There are two sayings which I have absolutely no time for.
The first of these is the nonsensical idea that all good things must come to an end, a notion clearly devised by some killjoy with a very limited capacity for fun, or perhaps just very demanding children. Its replacement should obviously be something along the lines of "all good things must go on forever, or at least until I tire of them and move my attention elsewhere", and by this token I think we can all agree that yesterday, and the closing of the Silver Apples bar on Burton Road in West Didsury, was a sad day.
Silver Apples opened its lovely doors a cruelly short time ago in 2008, and quickly established itself as a mecca for anyone interested in Belgian beer, a slice or two of homemade cake, or a fine tasty pie; indeed, this gorgeous, laid-back bar was one of the main reasons we started walking (yes, walking) across the border into the West on a regular basis last summer. Only fitting, then, that its last day should be something special - and really, we couldn't have asked for more (apart from them staying open, and NEVER CHANGING etc etc, but that seems a little childish.)
And so we spent a very pleasant few hours yesterday afternoon drinking Vedett (well, that was me - Mr Liz seemed to realise he was on borrowed time and consequently appeared to be on a mission to try every single different beer behind the bar) and listening to the pleasingly eccentric sounds of Gypsies of Bohemia - three blokes, two guitars, one double bass and a set list ranging from Fiddler on the Roof to Radiohead via Britney Spears. It is impossible to imagine how any bar that steps into Silver Apples' vacated premises could possibly live up to its predecessor - it certainly has big shoes to fill.
Meanwhile, the team behind Silver Apples will be working on new projects in the area - I am sworn to secrecy for now, but will tell more as soon as I'm allowed. Suffice to say good luck to Rob, Kate and Sarah, albeit said whilst pulling a slightly sulky face at their sheer selfishness in closing such a lovely place.
The second saying that clearly has no place in any sensible person's repertoire is that absence makes the heart grow fonder, a meaningless maxim probably coined by some Gareth Cheeseman-type to justify all those "business trips" to his wife. And yet...maybe there is some truth in it after all. Last night we ate at the Great Kathmandu on Burton Road, which we hadn't visited for ages - mainly due to the hit-and-miss service (oh, and alright, we moved house as well, making its location slightly less convenient) and the fact that I had eaten everything on the menu at least 86 times (and some items many, many more.)
And it was perfect. Firstly, the waiter remembered us (although, admittedly, this is not always a good sign when it comes to restaurants where one may or may not have consumed substantial quantities of wine); secondly, the service was slick, friendly and efficient; thirdly, the food was as good as ever. If there is a finer dish than the Kathmandu's Aloo Chilli on any menu, anywhere, please tell me immediately (and bring a little of it to try, obviously.)
In fact, I have but one complaint. When we walked past Silver Apples, all set to rejoin our friends to dance the night away at the private party, it struck me that I could barely walk for fulled-up-ness, let alone throw the attractive shapes on the dance floor for which I am internationally celebrated. So curse you, Kathmandu, and your generously-portioned, thoroughly gorgeous food; without you, I would probably still be at Silver Apples now, clinging on to one of the pews and staunchly refusing to leave.