about town sepia

If rumours are to be entertained, and what other purpose do they serve I wonder, last night’s soiree at the Palace Hotel proved less than satisfactory to one guest. An heiress to a local mill owner had seemingly set her eye on a visiting Russian dignitary. She had employed a mode of dress just on the right side of risqué, but far on the wrong side of taste, to catch her erstwhile tzar. Sadly, young Ivan glanced at her not once and seemed to prefer the company of some local well-dressed gentlemen. A story that the young lady in question ran distraught from the party at midnight, like a modern Cinderella, goes unfortunately unconfirmed.

Tonight’s “entertainment” is due to be provided by the Peitho Institute. Once upon a time, this institute’s events were omnipresent on the Mancunian social scene, providing enlightenment and hilarity in equal measure, due to the idiosyncratic curation of its exhibits. It was generally assumed that the steam had long gone out of this engine of the bizarre, but it is seemingly rising phoenix-like for perhaps a last hurrah. The great and good of Manchester have been invited to an event that, it is promised, will show not just Manchester but the world a revolution in communication. Frankly, this columnist cannot wait and will be there to witness with pen, dipped lightly in vitriol, in hand.

And whilst we talk of the Peitho Institute, one cannot help but wonder about its patroness and aforementioned curator. It seems almost a year now since she was seen in public. Friends are a little vague on details on why this may be, and her famously reclusive father says nothing. Has she been banished to a nunnery for offences against artistic sensibility? Or is there a more mundane reason that our patroness of the highest of arts is no longer “about town”. Answers please. Discretion, naturally, assured.

Percival Gribblewax, Manchester Guardian


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