We went to Gaydio, where we heard stories from gay people who grew up when it was illegal to be a gay man, and also those who noticed how Channel 4’s Queer as Folk affected Manchester’s Canal Street. The stories can be heard on the gaydio website: www.gaydio.co.uk/yourstory
The walk ended at the Richmond Tea Rooms, which was just like stepping through the looking glass into Alice’s world. The food was delicious, I had ten of the little dumplings and countless prawns, and even managed to snaffle some cakes at the end. The heat and champagne soon meant I was leaning strategically in a sofa, only to be a bit terrified when the burlesque dancers appeared. A burlesque virgin, I didn’t know they weren’t going to do the full strip, so all through their very entertaining performances, I worried they’d go the full monty, and that wasn’t something I wanted to see. Mercifully they spared me that and I carried on drinking wine with a lovely group of readers, including @abbymarks @janeewilkinson and their two friends whose names I can’t remember, sorry. They told me how they’d met through Twitter and were all voracious readers, 4-5 books a week some of them!
Charlie Cochrane left and asked them to look after me. They were lovely, and I remember staggering down Canal Street with Jo Myles, smoking a cigarette (which means I must have been drunk) and soon reaching the hotel. A brief chat to Clare London and compatriots in the bar and I went to bed, before midnight.
Not before being propositioned in the lift by a straight man! Yes, that’s right: once we were alone, he lurched from side to side, smiled and invited me to his room on the sixth floor for a drink, ‘Quick as my girlfriend’s in the lobby.’ I politely declined and wished him a good night. In fairness he could have been just inviting me for a drink, thinking I was straight *rolls eyes widely* but I’d be very doubtful he was in any doubt of my persuasion. Have you seen me?
Judicious use of paracetmol and enough water to sink a battleship meant that, contrary to my and everyone else’s opinions, I woke without a hangover. Shocked, I was.
What did you get up to on the Saturday night of the UK Meet? Were you floored by a hangover the size of a small European country?
Until next time