Last weekend I decided to do something a little more productive than lie on the sofa watching Saturday Kitchen, and intrepidly embarked upon a day of culture in search of a big brain. First stop was the Manchester Museum on Oxford Road, part of the University and completely free free free. The museum holds an impressively grisly selection of Egyptian artifacts (the second biggest in the country), so if gazing at mummies with disturbingly shrivelled feet on show seems like a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, this is the place for you. Animal lovers will also be delighted to find a cat coffin containing a mummified kitten. Next month sees the arrival of the Lindow Bog Man who was found in Cheshire in 1984 and is thought to be around 2000 years old: see him from April 19th.
The cost free nature of the day faltered with a visit to Blackwell's academic bookshop just up the road; this is where those lucky blighters still in full time education off-load their unwanted books in exchange for beer money, so there's always a good selection of second-hand stuff. Fantastic chocolate brownies in the cafe too.
Next stop: Whitworth Art Gallery, also on Oxford Road but this time heading out of Manchester. Like the museum, the gallery is part of the university and is also free; at the moment they have an interesting exhibition on the influence of William Blake, but this ends soon so have a look at their website to see what's coming up.
After such a day of culture, the only remaining option was to rest my tired brain in Jabez Clegg, a Manchester institution opposite the Students' Union building on Oxford Road.