Daily Archives: March 31, 2008

p part 2

It’s just after lunchtime Monday afternoon, I’ve had a bath and eaten, slowly, for the first time in 24hrs, vegetable soup and some dry white toast. My are guts farting and whining like the shadow cabinet but right now I feel a little better, albeit tired.

On Saturday evening Myfwt picked me up and we went over to her sisters for a birthday supper with her bro-in-law, another of her sisters and the formers 2 and a half y/o nephew resplendent with a passing dose of chicken pox (I’ve had that already so am immune) made up the numbers. Myfwt bro-in-Law cooked the sea bream and squid we’d bought at Whitstable and we ate with a splendid vintage Cava and chatted about nonsense, it was a quiet evening and due to Myfwt and I being exhausted with a big day following and the fact the clocks were going forward we were in bed before midnight where neither of us slept particularly well.

I awoke feeling nunky, slightly hungover, but okay. We grabbed some coffee at 8am from Starbucks and drove to my bro and missus abode in Clapham to pick them up in order to travel to Surrey, to church. On the journey there I was aware that not all was well with my guts, oddly my bro was experiencing similar contractions. Obviously I put this down to the fact he and I were due to stand up and lie within the constraints of some religious doctrine. We had decided to do the godparents thing for the sake of the family on the understanding they were aware that whilst we’d ‘be there’ for our niece we weren’t prepared to actively encourage her to get involved in religion. We saw our godparent duties as one of respect, over and above the nonsense of god/Jesus/church et al.

By the time we arrived after 9am (fucking 9 am on a Sunday!) I began the first of many visits to the chod bin to squirt out the hellish consequence of my over enthusiastic indulgence of fresh seafood, maybe. This action was undertaken within the walls of a sacred place, it felt somehow wrong, despite my complete lack of Christian sentiment this place held some significance, it was where my parents and sister were married, where my grandparents were interred and where I and my sister and bro were Christened.

My bro and I had spent most of the run-up to the Christening winding each other up about the task in hand; we ran a real risk of getting a dreadful fit of giggling and as the service began the omens weren’t good, he and I making gestures at one another (rolling back eyes as if possessed, waggling tongues, devils horns etc.,) for the sole purpose of causing the other to crack up.

I’d not been to a church service since I was 14, the place hadn’t changed at all, it seemed smaller but all the same faces were present albeit older. It was rather unsettling. The vicar kicked off proceedings, he wished my dad a happy birthday and we sung Jerusalem (written by William Blake, a chap who didn’t subscribe to traditional Christianity) and then talked an utter load of twaddle about Man being made from sand and having life breathed into it or something, it really was drivel and didn’t exactly do much to assuage a certain degree of guilt I was feeling about having to publicly exclaim my supposed support for all this nonsense.

Then suddenly my bro and I were up, stood facing the congregation, denouncing satan and the devil -the vicar fluffed up the word ‘evil’ at one point and my bro who was sharing the shit sheet from which we reading shuddered in order to control a fit of hysteria, I bit hard into my lip and coughed, I was on the verge of losing control, it was horrific. According to his missus my mouth was concertinaing as I desperately tried to maintain a grip on my dignity, I even considered feigning fainting to give myself some breathing space. After what seemed like an age we followed the cross down to font where my niece, who was herself suffering from a cold, stoically allowed the vicar to pour water on her head and cross her forehead with anointing oil, the latter action we all had to repeat, the horizontal bar on my cross was over her eyebrows. After more hymns and communion which I was expected to take (I felt very uncomfortable about that too) the service finally finished nearly and hour and half after it had begun. On the plus side my parents and sister seemed pleased enough, Myfwt apparently rather enjoyed the experience and my bro and I were delighted we’d come through it without embarrassing ourselves or the family, all of which helped to sate my feelings of hypocrisy.

Following coffee and a few more cigarettes and evacuations it was time for Dad’s birthday lunch which was inextricably linked to my nieces Christening. The venue was the church hall, another place I’d not frequented since I was a teenager. Mum had worked very hard, she’d decorated the place and organised food for over 60 people and my bro-in-law had heroically sorted the booze. Most of the guests were church types and friends that I’d not seen in years, Myfwt, my bro and his missus were seated with my godmother and my sisters godfather, both genuinely nice people, the latter a true eccentric who I like a lot.

