Since Saturday night I’ve not been right ‘downstairs.’ Not ‘downstairs’ front, no, round the back. Put it this way, my stools are loose to the point of petrol; my stomach feels like the Okefenokee Swamp made of knives, though I’m not feeling ill per se, which suggests this is something I ate.
On Friday I met IC in a bar at 7.15 in Shoreditch, recently opened I was a little apprehensive that it would be heaving with twats; on the contrary the place was virtually empty. If it wasn’t for IC and I, a few members of staff (twats they were) it would’ve been shut and it was perfectly clear why. The Art Nouveauesque décor had something of a1930’s cruise ship thing going on, the faux opulence made it feel cheap and the funky/soul/jazz music was both awful and baffling causing all these shit elements to collide shitly. In short, it didn’t work. It was wrong and tasteless, so we left.
We then went to dinner, a vegetarian restaurant in a sort of oriental fusion style. The wine was pricey but the food excellent. Doubtless you’re now expecting me to report of stomach issues. On the contrary the food slipped out the following morning like whisper-propelled chipolatas. I felt fine.
Saturday was the first fine day of the year. It was warm enough to wear a t-shirt in places and the sun was shining like Jack Torrance. IC and I walked up the Regent Canal from a packed Broadway market from where we had purchased a tiny over-priced ‘olive and feta’ tart (it turned out to be tasteless fucking quiche) and some German bread. An hour later as we arrived at Angel I was still bloody fine gutwise, so was IC, so it wasn’t that either.
London felt properly spring-like, winter seemed to have passed and the prospect of more light and warmth took its toll, the mood of the city responded and a sort of calmness prevailed. We shot back an Espresso at a bar and took a bus to Clerkenwell where a hair appointment had been arranged for me. IC’s flatmate Mary is a hairdressing savant and she shorn me of my locks to my exacting specs, I entered looking like I’d recently come out of psychiatric care and left like one of Depeche Mode.
Back at IC’s gaff via Tesco it was all hands to the pump. Mary was cooking dinner for 8 so I sat around on my soon to be exploding arse as activity took place around me. The guests arrived and the boozing began in earnest, then the food arrived. In addition to her skills as a hairdresser Mary is a brilliant cook. The first course of quail on a glazed pear, walnut and stilton salad is the sort of stuff one expects at fine eateries and it was superb. This was followed by mussels on a rich fish Bouibaise, tasty and clever, with a goat’s cheese chessecake for pudding topped with a sweet berry sauce. Half way through this course my stomach turned as tight as a timpani drum and I conceded defeat to the point that further drinking required effort. Despite this me, IC and a couple of guests stayed up until 4am having rather meaningful conversations about family punctuated by bouts of (careful) hysterics.
I got up at Sunday lunchtime my stomach singing like Lee Marvin after a dozen bucket bongs. IC was feeling the same. Quite honestly we concluded that we’d simply eaten too much the previous evening, I maintain this theory is correct though I feel the symptoms were perpetuated by an over indulgence of sugar. Whilst exceptional the pudding course was sweeter than Hannah Montana dipped in Tupelo honey and beaten to death (whilst the beating to death doesn’t make it sweeter it would make me feel a whole lot better) and the dressing on the starter salad would’ve given Tate and Lyle diabetes.
After things had ‘settled’ (I’d switched the Gaggia off) we took public transport back to Tooting. It took fucking hours, the Northern Line was up the spout and it was getting dusk before we even climbed on board the Black Bitch and headed out to visit my folks. We raced there, had tea and one of mums severe rock cake, was given some bad news about my Granddad before shooting back.
The weekend passed away with a tentative salmon and haddock tart and TV. A proportion of the evening took place barking on the toilet, which is precisely where I’m off to now.
Great song, awful video…