Wednesday 20 February
To the House of Angles with DH and Dylan to celebrate the mid-week. Both exponents of the Penny Farthing it is curious to note that while DH regularly checks upon the fate of his top-of-the-range ‘mountain man’ model outside, Dylan is fed up with his more effeminate two wheels and would prefer them to be stolen. Yet while the latter is a resident of Chorlton village, and so has several miles of dirt track before home, DH lives only on the far side of a pancake-flat city centre. What does this say to us on notions of freedom, loss and the unknown? Three Speckled Hens and two charming chicks later I have abandoned this rather ludicrous debate while remaining defiantly out of my depth within my own brain water. Married to a mutual friend, the Duchess of West Kirby is soon combating my trite renditions of Woody Allengreaves’ stop-motions with an exploration of the upstart Freud (barely out of short trousers and already prodding his mother precociously). The fact she is doing so in a second language (the Duchess is Armenian and I am reminded of the excitement of the continent to come) is as impressive as my blundering conversation with her Greek friend Thalia is embarrassing. At first we talk of our mutual love of fishing (Thalia's grandparents and theirs went to sea; I caught a cod off Whitby little more than a year ago) but when she asks if I remember the Greco-Cypriote Zeppelin disaster of two years before I am soon scalding myself for replying in the negative. Explode my apparent insularisms! Seconds after viewing her disappointed face I can recall the relevant incident quite precisely. Honesty is always the best policy but it should come from the brain – no matter how soggy – and not the mouth, however ennobled.