We ordered a bottle of the house red, some rather green olives and bruschetta with goats cheese and peppers. It all showed up disconcertingly quickly, our waiter appearing to have magicked the olives out of thin air in front of our very eyes. I panicked at his apparent sorcery - this wasn't in the remit of a business lunch, for crying out loud! Vic pointed to the "Bread and olives" counter that was about a yard from us and I relaxed. For our main course she had some sort of gorgonzola pasta bacon thing that was beautifully presented and I took something off the specials board that I couldn't pronounce but was described as "Boar meat wrapped in egg pasta". That's exactly what it was. No trimmings. no sauce to speak of. Nothing. Just furry angry pig mince ravioli. It was eleven quid. There were eleven bits. THAT'S A QUID A FUCKING SQUARE. I know I try not to swear in this blog (unlike in real life) but that was a liberty. It was relatively tasty, but it wasn't eleven quid tasty. I couldn't have justified it if I had thought the chef had raised his own chickens, collected their eggs and then rode out into the forests of Hertfordshire to hunt and capture the boar.
I digress - we finished the mains and ordered a tiramisu to share for dessert. It appeared almost as quickly as the olives but Vic failed to point out a "Tiramisu island" so I could at least put the arrival of the pudding down to witchcraft, if not the starter. It was bloody lovely and we made it disappear even quicker than it had arrived. We paid up and left. I suggested going for a drink in a number of different establishments that Vic rejected out of hand for one reason or another and so we went where she wanted to go, which was (in my opinion) the over-priced and boring Cafe Rouge. It was overpriced and boring. We finally got around to (briefly) talking about what we had met up to talk about - namely, the possibility of me putting on a burlesque and cabaret night in her (newly refurbished) barn extension thingy in June. Basically, I can. We stayed until 6pm and I dropped her off at Halsey's for some sort of a fund raising meeting and spent the next hour wishing they had been having a fund raising meeting for me as I very quickly dispatched over £50 in the fruit machines of The Hart and The Cock as I idled an hour waiting for my mate Tim to show up for part two of my day. I haven't played a fruit machine for years (I used to be a little addicted to say the least). What appears to have happened in that time is that they've gone up in price and I don't know what I'm doing on them any more. Fortunately Tim arrived before I handed the barman my shirt.
We sped away in his (rather preposterous) white VW Scirocco and headed up to the sink estate where he currently resides, known locally as "Beirut". A curious place to park a sports car but (touch wood) it's come to no harm so far. He had said he couldn't really drink so I had bought a bottle of wine and eight cans of Boddingtons. When we got in to the flat the first thing he offered me was home brew. He clearly was able to drink. The Home Brew was gorgeous (if a little lively) and we got down to the real reason I was in Hitchin - he had been agreeing to edit down some live clips of a gig I did in Southampton before Christmas for at least a month and we had finally got round to being free the same night. We had a right laugh going through them and also talked about a lot of things that I suspect we shouldn't really have talked to each other about.
The booze had clearly loosened our tongues and then the takeaway curry we ordered did the same to our bowels. I normally eat (relatively healthily) at home. The last seven days have been a whirlwind of take aways and restaurants as I have bon viveur ed up to the max like some sort of bearded Lord Byron. At the end of the night I decided to finally save a bit of money and rather than get a cab home I opted to take the twenty minute walk through disused waste ground past burnt out lorries, needles and the homeless to the station to get the customary late night (free) train home. I did - and then got a cab from the station but it was cold, I was tired... and I was going to need the loo very very quickly.
(if you'd like to have a look at any of my youtube videos, they're here: Some clips of me being a bit funny )