I nearly died yesterday on a stairwell, that’s right, died. On a stairwell.
My boss and I had a lunch meeting in Covent Garden so we took the sodding District Line to the preferred station and alighted. Covent Garden is serviced by lifts from the underground to the street and whilst my battle with claustrophobia has been fought and won on the tube, this doesn’t extend to lifts, they remain an insurmountable bastard.
Of course, having been recently acquainted with the gym I gamely opted to take the stairs and, flying past the safety warnings and less athletic tubers, I bounced upwards towards the surface two steps at a time. I didn’t really notice the fact I was running out of breath until I realised I simply had none left in my lungs. And no matter how much I gulped at the humid air no more seemed to be going into the desired area. It wasn’t like being a bit puffed after running; this was if my air sacks had been replaced by polyfilla. For 30 horrific seconds I genuinely wondered if this was it.
By now all pretence that I was casually ‘hanging about’ waiting for a less agile mate to catch up was far away, so, clinging to the metal banister, I opted for leaning forward like a regurgitating vulture, eyeballs exploding, trying to bite air out of the surrounding atmosphere as those I’d previously passed sauntered wilfully by. Even after I’d made some headway in getting oxygen to the vital areas I still had to carry on. Almost as soon as I’d taken a few steps to the surface I was back in the same situation, this horrific battle to remain alive went on all the way to the summit, by the time I flopped out into the sunshine I was ghost-white (according to my MD) with inoperative legs and shaking like I’d just been bummed by Take That.
After a full recovery lunch was a jolly affair; I had lots of meat and wine, which did a good job of seeing off the afternoon and the horrors contained in the office on my eventual return. I had to take public transport home so I grabbed some ingredients for a fisherman pie between stops to my flat.
IC has her mum and sis over from Italy, the pie was my attempt to introduce them to a classic ‘English dish’ that tasted of something. The Italian fare I was being fed in Italy over Christmas had set a very high benchmark and I was keen to impress, though I was advised not to use salmon or mustard making my task a little more arduous.
By 8.30 the food was prepared and I was rather chuffed with the results. I’d opted for smoked haddock, cod, king prawns, squid and mussels for the ‘fish’ part, a simple béchamel sauce with fresh thyme for the, well, sauce, and had creamed the spuds with butter and milk before topping the whole lot off with handful of good old British cheddar, mature naturally.
I took the pie up with some watercress (I was keen to see this ‘English’ theme through) and served The Mobsters after a good round of ‘Ciaos.’ I lucked out, they all loved it, the proof of my success being in second servings, in spite of IC’s concerns, even the humble watercress was a winner.
The Mob are here until Tuesday so my weekend revolves cheerfully around them. But this entails a rather unpleasant aspect as well, if you wish to discover what the fuck that is, or are keen to read about some of the more congenial parts of this Bank Holiday weekend, please do tune in on Tuesday. Or don’t. Do I stutter? No, I jolly well don’t.
Look, Gerry’s holiday chart, and a tune below…
NO. ARTIST SONG TITLE LAST WEEK WEEKS ON
30 Chemical Brothers Swoon NE 1
29 Plan B She Said 22 8
28 Dommin My Heart, Your Hands 21 12
27 Muse Neutron Star Collision NE 1
26 Lostprophets For He’s A Jolly Good Felon 17 9
25 LCD Soundsystem Drunk Girls 23 3
24 Marina And The Diamonds I Am Not A Robot 29 2
23 Amy MacDonald Spark 19 4
22 Band Of Horses Compliments 16 5
21 Pendulum Watercolour 11 6
20 Liars Scissor 12 10
19 Avenged Sevenfold Nightmare NE 1
18 Hole Skinny Little Bitch 20 4
17 Dead Weather Die By The Drop 15 5
16 Rob Zombie War Zone 24 2
15 Funeral Party NYC moves to the sound of LA NE 1
14 The Pretty Reckless Make Me Wanna Die NE 1
13 Biffy Clyro Bubbles 9 7
12 Band Of Skulls Death by diamonds and pearls 13 5
11 Bullet For My Valentine The Last Fight 6 8
10 Foals This Orient 8 6
9 We Are Scientists Nice Guys 18 2
8 Them Crooked Vultures Mind Eraser, No Chaser 10 4
7 The Temper Trap Science Of Fear 3 5
6 Two Door Cinema Club Something Good Can Work 4 6
5 The Courteeners Take Over The World 7 5
4 The Hurts Better Than Love 14 2
3 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster Love Turns To Hate 5 4
2 Rammstein Haifisch 2 4
1 The King Blues Headbutt 1 6