Social Extravaganza

Its not all doom and gloom round here, despite it all. A long week has been topped off with not one, but two evenings out with friends – so it’s not surprising I’m feeling shattered today.

Friday night we were out with the motley crew from the local gym – or at least those hardy souls who brave the various classes each week. The local Chinese restaurant echoed to laughter and chatter all evening, and many calories will have to burned off in consequence. I may be protesting too loudly there.

Then last night we finally caught back up with Sir S and Lady W in a pub not far from Waterloo station. He’s been utterly caught up in his opera courses and shows, while Lady W has been completing her studies, so this was our first real chance to catch up in some time.

As an ex-chef, Sir S always has an eye on the food in the places we visit, so it should come as no surprise to hear that the apparently spit and sawdust pub he introduced us to had some of the best burgers I’ve had in quite a while.

We stayed until almost the last train home and stumbled home in a refreshingly light rain through the deserted Sunbury streets.

I’m exhausted, but for a change its for a good reason.

Served by the Warlord

And so another #Tuesday has rattled by, fuelled by beer, slightly cramped musicians, and a lightly bedraggled pub dog called Bailey.

There weren’t many of us in there tonight. At one point the band outnumbered the patrons, and I was glad of the rings on my fingers clattering loudly as I clapped the table top in applause.

Even so, the various Ladies M (ex-, current and honourary) were in fine form, discussing bra fittings, the power of Baby Groot, and how well the Charleesi is doing in preparation for her A Levels. 

It was so quiet – in terms of customers rather than volume – that our irrepressible landlord began to serve us at the table; and a fateful message relaying key events to Mre B was hit by the joys of Autocorrect. In an instant, our landlord was transformed into our warlord. 

Oh it's that time is it?

As he was handing out lollipops at the time, this has now become immortalised on social media as being “that time of the night when the warlord hands out lollipops”

Derek may never live this down as we will be using his name in vain for quite some time. Derek the Warlord has a certain charming ring to it, and I’m sure he will turn up as a character somewhere, either on game night or in a story. We may even explain the joke some time…

So, not the most riotous night, despite the near ignition of Lady M’s bag, the near-licking face-off, or the attempts by the band to get their own back, but as ever a great milestone in what has been a weird day and entertaining week.

Laughter Is Definitely The Best Medicine

inspiredSo, last night we went back out for #Tuesday, gathering around us the usual crowd of reprobates and trouble-makers to pretend to listen to some music while unwinding from the chaos of life. I was on driving duties because, let’s face it, I wasn’t going to even try to justify getting between Lady M and a couple of pints of beer.

The upside is that I have perfect recall of everything that happened last night, and will be leveraging this knowledge mercilessly for as long as it’s funny.

Lady M and I were joined by Lord Danger and Sir S, and in the spirit of shenanigans and partial gallantry we swiftly rescued the ex-Lady M and Lady G from the conversations in which they were enmeshed. As they came across to join us, I could see musicians flinching in anticipation of a loud night to come. How could we disappoint them? By the time we reached the half-way point in the evening, there were quiet appeals from the frazzled musicians, who claimed to be unable to hear themselves play over the sound of an increasingly tipsy opera singer, the Ladies, and the occasional bemused smirk from myself and Lord Danger (who was regaling us with tales of his own return to work this week).

These appeals of course, in the style of school children around the world, provoked the sort of semi-hushed giggling and pretence of compliance hated by teachers wherever attempts at quelling hilarity are encountered. Out of deference to Lady G, who has to live with one of the aforementioned musicians, we did tone it down – a bit.

Rowdy, bawdy, and generally heavily invested in just having a good night out, it was definitely the spirited tonic we needed. Roll on next week…


Celebratory Sidestep

We fought our way up into London yesterday evening, despite the best efforts of South West Trains, to join G+A for A’s birthday. It’s one of those culturally important birthdays involving a 3 and a zero, and A had resolved to confront this with the application of copious amounts of alcohol. By the time we got there, the assembled miscreants were several rounds of drinks in, so the atmosphere was convivial.

The journey itself was a bit grim. I tend to get a bit anxious about getting to places on time, so I was already a bit antsy before the train rerouted to avoid engineering works and it filled up with people also heading up into town. I had invited Lady P to come join us too, but she hadn’t felt up to it. Right then, I began to think she’d made the sensible decision.


Bright young things mingled with drunken Scots men talking non-bloody-stop about football and hiring retired professionals to play in Sunday pub league games. There was the traditional idiot sharing his music with the train through his phone without the aid of headphones, and someone had opened a window somewhere to let the sub-zero night air in. Perhaps someone had farted. I found the sheer babble overwhelming and I was relieved when most of them buggered off at Clapham.

A very brisk ten minute walk got us to the pub on Blackfriars Bridge, and I remembered the last time I’d been there: my youngest brother’s legendary stag night pub crawl with him dressed as a dragon and the rest of us in full LARP armour as knights. I was pretty sure we didn’t get barred, and it was a good excuse to reminisce with G as we got drinks sorted. That event, nearly four years ago, had taken us from Waterloo on a meandering course towards the South Bank and Tower Hill and on to a mediaeval banquet. Tonight was far too cold outside, and the food and drink was good – particularly the Wadworths Chilli and Chocolate beer at 5.5%.

As we wound down the evening, there came the traditional moment where the emotional birthday girl got a bit scared of turning 30. The relative youngsters there commiserated with her, and then those of us who have been there, done that and worn the T-shirt so long it fell apart, told her to stop worrying and shared how much fun she was about to have now she was entering her prime – in particular the confidence to be who she was rather than how others may have defined her.

It’s advice I wish on some levels I’d had at her age, though given the depressive spiral I was in at the time I almost certainly wouldn’t have listened. It’s only really been the last four or five years that I’ve been well enough and comfortable enough in my own skin to take life on, so I do have empathy with her moment of existential horror. By way of contrast, I amused myself while waiting for a taxi by reading the Charleesi’s answers on Tumblr to a series of questions. They revealed a young lady who is far more self assured and confident than I ever was at her age

If its Wednesday, I must have been out last night

So last night we went out – for what seems the first time in a while. Technically it hasn’t been a while as we went to see the new Harry Potter film last week, but this is the first time in quite a while that we’ve gathered ourselves together and gone out up to London after work for an evening.

The event, to give it even more cachet, was to see a friend perform stand-up in a room above the Comedy Pub just off Piccadilly Circus. It was part of a course she’s been on, rather than a paying gig, but there were members of the public there so it counts.

We’d a vague idea that some of our long and rambling and frequently bawdy conversation would make it into the material, but when V approached us a little sheepishly before going on and said: “now guys, bear in mind I lie on stage” I figured we were in for a treat. I make a point of not being ashamed of anything I say or do – or to use “counselling speak” of owning my words and actions – so I have no problem with things being reused by people – especially when it makes them laugh.

The whole evening was compered by the course tutor – and of course being sat front and centre we got targeted for some good-natured banter and feel we gave as well as we got: having been together for over two years now and still holding hands in public (!) we seemed to be something of an amazement to people…

And then V was on stage and lamenting the state of her non-existent sex life – which for someone as private and gentle as she is was a major leap in the dark. I do wonder if the sudden urge to present the latter half of her set in profile was down to embarassment though.

Some people were more polished than others – and we had a gatecrash by Gavin Inskip talking about the dark arts of pre-recording continuity announcements for BBC3 and Channel 5 as part of his set – but all in all it was a good night out

So yes – a nice cheap night out and good to get out of the flat to scare the tourists who were overly intent on gathering around “Eros”

Its made today’s washing and hoovering seem rather mundane really…