Friday, December 14, 2007

Playwrights at Christmas

The playwrights' get-together last night. First of all, we went for a drink in the Abercromby where we used to go after Theatre Writers Union meetings, though most of the guys are Emmerdale writers now, or have been at some time. Manchester was buzzing - and drunken! As I approached the Abercromby there were three guys in pinstripes standing outside and shouting and gesticulating in the strangest manner. They followed me in, and it wasn't long before one of them was swooning into another's arms. And the music! They never had music like that there in the old days - geared of course to get you to neck more booze because you can't talk. (They turned it off, though, in the end, we complained so many times.)

And the lights in the streets! Everything sparkling and twinkling and gleaming as if there's no tomorrow, or should I say ensuring there's no tomorrow - why do the council do it? Oh, that's right, commerce of course...

Afterwards the greediest of us went off for a meal at Cafe Rouge in the Printworks, the only place in central town I could book, and they sat us in an annexe around a corner overlooking that lit-up palace of commerce, Arndale and Next.

OK, I'm sounding scroogish. I did enjoy myself really: actually, enormously; while I sneered at the wastage of the gold and silver Christmas crackers on our table I couldn't help liking their glitter, and I met new people, including Peter Kerry, an Emmerdale writer who has interestingly published his first novel, The Scribe, through AuthorsOnline, a comic fantasy set in Arthurian times. And OK, so they forgot about us around that corner and our meal didn't come for ages, but we didn't care, it was just so good to be meeting up, and anyway they made up for it by offering us coffees and liqueurs on the house.

And driving back through Manc I couldn't get over the intensity of the blue street lights - I really couldn't take my eyes off them - and John said it's because they're kind of digital now, and I didn't know whether to believe him and let the council off the hook or decide he really needed a drink, what with having to lay off because he was driving.

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