Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Saturday night and Sunday morning, 14th – 15th June

My sister’s ace mate Michelle up from London for the weekend so Saturday evening sees us bar-hopping up Oxford Road. Gorgeous sunny evening so it’s outside Kro 2 to begin where I natter about the wedding and Michelle tells us about her sister who used to be a kitten-heeled dolly-bird and is now marrying an Australian farmer for a life of outback dust and toilet spiders. Love eh? In attendance besides us are James (Emma’s boyf), Joffrey, Stuart, Dean and Christine, who I haven’t seen for ages since they moved north to the ‘burbs (Swinton), and Kate and Pete, fresh from seeing Rufus Wainwright, Devo and others in Barcelona. Extremely jealous.

Kate has been simply bursting to tell me an amazing anecdote and when she does my jaw hits the floor. She’s an extra in the new Ken Loach movie, Looking For Eric, which is being filmed around Manchester. It’s apparently the brainchild of Eric Cantona himself who is both starring in the film and co-producing it. Obviously Kate’s a dear dear friend of ‘Kenny’ by now but has yet to see the bearded French beauty himself, but she will. The whole thing is so surreal and brilliant. Filming in Chorlton and Old Trafford, a cast of local stand-up comedians, Eric holed up in The Lowry learning to jive, apparently, and all this directed by the man responsible for Cathy Come Home, Poor Cow, Up the Junction, Kes for Christ’s sake! He’s 71, can you believe it? The film is apparently about football fandom, rather than a biopic of Eric himself as was originally reported. It will probably be the first and last football movie I ever sit through. Coming Summer 2009.

A stiff(er) drink is in order so it’s down to The Deaf Institute to hog a large table and proceed in earnest to get langered. Great music from the Chips night upstairs (oh the memories, and lack of, from Chips With Everything at Night and Day, wherein I had officially my greatest ever Manchester night out, maybe I’ll blog it one day …) and generally a great bar I’ve decided with beautiful people, us included natch. At some point we decide we want somewhere with even nicer wallpaper so we pinball up the road to Odder and manage against all odds (ha!) to get seats there too. This suits us, especially as we’ve realised that amongst us there is only one person still in their twenties. I won’t tell you who, it would just mean far too much to her. How decrepit we must seem!

Still, we’re not dead yet so I persuade the hordes they MUST dance and we head to Charlie’s for Helen of Troy Does Countertop Dancing (named after a Margaret Atwood poem), my second girl-music night in as many weeks. I love any excuse to go to Charlie’s, it’s kitsch, pokey, brilliant and allegedly owned by Triads. The remit of the night is dead simple: good music from any genre or decade, so long as it’s by women and it’s bloody good, so we have The Breeders, Madonna, Ting Tings, Elastica, Gossip, and possibly CSS and L7 too (or did I dream it? My brain was fairly starched by this point …) The place isn’t heaving but the crowd are lovely (my new friend Sian is here, hello!) and the dancefloor rarely empties. No bar queues either! Lots of lovely girls, gay and straight, plus boys of course. Us lot were the best dancers though. Fact. Back to mine afterwards for the usual late night dredging of youtube for craptacular pop nonsense and eventually zzzzzzz

(Almost forgot! I did not smoke a single cigarette the entire evening. Am quietly very proud of myself. I long for a life without cigarettes after being an on-off smoker for longer than I care to admit).

Sunday is SUNNY so it’s shades and shorts and up the road to Sackville Park for chilled picnic loveliness with Kirsty, Keith, Amy, Thom, Sian and the monkey. Yummy hangover grub plus fruity cider to take the edge off last night’s boozy ghosts. The park itself is pretty quiet (intermittent clouds keep the hardcore sunbathers at home) but any chance of peace is utterly destroyed by the four hour line-dancing fiesta outside The Rembrandt, courtesy of Manchester Prairie Dogs. God love ‘em, me and Joff were moved to tears watching them one year at Pride (loooong weekend) but trilogies of shrill Irish folk music, pounding handbag travesties and sequence dancing to ‘Vogue’ on a Sunday afternoon? Police!

A few rounds of Truth or Dare on the picnic blanket reveal us to be a bunch of thieves, drunks, vandals and sexual deviants, which pleases me no end. I top up my holiday tan and end up slightly tipsy in the sunshine which is very nearly my favourite thing in the world. Kirsty introduces us to the delights of peanut butter pancakes from Wong Wong’s bakery. SO good. We have those for tea and the weekend draws to a close. I go to sleep feeling pretty lucky to have all these great people in my life, and the monkey most of all. (And Manchester too).

OutKast – Aquemini (need to get entire back catalogue pronto)
Pop Levi – The Return to Form Black Magick Party (totally T-Rex, am especially hooked on ‘Skip Ghetto’ still, Pop keeps a little Marc in his heart …)

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