Oh. It was meant to be such a low-key evening. After a hard week's work, what could be nicer than a drink at Silver Apples in West Didsbury, followed by a quick browse of Didsbury's Life's current art exhibition, then a simple dinner somewhere in Didsbury, before retiring to bed at a respectable hour - clean bedsheets and everything.
Things did indeed go according to plan. At first. After a swift pint of Oktoberfest Paulaner at Silver Apples (I really, really want this beer to have been named after Paulie Walnuts, but I fear it is not so), we donned our cultural hats and hied to Didsbury Life for the preview of the art exhibition they are hosting as part of Didsbury Arts Festival.
Cultural hats must sadly have fallen off on the way however, to be replaced with drinking-lots-of-wine-while-eating-nothing-but-a-breadstick-or-two hats. The artwork - by Anita Farkas, Hannah Wiles and Pam Smith - is well worth a look, but I fear I only looked very briefly, mostly on the way to the food table to commandeer another breadstick (clearly clinging to the belief that the odd nibble could take on Helen's generous wine measures and win). I absolutely promise to go back and look properly another day; you should too, but if you buy some raffle tickets for the WestFest Christmas lights while you're there and you win the wooden owl, you have to give it to me.
So, the point is, the fact that I ended up in Crazy Wendy's performing Shirley Bassey songs rather than enjoying a quiet dinner somewhere is everyone's fault but my own. Wendy's legendary Thai restaurant is right next door to the Didsbury Life office, and although busy last night was not actually full - unheard of for a Friday night - so it should be clear by now that the cards were stacked against me at every turn.
Ever the trooper, I gamely made the best of it. We chose the set menu for two, and very nice it was too - the garlic chicken is a particular joy, and may explain why people have run away screaming when I've tried to talk to them today. To be honest though, the food is not the real draw here, and at 10.30 the beautiful Wendy appeared, resplendent in pink feather boa and astonishingly high platform shoes, ready to sing Elvis to her adoring diners. I'm sure that the stunning duet of Hey Big Spender performed by myself and Wendy brought a tear to many an eye and is still being talked about in glowing tones across Manchester as we speak.
I was in bed by midnight. Just. Tonight I am having a night in. Unless, of course, the whole world conspires against me once more.
- Silver Apples is at 200 Burton Road, Didsbury Life is at number 212, and Crazy Wendy's is at 210. Avoid this entire road like the plague if you want to go to bed early.