Under clear blue skies we set sail for Manchester. (I lie. We drive.)
The hotel’s grand. Victoriana at its best. Come six o-clock we head out, past the old town hall, accessorised for fun with helter-skelter, big wheel and roundabouts.
Outpacing the stagnant traffic, following signs saying ‘mosque,’ we’re passing the old fish market when I spot the black cowboy hat. We grin at Kinky Friedman – for it is he – and, despite the fat cigar clamped between his teeth, he grins right back.
Our table seats six. Three couples, each a stranger to the other two. And they got there first. We have our backs to the gig. Harrumph.
Settled in with a glass of red wine, I let it go. Respond in kind to the friendly woman facing us – and (small harrumph) the front.
It’s seven o’clock. The veggie platter’s good – but…
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