It was Culture Night. My eldest teenager was heading into Belfast with some 'friends' to wallow in the free culture dripping from every corner and crevice of the city centre.
I'd never been to Culture Night in Belfast, even though I'd heard it's a great night to be out in; I'm too miserable for such free and easy public expressions of culture. No, The Night of Culture is a night for me to stay home and close the curtains. Batten down the hatches in case some culture breaks free and catches the bus out to the suburbs where we live – I keep a large stick by the front door just in case some culture comes a'knocking.
Of course, my son was really out talking to girls, his interest in an evening of extreme free-roaming culture thinly masking his real motivation.
At least my other son was safe at home.
Not for long. His mate Patrick rang and asked if he'd like to go to Culture Night. Wrenched from the comfort of our comfortable sofa (with matching very large food stool – it's soooo comfy) we head city-centre-wards; the two children too young to roam free on Crazy Night without an adult within rescue distance.
Once in town I was soon abandoned and wandered the cultural streets in search of a familiar face. Instead I discovered a familiar place – Keats & Chapman open late to cash in on the culture punters, so in I went, with cash (K&C is the city's finest book cave and it flipped my evening better side up).
Top find: This Penguin Education edition of 'Academic Freedom', circa 1974, with a top notch cover by Omnific/Peter Thompson.