1. I went out for dinner with a large crowd of friends last night. There were around 6 couples and we opted for an all-you-can eat type Chinese banquet. It was a really good restaurant and the food quality was amazing. The service, however, was the pivotal part of the experience as it was notably very good, especially for a group of our size that a. Recounted old stories and faux-pas, loudly, at any given opportunity b. Laughed with so much gusto that it likely cheesed off the other romancing diners c. Arrived a bit late d. Insisted on calling the waiters "John" e. Continued to try, with considerable effort, to talk in Chinese to each other f. Sang Happy Birthday several times, again loudly, with a poor attempt at a Mandarin accent. Additionally, the staff calculated our relative incompetence at ordering food and alcohol-catalysed declining IQ levels and took the executive decision to order a massivo plate of starters on our behalf. Which, naturally, worked out because we eat anything.
2. Foot burn in high heels is no laughing matter. The sneaky devil sneaks up on you at impromptu moments. Don't *even think* about taking off your shoe for momentary comfort; you will not be able to put the shoe back on.
3. It happens often. The champ of the night has booked us all into a great restaurant and we are really looking forward to it. We meet in a neighbouring pub beforehand (not a great pub, but I will come onto this shortly). This casual rendezvous is fun; folk haven't seen each other for, in some cases, several years and there was naturally some features up for discussion: kids had, pregnancies pending, new partners, new jobs, growing fatness etc. This is when the inevitable happens and track of time is lost. It's already 10mins passed the time of the table being booked and half of the crowd are outside smoking, the others have just ordered fresh pints, most are engaged in a meaty debate (probably about fatness) and one is shuffling from foot to foot - it's clear that he will want to urinate before we leave the pub. In a nutshell, the rendezvous is a hit but you will *always* be late to the restaurant.
4. This particular rendezvous pub wasn't a classy affair. It did the job, to be fair, in so much that there was a reasonably intact roof, a semi-functioning lavatory and some beer in the fridge. What if didn't have (I've streamlined the list considerably to provide a suitably snippy blog entry) were wine glasses. Not one. Apparently "they were all in the dishwasher". I was given a glass of dry white in a brandy glass that caused me to swish it around in palm of my hand and talk like 007. Actually, in their defence, they popped a little more wine in to compensate the fact that my classy outfit was thwarted by my drinking out of a bucket.
5. I learned last night that a male pastime of yester-year was to wear black socks over trainers in order to gain entry into the nightclub. I'll elaborate; back in the day, one was not allowed to participate in the prestigious nightclubbing experience of Ipswich if you were not suitably attired. One failing in particular was to wear trainers and expect to be granted entry into the nightclub - a bouncer would cuff your ear and tell you to get lost. This, naturally, brought your fun-packed evening to a standstill and also upset the dynamic of your group somewhat. So, the nifty idea created by the boy-men of Ipswich was to cover your white trainers over with a black sock; either your own or your pal's. This swift and stealth like operation would no doubt be implemented around the corner from the nightclub to optimise the facade. Most bouncers would not notice this, apparently. This mesmerised me. It mesmerised me for a couple of reasons: 1. A bouncer does not notice that a man's feet are covered in black Slazenger fleece 2. I didn't realise that any club in Ipswich was worthy of this effort 3. The casualness with which the gents at our table last night recounted the story (and mutually nodded with agreement) as if it was a totally normal thing to do. What a neat trick and certainly one to tell our offspring one day.
6. A nice part about going out with long-term friends is that they remember stuff about your past and the people in it. If this case, my OH's old school friends recounted some really nice stories about OH's parents. It was lovely to hear. If you are reading Tel, the Marathon Medal in Assembly talk was well recalled and favoured. It bought a little tear to my eye to be honest.
7. In a not very proud moment of self-indulgence, I walked (supposedly to my Corona-fuelled brain) in a rather sultry manner through a packed pub to the ladies room. I'm such a dickhead. I don't know why I do this and who the hell I think I am. Anyway, karma had her wicked way and I walked straight into the corner of a fruit machine and looked a prat in front of everyone. Plank.