round an abandoned rubber goods factory. What a great place for a movie show-down we thought. Lots of places to hide. Imagine bullets chewing up the concrete pillars.
Back on the street we found a wallet. It must have been dropped because the cards were still there and so was £100 in cash. There was a passport photo of a woman with "I <3 you" written across the bottom and a newspaper obituary from 1986.
Tantalizing fragments of someone else's life. We took it to the police station off Albert Square and handed it in.