Saturday 9 February

With newspaper under my arm and skull splitting in time to half-forgotten rhythms I re-enter the world via a monocle-squinting dry and dusty day; Manchester reaching for the dressing up box and becoming, temporarily, a Wild West frontier town. On Princess Street the shimmering sun illuminates several medium-sized jellyfish, or at least that is what I would like them to be (examination by a marine biologist would put him off his fish at chips). I force myself to at least glance down at these hallmarks of excess - none are purple. I wrinkle my stomach, lock eyes to the horizon and march down Whitworth Street to the House of Angles. After a quarter of a pint and the sports pages I feel I could almost speak to another human being (the waiting staff don't count for some reason). It is an unnerving sensation this early into the day (the sun 2/3 hours from setting). My readymade excuse to miss tonight's party of Jill's mentioning - two dead-from-dancing legs - is exercised shortly afterwards by DH's invitation to a Castlefield boozer. This will surely stretch my bandy beams to their absolute limit, ruling out the evening's promise of a rave-based catch-up with people I like but who may not like me anymore. An afternoon of bleary-eyed good humour with DH, his brother Sydney, Bateman, and the picture-maker Larry Pekalowski follows, in a bar space located, much like friendship, somewhere between private house and common room. Blast my pegs! I find them fully able to transport me home. Furthermore Jill's myopic carrier pigeon informs me that the party is being held in a venue across the road from my flat and that I should damn well make the effort and head out.

Chazzy’s is home to many happy memories and there are more to catalogue tonight - Jill and Conrad seem content for me to slump next to them having caught up with the ex’s Chorlton friends who, to my great satisfaction, are found not to be exes themselves. Later, staggering upwards, Miss Jordan’s fiancĂ© seems a tad perturbed when she tells me from their furtive clinch that there’s been 'nothing much to report' tonight.

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