Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Tips, trips, chips ...

My multi-talented sister Clare is off to London to pursue her musical ambitions. She’ll be living in Hampstead the lucky bleeder and has a gig in Soho the night she arrives. It’s all just too exciting for words and my poor Mum is going to miss her terribly but success beckons, I just know it, I‘m tipping her for stardom. Check out her music and tell me I’m wrong.

I haven’t just been house-bound myself, oh no. Two trips away in two weekends thankyou very much, the first to see Sarah, Jono and the Georgeous Georgeling, Squire of Mond Street, Barnton. See, I can and do exist outside the M postcode barrier (minor anxiety … passing). The original plan for the day was for the more intrepid and let’s face it nerdier boys to go off bird-watching in the local wilderness while the rest of us head for the heated outdoor pool up the road and drink margaritas from a Thermos. I was in the latter gang, obviously. The rain soon put paid to our side of the fun and when we got to the spa the lifeguard was wearing a polo neck and jeans. Say no more. He gave me a withering look when I yelled, ‘Oh look! A squirrel!’ as if I’d never been off tarmac before.

We had a terrific day though, managed a dry-ish walk through the woods and along the lake, then a fantastic and elaborate summer meze meal prepared by Sarah which was just divine followed by a boozy evening watching DVDs of You’ve Been Framed and cheating at some electronic trivia game. Woken by a strange high-pitched chattering outside the window which turned out to be ‘birds’. The Council should move them on ...

Jaunt number 2 was even further afield, in fact abroad, to Newborough Beach on Anglesey for Charlotte’s 30th birthday. We made an emergency detour to Beaumaris when the weather threatened to confine us to an antiques fair for the entire day but then the sun peeked out and we dived back in the car. By the time we hit the sands it was a glorious if blustery day. Charlotte, Neil and I swam in the freezing, sea-weed infested sea and I felt amazing afterwards, the cobwebs and the grime blown clean away. I was not happy to get back to the city. I could write about postmodern urban anxiety from a cottage on the Welsh coast couldn’t I?

Special mention must be made for the horrible meal I subjected myself to at Kro Bar. Their vegetarian selection is weak at the best of times and given it was a drizzly and grim day I opted for the hearty and nourishing-sounding Danish Vegetable Hash. It transpired that this was cubes of par-boiled potato and carrot in a ‘sauce’ that was basically melted butter with pepper in with three slices of crinkle-cut pickled beetroot from a jar on the side. Grim. That plus chips and water cost me a tenner. Pretty disgraceful I’d say. Give it a wiiiide birth if you’re hungry.

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