There are often nice things happening in the offices of Didsbury Life: that unassuming facade on Burton Road actually conceals a tardis-like haven of art, wine and loveliness on a regular basis. But I was particularly looking forward to Friday's event, the preview night of the latest exhibition, because until January Didsbury Life are playing host to Amanda McCrann and her gorgeous mosaics.
This was always going to be a dangerous combination - me, wine and beautiful art pieces all in one place. You'll obviously have to read on till the end of the blog to see if I actually bought anything... *tries feebly to create tension*
We arrived at about 7, not in the best of spirits. Shortly after setting out on the epic walk from the East of Didsbury to the West (please Helen, just relocate the office) we were caught in a frankly enormous rain shower that we were not really equipped to deal with. We had one small umbrella between us, and as my husband flatly refused to be seen sheltering under a pink brolly decorated with small dogs, he arrived looking less than glamorous at the lovely sparkly party.
Our luck soon improved - for the first time ever, we had arrived in time to drink from proper wine glasses rather than plastic cups. Amanda had clearly bought in quantity, perhaps suspecting the identity of those likely to attend, and as our damp clothes steamed lightly in the warmth of the office we felt our moods restored. Food was provided by Folk Bar, across the road; apologies to anyone who hoped to have some of the stuffed vine leaves as it's entirely possible I may have eaten all of these.
(Note to self; it's no good being in bed by ten - if all you've consumed is vine leaves and red wine you will still not feel tip-tip in the morning.)
So, back to the mosaics. Amanda is that rare creature - immensely talented, ridiculously beautiful, and yet still delightful: on this, her big night, she kept apologising for forgetting to bring a book she'd promised to lend me, such is her thoughtfulness. She is deservedly becoming well-known under the name of Manchester Mosaics for her stunning pieces, many of which are included in the display - pop along to Didsbury Life to have a look, and you may even be lucky enough to see her at work, as she plans to be there from time to time over the next few months.
Amanda was well supported by friends and family - hello to Aunty Barbara from America - and as usual at these events a few more Twitter acquaintances formed themselves into actual living, breathing real people (one of whom - Rowena - turns out to have the most lovely coat). Mike Garry was prevailed upon to perform a couple of poems (in exchange for a pint of Guinness - if only all poets were so amenable), and it was nice to chat to Dave Haslam about his recent triumphant interview with Jonathan Franzen (husband made the hideous confession that he'd stood next to the novelist so recently proclaimed by Time Magazine as the latest exponent of the Great American Novel and NOT RECOGNISED HIM - gah).
So now, the moment you've all been waiting for...did I buy anything? Well, thanks if you're still here - the pitifully easy answer is YES. And even better, the creation of my mosaic will apparently requires LOTS of meetings over more wine with Amanda, just to make sure that everything is absolutely right...
- You can see Amanda's stunning designs at Didsbury Life, 212 Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester until the end of the year.