We helped with the spread and sat down to eat, by now I knew something was wrong because I didn’t feel at all like drinking and despite the food I wasn’t feeling remotely hungry, I ate purely out of need thinking that this is what I required to help recovery. The afternoon passed slowly, despite enjoying myself on paper I wasn’t feeling at all well. We ran through the speeches (mine went down very well) but from here on in everything starts to become vague. I was still shitting through the eye of a needle every 30 mins but had also noticed that my stomach was bloated and aching much more than good old-fashioned bellywhack, I felt pathetically weak and my entire body had begun to ache.

I helped tidy up which seemed to take an age, it was now obvious that not all wasn’t well in the P camp, I’d become visibly pale and even moving was painful, like my whole body was made from red raw cock meat.

After clearing up the inner family sanctum went back to the folks for a nice cup of tea. I was aware that my usual exuberance was distinctly lacking and I was now actually feeling sick. When actually ill I’m quite good I’m pretending I’m fine right up until I’m not. I decided I wasn’t fine after saying goodbye to mum, dad, sister, bro-in-law and niece, getting in the car with Myfwt, my bro and his missus and just before setting off, opening the passenger door and laying a good 2 pints of my stomach over the fucking road at some volume, then some more, and then another lot.

I was dragged back indoors feeling better in one respect but still weaker than a crack whores fanny, I then began to shake somewhat and within 20 minutes was upstairs laying more ex-grub in my parents loo. I was put to bed in my old bedroom by Myfwt feeling like a zombie, my guts were in turmoil and I was shaking viciously, it was worse than the plague, really. Everything hurt, despite needing to be sick again I really couldn’t be arsed to make it to the loo, Myfwt helped me there a few more times to rub my back whilst I barked at the bog water before I finally passed out in bed emptier than a burst balloon and shaking like a stevens.

As I slept, Myfwt drove my bro and his missus back to Clapham, dropped off at my flat to get me a change of clothes before driving back to my parents. A good 3 hours worth of travelling. By the time she arrived back at 9.30 I was feeling better, by no means recovered, but enough to be able to survive a car journey without disgracing myself. Myfwt stopped off to get me some bum fodder and soup and I got back home at 10.30 feeling like a used colostomy bag.

I managed to watch the MotoGP, which I’d taped and email work to tell them I wouldn’t be making their acquaintance the following morning. Apart from shitting myself in the middle of the night, clearly an ill managed fart, I’ve had no more drama. In addition to writing this the day has been spent sleeping, operating the washing machine and half watching TV. I’m feeling better but have no idea if work will happen tomorrow, put it this way, if I’m still like this it’ll be another day at home resting up.

I’m still trying to work out the cause of this malaise, using Myfwt and my bro as food-poisoning placebos it seems that it was something I ate that they didn’t, no idea what though, or I’ve either contracted some bug or other.

Btw, if this reads like more bollocks than usual please remember that I’m not firing on all cylinders.

p part 1…

I was home by lunch on Friday, I chucked a few items into my rucksack and waited for Myfwt to arrive, which she did, late of course. The journey back from the office was undertaken in vicious pissing rain, by the time Myfwt arrived at the flat the rain was still cheerlessly hammering London, this didn’t bode well for a trip to the seaside but we’d accepted that, the thought of eating oysters under a brolly watching a cold grey sheet of open water chewing at the coastline still held a subdued thrill. We set off.

It took a long time to get out of London, it seems that the entire road network had a turd of a bulldozer sat by an open pit requiring achingly slow traffic lights to allow the traffic to creep past, of course, not a stroke of work was being done, I guessed the labourers were all sat in cafés round mugs of steaming hot tea discussing football and porn I shouldn’t wonder. Disgraceful. It took over an hour to exit the city and settle onto the A2 before we made any progress. Disgraceful. Disgr- oh forget it…

The rain had subsided and the sun made itself known, it was blustery (of course) but the nearer we got to our destination the more clement the weather, this was all turning out to be rather jolly don’t you know.

