In many ways, October is a nothing kind of a month: there are no bank holidays, everyone is back at school, Christmas is miles off, and I still have a whole four weeks to wait until my birthday. Luckily, in Manchester at least, October has become festival month, providing a glut of literary and gourmet delights to distract us from the fact that it's now dark in the mornings when the alarm goes off. For the male half of this household, the far-and-away highlight of all of this, glimmering on the horizon like a shiny, sparkly beacon of hope and joy, is The Manchester Whisky Festival.
Last year's inaugural festival was met with much approval by my husband, despite the fact that I refused to go with him - paying £18 to drink a selection of drinks that each tastes of TCP to a greater or lesser extent is not my idea of fun. Undaunted, he made merry to such an extent that he rolled in at teatime, fell asleep on the sofa, and missed the WHOLE of Strictly Come Dancing; he says he looks upon this as his perfect day, all things considered. This year is even more of a worry, as he will be in the company of two other reprobates: a beloved but dangerous drinking friend of mine from my university days, and a man who likes whisky so much he began negotiations with his wife to attend this event shortly after the last one ended.
Even more terrifyingly, this year's event begins at 11am, meaning the serious possibility of liver failure by lunchtime, and goes on until 4pm. This means that by teatime I will have a house full of drunken boys who would like nothing more than to go out for a curry and drink even more, before passing out in various inconvenient locations. Their £18 buys them a glass, a bottle of water, and access to around 150 tasting whiskies; if anyone would like to put me up at their house on the night of Saturday 2nd October then I would be most grateful.
- full details and tickets from www.foodanddrinkfestival.com/news/2010/aug/12/manchester-whisky-festival.