Sunday, 19 April 2009

Friends, Frolicks, Fun in the Sun

Fisher and I have a new pact. We're going to get a calendar and mark each sunny day as it comes. We're then going to either tick it or cross it, depending on whether we use or waste the sunny day. We can then look back on all those missed opportunities and feel depressed throughout the following winter.

Hm. Is this a good idea?

Anyway - where was I? Ah yes, Easter Sunday. Well, that was a whole heap of fun, followed by a day's entertainment with Spar and Blar, who came our way to do some antiquing and buy a kitchen dresser we'd seen at Destiny Antiques. Now, I'm afraid I have to begin this anecdote with a little cautionary tale. You see, the night before, Blar had told Fisher that our original plan - of meeting at Abernyte at 10.30 - might be subject to whether they could gird their loins and leave Edinburgh that early. Fair enough. Who am I to begrudge folk a few precious minutes more in the cosy, cosy goodness of the duvet? So Fisher told Blar to call us when they left in the morning, so we could head over and meet them.

Next morning, there was no phone call. There was no message on Fisher's phone - which has been acting funny for a while anyway. My own phone was AWOL somewhere, but I figured that if Blar didn't get a response from either of our mobiles, she'd have the common sense to call the house phone.

11am rolled around. Nothing. Then, eventually, the phone rang.

Spar and Blar were at Abernyte. They had been for 20 minutes. Where the hell were we??

It turns out that common sense and Blar aren't necessarily easy bedfellows. Huh! Who'da thunk?? She'd left 4 text messages on my mobile (which I tracked down in the car), including a voice message. None of these had garnered a response - but instead of thinking it might be wise to actually speak to one of us and make sure we'd received her messages, she blithely texted on. I'd also like to point out that Spar didn't think to make sure, either, so he's hardly blameless.

Not that it really mattered to us. We missed out on a trip to Abernyte, but we'd been there recently so no skin off the old neb. We just met up at Destiny Antiques and had a nosy (discovering the kitchen dresser had been sold), got some lunch in Perth (ah, faithful Breizh) and had a jolly good chinwag. We've planned to go antiquing some time in May, to furnish the new Maison SparBlar, and all was jolly.

So why mention the phone message mix up? Why, because not long after that incident, we had another of similar ilk. An old school friend of Fisher's had been invited to dinner, and she accepted. She was due at 7.30 on Friday night. 7.30 rolled around - no sign. At 8, Fisher sent a text - and then decided it would be sensible to call.

A baffled voice at the other end of the line said she was very sorry, that something from work had come up, and she'd sent a message - on Facebook - to cancel. The message, it appears, did not go through. There was no sign of it on Fisher's profile. So, of course, the friend had received no reply from Fisher, but despite this, hadn't though it practical to make sure everything was ok. Facebook??? I mean - come on! Presuming that someone's received a mobile phone text is bad enough, but Facebook????!!!??? That's just taking the piss. So, anyway, we're stuck with a whole bunch of food, which I'd spent a considerable amount of time - and money! - preparing (including making a goat's cheese and tomato tart) and suddenly there's only us to eat it. Don't get me wrong, we could have managed it. A challenge like that is nothing to us. But when you're expecting an evening of breaking bread and convivial chat, it's a bit of a downer to be left kicking your heels with a mountain of chow.

We thought swiftly. I phoned our neighbours Shah and Epona to see if they'd eaten yet, but got no reply. Then Fisher said:

"I know who won't have eaten yet."


"Arrow and Lu."

Hope glowed in my heart, then flickered to an ember. "But they're miles away."

We decided it would be a shame not to at least try and see if we couldn't turn a downcast evening into one of merry conviviality, so I phoned - and go Lu as she was wandering around B&Q with Arrow, seeking garden-y type things. And, of course, because they're people whose enthusiasm and ability to put themselves out for pals is unbounded, they said yes and were with us in 40 minutes. We had a delightful supper, despite it being a very tomato-heavy meal and therefore not entirely to Arrow's taste (not, naturally, that he complained) and were very, very happy with our lot. But the moral of this tale, people, is this:

Communication works best when vocal. Don't leave messages. TALK to people. And if you do leave a message, for Christ's Sake be certain it was received!

Other than the aforementioned fun, did I mention Ceegar and Meeper came to see us before Easter? Well, they did, and we went for a wonderful walk from the Cally Loch, across country and - on the way back - considerably off piste! We strayed from the path and got so embedded in woodland and boggy ground that we started using the sun to guide us. It was brilliant! We emerged at the other end tired, muddy and happy, with dogs bouncing joyously and tums grumbling in hungry complaint. We returned to the house to book a summer holiday I'd been long researching - namely a barging trip down the Canal du Midi, which we'd all decided would be wondrous.

So, back home we went and I plonked myself in front of the computer, ready to pull up all the info I'd gleaned and get dates firmly in the diary. At which, after a few minute's discussion, Meeper said:

"Why don't we just go to Greece instead?"

This was greeted with such joy on all sides that my hours, days, weeks of barge planning was callously discarded and a hotel on a Greek island immediately coveted. I threw my hands in the air and washed them of the whole affair. Not that I'm not delighted to be going to Greece, I hasten to add! I've never been, and it looks cracking, and who wouldn't squeal with delight at the thought of a week in luxury apartments with a pool, a sea view, food and natter to sustain us? But I firmly announced that I was taking no part in the arrangements, that I would be very happy with whatever was chosen, and that they were all a bunch of flighty bastards. This I said with love.

I believe the only other thing to report is a beautiful walk in Little Glenshee with the pooches yesterday, followed by a cracking evening to celebrate Ceegar's 30th birthday. And so the last of us bids farewell to their twenties. Frankly, I don't mourn their loss. I like being in my thirties, even if people can't tell whether I'm older or younger than my sister any more. There's no shame in that. My sister is not an age-ridden hag, although now I know she occasionally peruses these entries, I ought to add - she's not an age-ridden hag yet. She does have 3 children and hasn't had a decent night's sleep in 5 years, but why should that trouble me? So what if people who think I'm older therefore must put me somewhere around 40? I care not a whit.

Not a whit.

A whit ...

Anyway, we went to The Villager bar on George IV Bridge for a swift G&T, but I was happy we weren't there very long. It was really loud. And they were playing their 'young' music.

Next stop was the Witchery, where we had a fab meal. I think the food was fine, although nothing special, but the chat was great, and the two guys from Ceegar's work were both good company. I particularly enjoyed nattering to one of them about food, wine, restaurants and general gastronomy, and ended up sharing most of my food with him. He's leaving Scotland in 3 months, so I'm going to take him on a culinary tour before he goes. The other guy just got pissed off with us taking so long with the wine list. It was huge! And done by region! We had to try and remember which region all the wines we like are from, which I'm rubbish at, and then I couldn't find the Loire page ... anyway, we did take quite some considerable time, but everyone got enough to drink in the end, and at the right time. It was a really lovely evening which Ceegar seemed to thoroughly enjoy, and we were back home for the pooches by 2am. Fab all round.

It's another beautiful day today, so with our new found spirit of 'waste no ray of sunshine' we're off to try a different walk in Dunkeld. Hurrah!

(And I'm recoring Spurs v Newcastle).