I’ve no idea why I’ve not visited Whitstable before, not as an adult anyway, my mum assured me we all went in some brown-flared Sunday in the 1970’s but I have no recollection of the place. It’s a small town nestled on the Kent coast near Canterbury and resides happily in the England past of tearooms and butchers and model shops, ‘multiculturalism’ exists in the form of one Chinese restaurant and a miserable place boasting ‘Peking Cuisine’. You could starve to death of a Sunday.

We checked in at the hotel that faced the broad Spartan beach, itself locked in a Hammer Horror timewarp which I found oddly enticing, the room was clean, antiquated and cosy, we dumped our luggage and immediately headed for the bar, it was 6pm after all. It was still bright outside; the sound of the sea hissed in the background and the occasional seagull skidded overhead in the baby blue sky under a random gathering of plump white cloud, it was fucking well nice. Myfwt sipped a G&T and I inhaled a couple of pints of Early Bird, Shepherds Neam is the local brewery and I have to congratulate them on a beer that is nearly as good as one of the Young’s fellows back in the smoke.

The bar was a dingy affair, brown with brass fixtures (the latter aspect included the female staff), overseen by a clearly under active landlord with a pin head and thick grey locks. The atmosphere was one of latent depression and broken dreams but, like the hotel room, congenial with a peculiar comfort to it. The bar began to fill with people dressed conscientiously in dinner jackets and dickies, their clucking wife’s hauled themselves beside them all permatan and slap stinking of brandless perfume and looking vaguely repugnant. It was time to go.

Myfwt and I left to walk the half-mile up the coast to an Oyster restaurant, we were in excellent cheer and arrived in a large room set with round tables under low sedate lighting. After ordering a disappointing Pinot Gris (bit too sweet but very drinkable) Myfwt and I took Oysters, frankly the reason we chose Whitstable as our destination as it’s renown for it’s seafood, in particular it’s Oysters and she had 6 raw and I had 3 large chaps cooked with spinach and cheese, I’d never eaten cooked oysters before but by thunder I shall again, they were fucking amazing. For main Myfwt had smoked eel on toast, it’s like bacon and is quite sublime, with scallops and a side of salad. I opted for half a lobster and potato salad. Whilst excellent the starter had set a high benchmark and I sort of wished I ordered the crab, this was just a question of being spoilt for choice of course as I think it was finest seafood I’ve eaten.

We tottered back the hotel making idiotic use of our ridiculous camera phones and returned to our seats in the bar and drunk possibly one of the most dreadful bottles of wine I’ve ever tasted, Myfwt gave up and opted for a Rose, I persevered like the trooper I am, the evening faded off into giggles and drunken sincerity and we took the spooky climb to bed yonder. I awoke at 5.30am in blazing sunshine all over my bloated face and again at 7.00 in much the same condition, Myfwt and I struggled until10.15 before finally dressing and checking out.

It was Myfwt b’day, a beautiful sunny day, reasonably warm and bathed in glorious light, the ochre sandbanks were visible under the now calm cornflower blue sea and we stepped onto the brightly shorn pebble beach and rifled among the chrome and sunshine coloured stones like children. We drove up the marine drive to eat oysters and winkles in the fish market, took tea in a little café on the high street and wandered into quaint little shops amidst the subdued bustle of the townsfolk. It had a friendly atmosphere if a little parochial but maintains a sort of innocence to the consumerism of the 21st century. Save two small department stores Whitstable is populated by local shops run by and for local people, one doesn’t feel quite like an outsider but the residents seem to have an agenda that differed from ours, one suspects (patronisingly) they may not fully appreciate their environment as we, as tourists, did on that bright spring morning.

Before leaving we bought chips (cooked in dripping as they should, they were unbelievably good) that we ate in the cool sea air finally buying some fresh fish to take back to London. It was rather strange that 20 minutes into the journey home the heavens opened and we were plunged into a sublimated grey fug and forced to take precaution in the driving rain, our hangovers drained from us we travelled home and by the time we arrived the whole seaside experience felt rather ethereal and intangible, almost as if we’d not left our dwellings but had awoken from a wonderful interactive dream. My Myfwt dropped me off to prepare for the evening and I was once alone feeling mildly confused, annoyed almost to be back and feeling the early twinges of hindsight.

NB. The above was written late saturday pm. On sunday I got fucking ill, p part 2 with all the gory details to follow. I’m still not 100% so bear with…