Sunday, March 18, 2007

Boys are boys

Alcohol intake this weekend. Zero. (not including Friday night)
Alcohol intake last weekend. Enough to sink a battleship.

Lunch on Saturday with pal D who wants swift one to tell me about the breakdown of relationship, imminent new flat and what he's planning to cook for boys lunch following day. 7 rum and cokes later he's still talking and it's 5pm. He's cooking for 6 that night but I'll be lucky if I make it home, having drunk superior red wine by the glass, drink for drink with pal D.
Do make it home to the chagrin of pal F (for female) who quizzes me on the afternoon's whereabouts knowing full well that pal D is Trouble.
Make dinner, I think, drink more wine and have to go to sleep by 11.
Rise late. Don't buy papers, read headlines online and flick through Skynews. Pal D's boys lunch looms and pal F is not overly happy knowing that yesterday was just a trial run. Escape and jump on bus having raided offie and set sail with Observer on lap and the moving panorama of West London on all sides of top deck. Good. We move for about 10 minutes then stop.
Chelsea have been playing Spurs and are coming out (d'oh! numbnuts) and we grind to a halt. No point in exiting bus (no buses, no taxis, no tube) so sit and read Obs. It takes nearly an hour to crawl around Fulham Broadway. Wish to eat Obs now rather than read it. Chelsea fans everywhere (except on bus, they're too smart).
Well into the second hour we're still in Fulham. I am agitated, obviously, but the other six people on the top deck, who are from Poland are clearly enjoying the day judging by the number of photographs they're taking. Now more than politely late and text pal D to explain. Turns out there's another playmate on another bus suffering the same fate so not so bad then.
Make it to Knightsbridge. Brompton Road totally locked solid, both directions. No real alternative here either so sit for further 45 mins.
Eventually give up and get off (annoyingly cannot ask for money back) and hail cab who informs me that because of some football match or other, the whole of West London has ground to a halt. I said I knew that already and gave him permission to reach W9 by any route he likes as long as it doesn't involve traffic.
We sit stationary in Hyde Park for 20 minutes, listening to the meter slowly tick, trying not to watch.
Get to lunch at 4.45pm, twenty five pounds poorer, and slightly hungry. Everyone is pissed, having watched the rugby, opened the wine, but delayed the grub.
Food served - deep fried salt cod fritters followed by slowcooked shoulder of lamb, yum! - but wolfed in a blur, this being an all male affair and no need for ceremony or polite conversation. Can talk with mouth full, lick knife, have kitchen salt on table. One bottle declared corked but vino consumed as if there's no tomorrow (don't worry, there won't be) until we run out and adjourn to pub over road which has just been bought by Gordon Ramsay, the logic apparently being that if you can get thirty people in a day for a £7 pub lunch (that's £210 right?) then all you have to do is get 10 people in for a £20 Gordon Ramsay style publunch and you're away! Mmmmm. Possibly.
More pals arrive. No-one has got any money so cards are being used. We are collectively, politely, jokily pissed as a bag of newts. Time to go. But we don't.
Back to pal D for more, and more. No money, no idea what time it is. Share cab and agree price of £15 before we set off with driver. Pal P demands to be taken home first as he's "up" in the morning. Get to his gaff then Polish driver demands another £15 . I remonstrate. He does too. Call controller who answers question "How much to take from SW3 tio SW6?" which is of course a trick question as we had agreed a single price for entire journey. postcodes are cheating at this time of night.
Controller sides with driver and since I have no more dosh, there are no cash points, words of a less than polite nature are exchanged and I get out and walk. Furious. Bastard.
However, two mile walk home has desirable effect and, despite the lateness of the hour, arrive back quietly and tiptoe up to bed, not awaking pal F.

Until following morning when pal F does same and after silencing alarm radio, leaves me to sleep soundly for several hours until way, way past start time. Dammit.

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