"I said I'd fix my mate's bike," said Laura on her knees, "can you hold... that for me please... thanks..." Her hands were covered in black oil. I grinned. "I just need to wash my hands now," she said.
"You can do it at the restaurant," I said, "the table's booked for five."
The staff at Livebait were very accommodating - of course madam can wash the bike oil from her hands, this way please - and we were soon sat. Laura had just recieved some good news from the bank, so we celebrated with the fifty quid seafood platter for two. The waiter brought over tools for the meal, pliers, excavating scrapers, a mini-fork. I felt like a porno dentist. How exciting! The platter was immense, presented on a mountain of ice in a sort of handle-less wok. There were a dozen king prawns, two dozen other prawns, a dozen mussels, a dozen clams, a massive dressed crab and - best of all - half a dozen oysters. The flavours were amazing - the food was fresh, unadorned, simple: delicious. We hardly spoke as we devoured it. The oysters especially delighted us.
Salford Arts Theatre is a small venue, located behind the shopping precinct. After the play - Funeral Games by Joe Orton - we walked back through the desolate streets of Langworthy. Laura looked at me thoughtfully.
"You're a quite closed person," said Laura. "You're very good at small talk, but you don't really say much about how you feel. Your emotions are quite guarded."