Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Social Whirl

Aside

It takes a lot to get me out of a winter’s evening but when I got an e-mail from Alan, the only male member of our ex writer’s group, suggesting we meet up for dinner I was tempted. We had finally dwindled down to four – three gels and Alan – and although we all got too busy to meet regularly we enjoyed each other’s company and had kept in touch.

Full marks to Alan; he managed to organise it all and choose an evening that suited all and we arranged to meet in The Valiant Soldier in a village reasonably close to the gel’s separate villages. I was to be collected by Alan at 6.30 pm and we would meet the gels at 7pm in the pub. Alan is a very busy man with four teenagers and a demanding job so it was no surprise that he had the arrangements half an hour later in his head and this gave me time to eat two chocolate biscuits (they’re special and I need to get them out of the house) and a chocolate cherry liqueur which reminded me to take some c.c.ls for after the meal.

We usually see some wild life on Alan’s forays down the country lanes and had a fox dart across our bows. The pub was bedecked with Yule tide stuff and there were the obligatory roaring fires. There seems to be a lot of electric blue lights this year in our neck of the woods, which has never struck me as particularly Christmassy. The tree in the pub had masses of coloured, tiny lights which flashed on and off regularly and then worked themselves into a frenzy of blinks which I thought should probably – in these days of health and safety fascism- have carried a health warning.

It was great to catch up and we chatted seamlessly until the waitress came. It was pleasantly quiet with just a huddle of men at the far end and another dining couple. You had to choose what to eat from blackboards on the walls and I dithered between venison bourbignon and lamb noisette. After a discussion with the waitress I plumped for venison. Sadly this was ‘off’ so I had lamb, Alan and Di had duck and Anne had pork. The two ducks looked as if you put them together they would make a whole and my lamb was succulent with a lovely fruity sauce.

After that none of us felt really hungry but anyway demolished two lemon meringues and two apple crumbles with ice cream. After coffee we were astonished to find it was nearly 11pm and planned to have another – in the summer – somewhere where we could sit in the garden by a river, MTL was going to have an early night but was waiting up for me when I got home. Its not often I’m out on the razzle these days.

33 comments:

Kim Ayres said...

I've slowly come to the conclusion that we must have 2 stomachs. I realised this the other day after watching the children and noticing that no matter how stuffed they are from dinner, they always find room for desert. The inescapable conclusion is that we must have one stomach for main meals, and another for deserts, that is quite independent

Eryl Shields said...

One of the things I miss about England is the pubs. Here they are either trendy bars or drinking dens, at least in my neck of the woods.

Funny that Kim should conclude we have a seperate stomach for puds: Bob used to insist that his 'pudding tummy' was quite empty even though he was too stuffed for supper!

PI said...

Kim: ah that's what that extra bulge that's appeared below my rib-cage is. I did wonder:)

PI said...

Eryl: it's been a long while since we were in Scotland but I remember being a bit disappointed in the pubs. the seemed to be boozers or morose hotel bars and nothing much in between. But I do love Scotland:)

sablonneuse said...

Delicious description of yummy meal - and two of my favourite desserts. Here am I trying to eat less and you've made me hungry.
sablonneuse

PI said...

sablonneuse: I do seem to be writing a lot about food these days. I put it down to the cold weather. Lunchtime:)

November Rain said...

Tag your it!

(sorry )


I always love to meet people... I was going to meet someone from my old RPG guild

but things fell through

PI said...

Hi Novy! Can't work out RPG??

john.g. said...

Lamb, I lurve lamb!!

Cream said...

Great name for a pub, the Valiant Soldier!

As for a restaurant in Seaton Carew, we were there between 1985 and 2000. A small restaurant my wife and I ran.
You'll have to tell me where your late brother took you. It might have been us...

PI said...

Johng: this wasn't just lamb - it was noisette of lamb in a rich fruity sauce. Now I sound like the Sainsbury's ad on TV.

Cream: I'll try to find out from my sister-in -law.

kenju said...

Sounds like a nice, fun evening and the lamb must have been great!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Sounds like a lovely evening, Pat! Good Food, Good Company....What could be bad about that, especially at this time of year when there is much fun and frivolity abounding everywhere---Blur Lights and all! (lol)

apprentice said...

Mmm I'm hungry after reading about that lovelty grub. Sounds a nice night and worth braving the dark for Pat.

FOUR DINNERS said...

Only 11?? You didn't go clubbing??

I'd have had the pork. Only if they'd let me have some crackling with it though....

gautami tripathy said...

I just finished my supper. However reading about all that food has made me hungry again!

Michele sent me here to think of food!

rooted
reading room

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I'm with 4 Dinners - I'd have had the pork too. It all sounds mouthwatering. I'm glad you had such a nice time. I do think people are generally warmer and more amiable at this time of year. There's hard work involved in creating a Christmas for most of us, and I think it makes it that bit more satisfying to kick back and be merry for a while as the preparations go on.

Dr Maroon said...

I've slowly come to the conclusion that we must have 2 stomachs Speak for yourself Kim.

Pat, this guy Alan's out with three women for dinner (who cares if the venison's off) and your surprised that YTL's still up floating about waiting on you when you get home? Was it Alan thingmybob the author?

rashbre said...

Sounds like a fun evening and good, as you say, to be on the razz.

...and about the blue lights. They have to be done really well to look good. Sloane Square is wonderful, Windsor Castle's main entrance is horrible.

Its actually difficult to get the normal yellowy white lights this year, everyone sells something that looks like halogen white or blue.

rashbre

PI said...

Judy: I did mean to lose a bit before the festivities. Ho Hum!

Naomi: I'm beginning to get the Christmas spirit and feel a little guilty that I haven't masses of cooking to do.

Anna: I think the secret is to not overdo it. That's my last thrash til Christmas.

4d: no dear we didn't go clubbing. surprise surprise:)

Gautami: sorry about that dear:)

Sam: now I'm feeling guilty again.
Still next year I'll really have to get down to it.

Doc: actually I changed the names to protect the innocent.

rashbre said...

ps Based upon your comment, I've given you my friday post ;-)

Grumpy said...

Keith
If you come to the "Merrie Monk" on Sunday lunchtime you can have smoked pigeon-breast, lots of nibbles, and a cuddle from John G and me.

PI said...

Radhbre: I'm tickled pink - thank you! Everybody over to Rashbre's and see my blue Christmas.

PI said...

Keith: I'm sorely tempted:)

Rashbre: Your photos look great.

Mr. Althouse said...

It sounds like a wonderful time. I have been so busy lately, there has been little time for such luxuries... but soon, very soon.

Mixhele sent me,

Mike

PI said...

Hi Mike! Don't leave it too long:)

THE BLUEST BUTTERFLY said...

The Valiant Soldier...I like that name. Michele sent me. :-)

THE BLUEST BUTTERFLY said...

I never thought about it....but the electric blue lights are not often Christmassy.

Carmi said...

Sometimes, our most memorable times out are those we spend surrounded by friends who enticed us out despite our original intent to stay home.

I'm a homebody at heart. But sometimes, my friends coax me out of the house, and I always have the best time then. Your well chosen words speak volumes about letting ourselves go every once in a while.

Back from Michele's...as I gradually thaw out from the blizzard!

PI said...

Carmi: be careful in the blizzard and wrap up warm.

PI said...

Hi Blue Butterfly: I didn't see you there.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Your TL was up waiting for you. That was so sweet.

Sigh.

I'm such a romantic.

PI said...

GG: romance is good. Life is all the poorer without it. Dame Edith Evans used to say she always liked to be a little in love with someone.