The following was published in Eighty Twenty Magazine in January.

There was a time when attaching a couple of tin cans to a piece of string and dangling one out of your bedroom window was a simple way to communictae with a friend. We quickly moved on to walkie talkies, mobile phones and instant messanging services that cross continents in nano seconds and its with this in mind that I find myself standing beside the Mancunian Way on a wintry afternoon to document an event that we've been planning for some time.
Its cold and my fingers can barely operate the camera. Cath holds her arm up above her head, her hand tightly clutching a thin transparent wire which leads up high into the grey Manchester sky. Passers by stare up squinting, looking for the kite. But there is nothing. They walk on puzzled.

In a flat on the seventh floor of Lockton Court 100 yards away, a coffee mug anchors the same nylon thread between the opened window and its frame. The line leads diagonally out and down six storeys, skimming the tops of puny urban trees, running neatly beside the roofs of council houses, under telephone wires, street lamps, across security fencing and down into Caths hand.

From the walkway of the sixth floor of Lamport Court, Zac reels the nylon thread in, its pulled taut and it snaps into place like a giant guitar string. Its carefully passed through ballustrades and round glass partitioning, along the corridor and through the open window of number 49. Theres a flurry of activity as pots and pans are moved out of the way just as the clock strikes three. The thread is passed through the window, and finally is tied round the stainless steel kitchen tap and the connection is made.

Theres a sigh of relief and we all go outside to see what we've done. The coffee mug and the tap, the two flats, the two tower blocks are joined, by an alomost but not quite invisible thread, which spans the abyss. Paul takes his mobile phone and dials his freind in Lockton Court to tell her the job is done. We can hear her voice as she answers imediately. An invisible connection that has taken just a couple of seconds.

Hilary Jack

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