Christmas in the Northwest

Melvin Burgess ate some of my bread. Again. But that’s OK. There was lots of it. Although I did admit that if this was my last week, I would spend it eating. Someone at our table said he would run. (Someone has their priorities wrong.)

Nine of us met up for some Armenian food in Manchester last night, and it was a modest start, but I think we’re on to something here. Us northerners can’t always be travelling to London, so will have to look for fun closer to home. Marnie Riches was tired of not having Christmas parties to go to, so got a few people together to remedy this. And then I tagged on, as their very own Rita Skeeter.

Someone did mention the words ‘top secret’ but I am afraid I wasn’t paying enough attention to be able to tell you any more. In fact, I was so concerned it would be boring, I had brought a book to read. It wasn’t, so I didn’t.

Almost didn’t find the place, as I had forgotten to factor in that Albert Square would be overflowing with continental gemütlichkeit this time of year. I almost overdid the ‘don’t get there too early’ by being second last to arrive, which jarred my Swedish sensitivities. As previously mentioned, Melvin Burgess was there and so was Lady Melvin. Jon Mayhew arrived after me, and my fellow Stopfordian Philip Caveney was just before me. I didn’t know Steve Hartley before, but he seemed really nice, apart from being unable to read a menu.

Enjoyed meeting someone I’ve previously seen on facebook, and also chatting to Lorrie Porter who was one of the panelists from the talk at MMU in the summer. I knew I recognised her, but it took some minutes to work out from where.

Melvin Burgess

I learned that occasionally a manuscript will return from an editor with more typos than when it left. And we could all be a little autistic, but some are definitely more autistic than others.

At some point everyone got their cameras out, and it was actually quite hard to take any pictures that didn’t feature the person opposite you with a camera in front of their face.

This was more a private than a public gathering, so I won’t tell you who had a go with the toothpicks, or who could have got away with leaving without paying. Most of us had pudding, but only in the name of research. We were wanting to find out the difference between the two almost identical sounding desserts, which could only be done by ordering and sampling. Both were nice, but mine was the best.

It was a relief to be doing this sitting down. In London you nearly always stand the whole time. Admittedly, we didn’t see anything of the velvet trousers belonging to one famous author, the subject of which used up so much of people’s imagination on facebook earlier this week. But then, I’m not convinced they did either.

10 responses to “Christmas in the Northwest

  1. It was great to meet you, Ann. Shame I didn’t realise you were Swedish. We could have talked at length about Knack for min utgang and the glory of Smaland.

  2. Thanks for organising this, Marnie.
    As for Småland, well… Where I come from we never had peace after some old war or other, so feelings are heated. You say 40 the wrong way and we hit you.

  3. My mother-in-law is responsible for the Småland connection. I could get her to say 40 and give her a smack on your behalf, but I have a feeling she’d make mincemeat of me. I’m going to read your Lars Kepler post now.

  4. It was great fun, just a shame you missed me chasing one of Jon’s escaped characters down the street after!

  5. Aw, it sounds fab! Glad you all had a good ‘un!

  6. Glad to have your snowflakes back. Wish I knew how to do it.

  7. I think there is a plug-in to ownload for people connected to but not on the real wordpress. Ask a child for help.

  8. I’d have enjoyed coming to this if I’d still been in Manchester! And just for the record, there’s been an Armenian restaurant in Albert Square for more than 45 years….we ate there in 1968!! May now be under different ownership. George, who used to run it was a benevolent dictator and told you what you were going to have, willy nilly! Marvellous marvellous food!

  9. I reckon it’s the same place, only we were allowed to decide what we wanted. My mezzeh was very nice. So was the bread Melvin left.
    Your name was mentioned. People want a proper northern group set up.

  10. Pingback: Chicken House at Cornerhouse | Bookwitch

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