Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Catch Up

It was Fisher's birthday on the 24th, which we spent organising 'nedding' stuff (Sister HATES that name, so naturally I am now using it as often as possible) in a very exciting, positive manner. All our requests, barring a couple, were given the go-ahead ... but, look behind you! Yes! That's the upper limit of our budget vanishing into the distance.

Some thought must be given to the cost of this thing. Either that or I need to earn some money. Anyone want to give me a job? Bearing in mind, of course, that I'm pretty much good for nothing and that anything I ever did learn I have now forgotten. Fisher keeps saying "just write a book" - like that's easy and not something I've been frickin' TRYING to do! Bah. She knows nothing of art.

Friday night saw the arrival of all our lovely mates, barring Janus who is in Japan having, I hope, a lovely time. We went to L'Orient in St Andrews for Japanese/Thai food. I had a beef curry that was delicious, and perfectly spicy. Koios, in that "I'm so hard" way the English have when eating hot food, claimed it "wasn't spicy at all" but if she'd been eating all of it I'm pretty sure she'd have been sniffing and dribbling by the end of it. It got considerably warmer as you went on! Very good, though. I sat next to Phid and Pro which, apart from watching (and listening!) in astonishment as Pro literally sucked up all his food, was delightful. Good company, the pair of them, and despite the fact Pro called me Frank Carson all night, owing to my propensity to crack rubbish puns, he was one to talk! Mr Crap Joke himself! And a right giggle, too.

Back at Holly Frot, we had birthday cheesecake, chatted, drank a bit and had a chilled evening before going to bed on the back of a rousing 'A Man's a Man for A' That' in honour of Robbie Burns. It's by far my favourite poem of his, so just in case there are any readers out there who don't know it:

Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an' a' that;
The coward slave-we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that.
Our toils obscure an' a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The Man's the gowd for a' that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hodden grey, an' a that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man's a Man for a' that:
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel show, an' a' that;
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that;
Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a cuif for a' that:
For a' that, an' a' that,
His ribband, star, an' a' that:
The man o' independent mind
He looks an' laughs at a' that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an' a' that;
But an honest man's abon his might,
Good faith, he maunnae fur a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their dignities an' a' that;
The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth,
Are higher rank than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a' that,)
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an' a' that.
For a' that, an a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That Man to Man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.

Nice, hm?

Next day, I woke up with a hangover, which I found deeply, deeply unfair as I'd not actually drunk very much. Ok, we had a cocktail at the Japanese place, and a few beers, but certainly not enough to put a head on me - or so I believe. I dragged myself from my pit at the slovenly hour of 10.30 (ishg) to find, joyously, the only other people up were Phid and Wheeler who'd taken the guest dogs out and generally been forced to entertain themselves.

I sent Fisher out to the butcher to get lamb and we had a Saturday roast. I managed to screw up the gravy right royally, but there were enough juices to get by (just). I did my usual thing - stuffed garlic and rosemary into the flesh in little cuts, then basted the roast with a vodka and redcurrant jelly glaze about 20 mins before taking out. This is actually what screwed up the gravy. I got bored of glazing and just poured the mixture over the joint, which meant it all pooled into the bottom of the tin, burned and ruined the meat juices. Pah. I'll know better next time. Anyway, Fisher did her usual magic with the roasties (nobody gets them crisper or fluffier) and I heard no complaints. Unfortunately, Wheeler had to head back to town before lunch, and Spartan was busy with Cult duties (the BBs, he assures me, is not a cult, but what are we supposed to think when it takes up every Friday night? What else but passionate devotion to a slightly freaky cause could possibly cause a man of 29 to give up his Friday night?) so he couldn't make it up. We missed them both.

The afternoon was taken up with a game of Mandarin, which put almost everyone except Fisher (who won) in a stinking mood, then tea and cake. Then everyone went back to town, Fisher and I put our feet up, and went to bed.

We've been looking at potential houses this week - but there's nothing out there to tempt us away from HC. It's got to be good. Fisher wants it to be the house we live in forever, but forever always makes me twitch so I'm thinking of it as a house we could live in forever - but is, at least, a step up from where we are.

I'm bored of writing now, and the number of typos I'm making is giving me a slight suspicion I'm brewing a migraine - so I shall close by saying I ran a slow 5k at Tentsmuir on Sunday (36.30 by my crap sat nav, 34.30 by Fisher's new model - but I have to go with mine, as that's the one I've been using the whole time and it gives consistency), but it was a new route and I hadn't eaten anything. Also, I was in a mighty rage! I ran with Fisher and her presence distracted me from getting into a daydream and therefore a rhythm. It wasn't her fault, but I wished she wasn't there. I usually don't mind running with her, although it doesn't exactly boost my confidence to know she's plodding along beside me at an embarrassing pace, but that day I really ought to have said I'd go on my own. I was in such a foul mood.

In fact, my moods have been generally pretty foul for a while now. It's winter. I need vitamin D - and maybe some fun stuff to look forward to. Hey ho. If that's the case, I'd better organise something. No use sitting on my fat arse waiting for someone else to do the work.

I'm off to nurse my bad temper.

^ ^