And a good evening to you from across the Pond after a FANTASTIC day in the Mother Country. First off, apologies to all for my absence from the blog - the last two nights saw the Taylors arrive home at 12 and 1, respectively, and I was NOT in the best frame of mind to compose any kind of lucid thought (I'll let you fill in the blanks as to why - go ahead and say it, Bob - "No AFD").
So, we'll back track to Tuesday, where I hit the gym in the morning to show off my pythons and intimidate all the dudes in Spandex working out yet INTENTLY watching the new Robbie Williams video. I mean, the only thing more manly would have been if Michael Buble had rocked up to sing "Crazy Love" in purple tights. As for me, I stuck to the classical stylings of Lady Gaga - you know, what REAL men listen to.
The work day was good, and afterwards we rolled to the Cat & Canary, where JT and I had a pint of Honeydew with Fizzy and her two friends (Heather and Melanie) from college who were over for a visit. After that, we rolled to the GREATEST ITALIAN JOINT IN THE CITY - La Figa. I am happy to confirm that the Mushroom Ravioli did NOT disappoint. However, going forward, we will follow in the footsteps of Lord Goodyer and go with the shank of lamb, so big that JT and I finished it for dinner TONIGHT.
In a surprise turn of events, this is Liz's last week in the UK. Therefore, there was many a toast to celebrate her impending repatriation and wish her well in her new exploits. So many toasts, in fact, that Sam and Muffin Puffin each took down a bottle of wine, making the train home a) nice and toasty (because our "beer jacket" was covering us) and quick (because our "beer scooter" rushed us home).
But the highlight of the evening (for onlookers, at least), was the moment when Sammy, before a SINGLE DROP OF WINE, sits down in his chair, starts to settle in, and finds his chair wobbling. Normally, this is not a problem - you simply put your foot out, and the chair stops moving. This doesn't work, however, WHEN YOU HAVE A SLIPPERY ASS PLASTIC BOOT ON YOUR FOOT. Instead, it works as a bob sled, ROCKETING YOUR FAT ASS TO THE GROUND IN A RESTAURANT FULL OF PEOPLE. Luckily I hurt nothing but my pride, but it was a CLASSIC moment. Best of all, Liz's friends tried to make me feel better. I loved Melanie's quote: "Well, these seats are small." Nice try...
The net effect was a) a GREAT evening with Liz, Heather, and Mel, but a ROUGH morning at 6:30 AM. However, determined to fight the fat (by means other than a healthy diet obviously), I rolled to the gym for an hour of cardio. I am telling you - in just 4 weeks time, I will see my cheek bones again. I FEEL it.
I will say that it was neat to be on the bike (still reading "People's history" - only 100 pages to go!) and watch snow pour down outside. It didn't lay, but it was very cool to watch (apologies to folks in the DC area, as I realize it's not quite as "cool" for you guys at the moment). And Kim - I have to tell you -I'm sitting on the bike, and all of a sudden I hear this, "Bom, Bom, Bom, ba-bum, bum, Bom, Bom, Bom..." from the tv. I look up, and sure enough, Glee's cover of "Don't Stop Believin'" is on the UK's Top 20 videos! I couldn't help but chuckle and think - I need to tell KJ about this.
So, after work we had aspirations of having dinner in Kensington before meeting up for a drink with Dean. JT and I arrive at the South Kensington tube stop at 7:15 on a mission to eat Thai. Only once we've walked into the FRIGID cold do we realize that we are NOWHERE NEAR the High Street, meaning that we have to get back on the tube we just stepped off of (and it means muffin has to pay again - NOT a happy camper). We arrive at Kensington High Street, the FAMOUS Kensington High Street, hungry and in a rush for food. What do we find after a mile of walking? ABOUT A MILLION CLOSED SHOPS AND ONE LEBANESE PLACE THE PRINCE OF WALES COULDN'T AFFORD. I'm sure it's a "lovely" neighborhood, but I was ready to douse the entire street in kerosene after that walk.
However, after a sprint to the end of the street by Jenny, we found the ONE THAI RESTAURANT in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. I won't give you the name, however, because the story inside is a GREAT one.
So we rock up into this joint, and it's a) huge, and b) EMPTY. I mean we are talking looking something akin to shut down. So we get in, order our food, and then I go to the bathroom. When I come out, one of the waitresses is STANDING OUTSIDE THE DOOR waiting for me. Here's the conversation:
Stalker Thai Waitress (STW): "You customer, yeah?"
Sam: (thinking - who the hell else is here - of COURSE I'm THE customer): "Yes."
STW: "You no tip here, ok?"
Sam (thinking JACKPOT): "I'm sorry."
STW: "He (boss) no give tip to staff. He take. You no tip him."
Sam (fearing the words "Happy Ending" are about to come up at any moment): "No tip?"
STW: "No. You pay bill only. No tip."
I nod, and as we part, she stops me: "But you no say nothing. No say I tell you."
I nod again, go back, sit down, and instantly notice that she's telling the other 2 waitresses about me. They are staring DAGGERS at me. What happens next? She tells the OTHER waiter "something," and then HE starts looking at me. Two minutes later, our table is RINGED by the Fearsome Foursome. Needless to say that, while it was delish, it scared the HELL out of me.
We met Dean at Earl's Court in a pub called the Courtfield. It was GREAT. Honestly, Dean, we have had SO MUCH fun having you here. It had been way too long, but it was so great to just fall back into the rhythm of catching up and relaxing. Here's hoping we can make something work tomorrow! And I must say again - thank you SO MUCH for the book! That's right, ladies and gentlemen - Matthew Reilly has done it again, and Jack West, Jr. is back.
Because this place stayed open until midnight, we caught one of the last trains from Earl's court. What we also realized was that we caught it going the WRONG direction. So we hopped off and caught another train, only to be told that, while normally going where we needed, this time it was terminating two stops early. So we then caught the LAST TRAIN OF THE NIGHT to our place, rolling in about 1 AM.
Today was another great day, but it started with a BANG (literally). About 5 AM, I was awakened by the sound of something SMASHING together (Jenny slept through ALL of this, stirring momentarily to enquire if the dump truck was outside - which is odd since there's not a dumpster within about two miles of our building). I popped out of bed to check, and I saw the remains of a hit and run on my street. Luckily everyone appeared okay, and folks were already on the scene. This is the scene about 3 hours later.
I got my first coffee of the week, a Flat White from Costa. Dean, I know you raved about these brother, and they are certainly better than an Americano. However, I still prefer my Costa Vanilla latte (full fat, of course). JT tried one as well and REALLY enjoyed it, so I'll tell the folks at Costa that they're doing it right. :-)
In the spirit of being healthy, I rocked the square pie for lunch today! Nothing like a Steak and Cheese pie, covered in gravy, and paired with a heap of mashed potatoes. Chubbbbyyyy bunnnyyyy!!!!!!
I worked out for an hour tonight, spending 50 minutes on the bike and 10 walking. When I tried to push the walk on the treadmill, I felt a slight tenderness, which isn't terribly encouraging, but I'm still hopeful I'm on the mend. JT got a good swim (and water aerobics) in as well, and then we (finally) pulled an AFD (second of the week!). Now it's posting this and finishing "A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian" before bed. Dean - I'm not starting on "5 Greatest Warriors" yet - I have to burn through a few more and earn it first!
Oh, and I simply MUST tell this story. On Saturday, while we were down by Big Ben, we saw a Double Decker bus with an advertisement for a movie that simply made me cackle. Based on the fact it was a cartoon, I am assuming it's a kid's show. That being said, there's no way I'm EVER taking my child (many years from now, knock on wood) to see "Louie the Happy Snapper." I mean, HONESTLY, the jokes here are ENDLESS. But since our parents read this, I'll just stop there.
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Price - I hope I'm officially back in your good graces now. Chat tomorrow!
Sam and Jenny