Thursday, October 18, 2007

DSC_5393 - BottlebrushSo, er, that whole "I'll blog later" thing worked out well. In summary:

- There was an "I'm better" party (the I was not me. I'm never better, except possibly than anyone else if I've lapsed into arrogance mode).

- In a champagne bar. Woohoo! Or rather £300400! (Sideways and upside-down but only on a calculator: cunning). The cheapest drink was £5 for a piddling glass of something possibly piddled. For £6 one could have dye added to make it a bimini (hang on, that's the invariably too low pushpit canopy, isn't it? Bellini then, with freshly dolloped peach sludge), although if one only wanted fizzy Ribenna that was £5.50, but you would have to put up with the French barçon affecting not to hear you repeatedly until he relents and just corrects the pronunciation of 'kir'. Bear in mind we were the only people in the bar at the time - the party was shifted forward to avoid the rugby - so the loudest thing was me trying to order. I of course did not laugh when later he decapitated many glasses with a single champagne cork. It appears he met Mr Rick O'Shay).

- Apparently the done thing when complimented on a particularly fetching Rohan jumper* one is wearing is not to reply "Yes, I know. Thank you though". The complimenter then lectured me on the correct degree of false naivety to deploy, only to answer my later compliment (which admittedly was said after failing to find anything else to say, "you look good in black; it makes you looked slimmer" having to be predacted by the evenimnothatdaftoscope), albeit a slightly weak, distracted comment on the prettiness of the pattern of her skirt (well, the cut wasn't the optimum for her), with "well, it ought to be; it cost enough". Gracious lot, aren't we?

- Oh, and never get a mediocre haircut shortly before meeting people, because, not only will the barber A. refuse to believe I can be anything but Tunisian. B. threaten to shave off all my hair on the grounds that I'm being indecisive and it'll work as well as anything else on me (yeah right, said the Dorset nose as it made plans to annex my entire head), but also the people one then meets will comment on it, saying it looks good, which leads me either to suspect they were using the adult translation of "you got haircut; you look like a coconut" (I always looked like a cross between a kiwi and a rambutan [yes, that's retrospective fruit]) or they actually meant it, in which either they don't know what a good haircut looks like, or they thought I was deliberately going for the bursting pillow look.

- Oh and should one get into an argument (well, unambiguous discussion) about going for food, somewhere cheap please, which runs over the course of about an hour as people don't move (lunch was a cox), only to then hear the dreaded words tapas-bar, it is socially, culturally and legally permissible to depart before the others arrived at the eatery-cum-teasery (they got a taxi, we walked, we beat them) on the premise of finding a Lloyds, only to discover the nearest cashpoint is in the tube station opposite a Sainsbury's currently selling reduced sandwiches, saunter in, assess which sandwiches have the greatest percentage reduction (rejecting the all-day-breakfast on the grounds that it's now night and the bacon seems to be covered in coffee-grounds making me wonder if the yellow stuff is egg or concentrated orange juice), buy two and then return to the tapas-bar via the park and happening to alight at a bench along the way, and after having consumed the sandwiches, continue to the aforementioned establishment, with occasional experimental 30-second exposures along the way, rejoining the group to find everyone's already ordered and I'll be stuck for the duration of their meal next to a guy watching the rugby, someone who has not spoken to me yet and has given no indication she intends to do so, and someone I've know for a long time and distrusted for about 3 months less. So much Wilkinson was watched by all, including the Spanish staff (it's amazing how long one can stare at cute barstaff while their attention is averted). More sangria? Oh, why not?

- And when after all this the not-dead-yet friend demands the inner coven return to the earlier bar because she's left her card behind (code for fit [in her view] barman) and then buys a bottle of champagne because it's better value than by the glass, remember to make good your public transport necessitated escape (oh, I forgot to rant about ticket offices which close because there are no trains despite the replacement bus service requiring tickets and yes the woman leaning on the ticket office counter to tell me this could very well have nipped round the back to serve me in the time that it took her to hand me a form and tell me to come back in a few hours which eventually resulted in me ringing up for a lift to a railway station that actually ran to trains thereby beating all the poor lesser-mortals waiting for a coach to get round a bend it can't fit round) immediately after draining the first glass otherwise you'll be guilt tripped into helping finish off the bottle, and as we all readily discovered champagne can not be drunk quickly and most certainly cannot be bolted, becoming instead crampain. And why does Earl's Court tube station never make sense?

- Although the somewhat inebriated state helped with the train back, which featured seat-pinching singers (I got up to answer the phone; it would appear that comments along the lines of "which number am I meant you use for you, because I've got three in three different countries and I'm not sure where any of them are" cause a variety of entertaining reactions in the surrounding eavesdroppers, which I regrettably could not fully appreciate due to trying not shout "echo!" in the face of Skype's bouts of feedback (golly, we were imaginative Scouts). Also it's probably indicative of that railway line that I got a thumbs up as I mentioned knowing we won the rugby but not having a clue about the football [not technically true, but I cared about the rugby]) who thought Johnny Cash was Scouse, liked Oasis but knew fewer words than I, the more Blur-fan if I'm anything, though that whole either-or thing was silly, sang an inaccurate second world war version of ten green bottles, which at least has the mitigating attribute that it must come to a prearranged end, and generally irked, amused, scared, bemused or flirted with the rest of the carriage. It's quite impressive the camaraderie that arises amongst the non-singers as they smirk, wince and otherwise meekly mock, all the while endeavouring to be discreet in the undermining of the raucously big guys. I even said "Night" entirely unthinkingly to the Caribbean couple in evening dress whose giggles I'd desperately been trying not to catch earlier as they alighted (and we won't mention some of their giggles were induced by me, suddenly seatless, on the phone, leaning against the nearest ledge only to discover how swing bins work). Shortly after which I loped from the train out to the queue for the replacement buses, thereby ditching the Alzheimic quaffers, bounced onto the wall to sit feet-twiddlingly, discovered the coach by the wrong sign was the one I wanted, got on grabbed a seat next to a woman of a certain yet intangible age (for she was likely to be quiet, sober and generally dull) who upon deigning to notice me said "Simply, there is someone sitting there". Realising she meant someone other than me (damned small; can't we share? I haven't felt him yet), I skipped back (verily, I did. Only in recovery from an errant umbrella though. Jolly lucky the skylight was precisely there though) grabbing an empty double and wincing as my legs attempted to push the boundaries (bloody school children sized seats). Cue merrily loud guys seating in front, dropping the seat backs back, despite them being non-adjustable, turning round to cheer the existence of someone behind them, ruffling my hair with yells of "yeah buzz-cut baby!", which as it was longer than it normally is after being cut and excessively fluffy leads me to suspect they haven't... there's only about one way to end this and it's too lewd for now. On which "ooh stubbly, ooh velvety, ooh like GA's dog, ooh that's not a good thought right now" note I think I'd better stop.

And what I actually meant to say is that if I haven't got your current address then it's not my fault if you don't get a postcard. Addresses on a postcard... er, no. Addresses in the comments... er, if you do then it's not just me you'll be getting post from. Addresses to either email address.

Really ought to pack sometime.


* They were samples; don't worry, the versions sold in the shop had been made suitably undesirable by the addition of orange piping, so it's hardly as Rohan are betraying their roots by making clothes people want to wear rather than need to wear. I just happen to be pleasingly lucky their mock-up size is the same as I am.

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