Nope, fear not dear readers, I have not suddenly morphed into some terribly cheap, Northern version of Kirsty Allsopp. The reality is in fact much, much better as myself and happy chappy Simon Savidge were invited by the lovely Louise (the one member of the Manchester Book Club that we managed to save from the horrors of Barton!) to speak as ‘Book Experts’ at the first meeting of the Manchester Women’s Institute!
We were very very excited to be invited and only marginally hysterical at the thought of joining what I think we imagined to be an exclusive coven of powerful, knitting needle toting women, drinking tea and singing Jerusalem (is it Jerusalem they sing?)
Apart from being ever so slightly disconcerted at the label of ‘expert’ and what exactly we would be expected to deliver to these formidable ladies, the sight of Chetham’s Music School on a summer’s eve was enough to quieten me down .. just a tad … the medieval building becoming the perfect quirky venue for an event that completely took me by surprise!
|A concerned Simon about to be thrown to the lions…|
In a flash of Cath Kitson and lemon cupcakes we were thrown into an hour of socialising and nattering about our most favourite obsession, which is of course books, books and more books! Invited to give advice on how to set up a Book Club/how we choose what to read etc, matters descended into engaging chit chat with intriguing and thoroughly modern ladies of all ages and, on occasion, a fit of giggles, potentially caused by sugar overload.
It was great to hear from a mix of the very bookish, those getting back into reading and those who practically never read at all but really do like the idea. Banish all thoughts from your mind of your traditional WI meetings, this was really a rather trendy affair; not at all stern or awfully posh and I could actually *stop the press!* imagine myself joining such a society. The event was great fun (for the girls and the three boys in the room) and seems the perfect way (apart from book groups of course!) to meet new people and try new things. At the end of it all I really could have even gone for a bit of the below!: