• Author:Ben Jones
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A tale of two cities

The best thing to come out of Liverpool/Manchester (depending from which side of that equation you hail) is the M62 goes the old joke. What a load of dross. I travelled that well-trodden road today as I spilt my day between these two great cities; two great centres of culture, sport, industrial history and political activism; two great peoples; two great global cities.

I spent the morning in my native Liverpool, enjoying my second week of teaching at Liverpool John Moores University; the afternoon and evening is all about an event I am helping to host with my fantastic Lexington North colleagues with Greater Manchester’s new mayor, Andy Burnham and other distinguished local figures from business and academia at the Tory Party conference. In between these two city visits, I got to see my wonderful wife (we parked two spaces apart in the ‘pool) for a few minutes to exchange a few words – and just as importantly a few toys that Miss J had left in my car this morning on our pre-school run that Dr J will need as she completes the pre-school pick up later today.

By the end of today, this will have been a long day – too much travelling and time away from my home and my girls for my liking but as its a one-off its all fine. No, it’s great. A day made up of a hugely enjoyable morning working with my students – I like how that sounds – and hopefully a hugely successful event with great colleagues and inspiring guests.

I have made the 31 miles trip between these two special cities many times – I have lived in both – I have watched my football team in both (and will again in a week and a half’s time, neves shredded as usual on such occasions) – I have laughed and cried in both – I have great friends in and from both – I have part of my heart in both.

My favourite days are those that revolve around my home and my girls – with a dopple of Southport golf built in – but this comes a close second. A day spent with great people in great places. A tiring day but a good day; a happy day; a rewarding day.


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