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I went down to Manchester last night to meet an old friend. Well. Actually a young friend who I have known for a long time.

Hiros once reported to me, and then got given my job after I fell out with the boss to such a degree that I basically had to leave the company.

I didn’t resent Hiros getting the job. In fact I helped him a lot in the first months, getting him the right contacts, even checking some of his work for him.

Now, from time to time me meet up and banter feverishly for a few hours, ideally over dinner. We vow to repeat the performance within a couple of months, but in fact it is nearly always six or more before we get together again.

Last night we went to Aladdin’s on the border between Withington and Didsbury.


We ate wonderful Syrian food served by two pretty Syrian girls who knew how to smile at the customers. They didn’t flirt, just said everything with their beautiful near black eyes, and intriguing accents. If we hadn’t gone so long without seeing each other then I’, sure we would have chatted to them a little, got their views on the conflict back home, and maybe took recommendations for our dinner. But as it was we hardly looked up from our conversation that was falling over itself in an effort to keep up and keep the stories coming.

I think my favourite Middle Eastern Food  is babba ganosh, no idea how it is supposed to be spelt – but it sounds like what I have put here.

And we finished with the lovely Turkish coffees thick with fine ground coffee, rose water and cinnamon. Hiros will be staying up here with us in a couple of nights. And unusual double date – I can’t offer him anything as exotic I’m afraid.

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