One of the nicest things about October (apart from the complete freedom to wear fluffy socks, drink copious amount of red wine and live off roast dinner and stews for the next few months) is the proliferation of NICE THINGS TO DO. If you live in or near Manchester there is an embarrassment of riches available, in the form of both the Food Festival (more of this in another post) and the Literature Festival.
This year's programme of events looks as enticing as ever, although I make my usual moan that there are too many interesting events on at impossible times (Claire Harman talking about Jane Austen, for example, at 1pm on Wednesday 21st October) when most normal people are at work. As well as the Jane Austen talk, I would also like to have seen Kate Atkinson (4pm on Friday 16th October) and Jenny Uglow (same day, 1pm), but cannot do so.
So I shall content myself with two of my favourite crime writers, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid, on Sunday 18th Oct, and Paint a Vulgar Picture at Salford Lads Club on Sat 24th, with readings of short stories inspired by The Smiths. Do not, under any circumstances, accidentally attend the Martin Amis talk on 12th Oct - small man, enormous ego.
Full details of programme and tickets from www.manchesterliteraturefestival.co.uk.