The Salford Museum was quite odd... but shows the city off to its best. As the boyfriend pointed out "It's moved itself as close to Manchester as it possibly can." In other words, it's only round the corner from Poundstretcher, which is my idea of the best Museum Gift Shop ever.
The "promoted Highlight" of the museum was a charming Victorian Street, complete with urchins gamboling merrily around in borrowed hats. But, the real highlight was that the museum was saturated in DILF.
There was a grunt of them, sat at primary school tables on tiny chairs, watching their offspring make puppets, like a Gorilla Tea Party. Just around the corner was an exhibition of Salford's Sporting Heritage - which was mostly jaw-dropping pictures of long-dead young men playing rugby while smoking woodbines.
Sometimes a hangover is unexpected. Sometimes it's well-deserved. And stealthy.
Last night, in preparation for a few days away, I had the joy of minesweeping my own kitchen - half a bottle of cava, little bit of rose, dregs of some vodka. You know, like a one-man hen night. I'm reading a biography of Margaret Rutherford, and, as she was almost teatotal (preferring an evening plate of bacon and eggs) it somehow felt like I was drinking for the both of us.
In the book Ned Sherrin describes her holding court at a party, taking bird-like sips at a sherry and smacking her lips while declaring "Ambrosia, sheer Ambrosia!"
I did not take bird-like sips.
Anyway, I woke up this morning feeling fine, which was nice... and then... as I opened my email, felt a sudden sinking sensation. This is normally how email makes me feel, so I pressed on. One email was from the ever-so friendly manager of my gym. It was a breakfast recipe:
4 ounces of oats uncooked ( people who has allergy to wheat choose gluten free oats)
4 tablespoons slivered almonds ( people who has allergy to almonds use other type nuts)
2 cups organic natural yogurt
2 cups cottage cheese
Cottage cheese? That did it. It was fate's way of telling me to go out and get a bacon sandwich.
I'm stepping out of the shower as another lightbulb blows. A man walks in. We shall call him Jurgen (although he sounds like he's from Surrey). He squints up at the changing room ceiling.
"Bloody dark in here," he grunts. He is, I have already realised, mostly arm.
He starts to get changed for the shower with the air of men with large muscles. He is very casually naked and manages to pretty much fill the changing room.
I'm trying to put on my socks, and am aware that his buttocks are very loud and extremely close... as though someone has tried to demonstrate dimensional transcendentalism by holding a large peach right in front of my eyes.
I'm reminded of an old BBC Gym Manager, who had either no sense of self or all too much. He'd stand in the shower with the curtain open, merrily soaping his bits like Nanette Newman recreating the potter's wheel scene from Ghost for Fairy Liquid.
Anyway, there's Jurgen, all bum and arm and grunting. There's the dim lighting. It's kind of sauna-ey. And then a repair man comes in to fix the lights. He's new. He's very Brazilian. He's like a fridge freezer with a tan. If the room felt small, it's now tiny.
Jurgen saunters a millimetre closer to him. "Mate, can you look at that bulb?" His smile says "You won't press charges."
The repair man smiles back, and explains that that's just what he's here to do. He then reaches up, and most of his t-shirt goes with him...
I'd like to say that the reason I leave immediately is because I'm in a loving, stable and committed relationship.
Actually it's because I'm mortified either of them will realise I'm listening to a CD walkman.
My boyfriend is dyspraxic. When I first met him, I assumed this was a fashionable term for "clumsy" coined by parents who'd decided that dyslexia was a bit last year. As someone always picked last at games, it seemed a bit unfair that they've now come up with a phrase for "can't catch" that actually gets you out of everything but Cross Country (oh, if only they'd told me at school "if you run round this field a few times you'll be able to sleep with people at university not in the Young Conservatives..." Ah well).
But no. My boyfriend is severely dyspraxic. At first I thought it was thrillingly romantic that whenever we hugged he'd fall on top of me, but it turns out that he has absolutely no sense of balance. Or co-ordination. Or where his keys are.
Most of the time, I find this very endearing. Occasionally funny. But not last night.
We were in a Thai restaurant, and my boyfriend and I were eating with chopsticks. Thanks to once having a brilliant Australian-Chinese flatmate I am fluent in chopsticks (but my grammar is appalling). But, after years of practising, my boyfriend isn't - although he's perfectly happy steadily teasing the food from his bowl ("It stops me wolfing it down without a chance to enjoy it," he says, casting a significant glance at my empty plate).
However, his slow-paced manouevering was not good enough for out waitress, who, after a minute descended helpfully. "Do you want a fork?"
My boyfriend waved her politely away.
It's when she came back five minutes later that I got cross. "I'll show you," she offered, snapping a fresh set of chopsticks open and started making hand movements.
"It's very easy - like this."
We shook our heads.
"He is dyspraxic," I said, tightly, noticing that my boyfriend was staring tightly at his food.
She nodded. "Go on, try! You can do it!"
I guess this is the dyspraxic equivalent of asking someone in a wheelchair to ginger up and damn well walk.
Giving up, she returned with a fork, and my boyfriend took it, sadly.
"We're not coming here again," he said.
"Quite right," I said. I was cross that he'd been humiliated, even by someone very well-meaning. But the food was good. My chicken stir fry was excellent and his vegetarian tofu looked stunning.
"Um," He paused and held his fork up. "You don't think this tofu looks a bit like... chicken, do you?"