23 December 2005

Where you're at and where you want to be aren't always the same...

...for instance, I am in Edinburgh Airport nursing a monster hangover. I want to be in my bed. With a cup of tea. And perhaps a hobnob. I haven't had a hobnob in a million years, maybe more. I don't think I have any hobnobs at my house. Which is a total bummer, though worse things have happened in the world. I do have some Green and Black's Butterscotch chocolate. It's sitting in a drawer in my kitchen in London. Or at least, it should be sitting in a drawer in my kitchen in London. The presence of my aunt Cynthia in that kitchen may well mean that my chocolate has been sacrificed to the cravings of a 61-year-old twice divorced artists whose lunacy is wonderful but whose appetite for chocolate is frightening.

Revelations of the last two days:

The tasting yesterday was wonderful.

Pete's puppy's gotten BIG.

I'm a terrible poker player (thankfully I wasn't using real money).

Drinking all day with good mates is silly fun, but painful (I knew that). And it's the mates that make it fun. Not the drinking. That's what makes it silly.

I will never see everyone I need to when I get up to St Andrews.

Friends with truly dreadful music taste (McFly suck - the world needs to deal with this) are still friends. But try to keep them away from the stereo.

A tiny blonde behind the wheel of a giant Range Rover is funny. And silly. Especially if it's a mate.

Lara Crawford may be the world's cutest puppy. Even if she isn't puppy-sized anymore.

Sometimes I'm so hopelessly disorganised that I shouldn't be allowed any responsibility whatsoever. I had 3 important things to sort out in Scotland and failed to accomplish all of them. Granted, they weren't life or death things, but it makes me feel stupid. And a bit useless. And my mum's ill and that's no fun at Christmas. Well, it's no fun at any time really.

In a shock to my system it looks as though my flight is going to be on time.

I'm contemplating hobnobs still. They're great. Why don't I eat them anymore? Do they sell them at the airport? I shall soon find out.

My new headphones are awesome.

Pretty girls should smile more as it makes them prettier.

I'm babbling again.

22 December 2005

Alabama - or something like that

So, to decipher some of the nonsense I wrote last time, I went to the Cellar Restaurant in Anstruther last night. It's one of my favourite restaurants on the planet. The menu doesn't change that much and it's not the home of cutting edge culinary experimentation, but it is possibly the most beautifully cooked seafood you can ever put in your mouth. Simple, elegant, and just perfect. I ate scallops, halibut, bisque and... oh, yeah - petit fours. Petit fours? you say. Well yeah, but the kind of petit fours that taste like an entire box of chocolates in one chocolate. It's that concentrated. Except without the being sick part you get from having an entire box of chocolate. That's where the genius kicks in. So while we were eating, Peter Jukes - head chef, proprieter, owner, legend and current chairman of the master chefs of Great Britain, sits with us and not only chills and chats for the entire night, but every time we wine geeks order a bottle, he buys one as well, of equal or greater merit. We drank 2 bottles of champagne before we got to our table that we didn't pay for and the best, in retrospect, wine of the evening was one that he dragged out to compare to our main course wine. And his stories of the culinary planet would make Ramsay blush and Bourdain giggle like a schoolgirl. So cheers Peter, for making my first night back up totally brilliant.

And on a totally unrelated note - it's almost 20 past eight and pitch bloody black outside. Sorry, that's an exageration - it's got that weird blue glow you get like, an hour before dawn. Y'know? How could I possibly forget how dark it gets here? Well... I dunno, but coming back around the shortest day of the year is like reminding oneself with a railroad spike. Possibly the same railroad spike that is jammed in my brain and reminding me of all the wine I drank last night. Ugh. Waitaminute... it's not too "ugh-esque". Oh... yeah... it is. Only 11 champagnes to taste today. Bring it on and read about it here.

And if you hit that link before like, 8 pm GMT, there's nothing there yet. So relax.

Sweet home...?

Introduce yourself to a chef. Right now. Interrupt them if you have to. I'm serious. You should have some interest in what they do. If you don't, stop reading. No, really, stop. Do you like food? At a deep and beautiful level? Then go for it. If you hesitated in any part of these first sentences, then shut your laptop and type "road chef and food like it" into Jeeves or Google or something. I love food. I cook food. Sometimes I get paid to cook food but never enough. And it doesn't matter. I still love it. It's like wine tastings. I'm taking part in a tasting tomorrow that I will lose hundreds of pounds on. Pounds I can afford? Fuck no. Fuck, fuck no. In fact, I should be taking my head down to the chemist and having it weighed. But it's an important tasting. Ah well.

I have no idea what I'm doing, and seldom do, but I am happy I'm doing it. So a fine restaurant is hosting my "know fuck all tasting", hosted by a friend who knows "fucking less that me" - and I guarantee that. But it's still going to happen. I'm tired though. And I hope I do a decent job.

21 December 2005

Bottoms up...

Well - finally got the tree finished last night, with all the lights working and all of our strange decorations on show. The ugly stuff usually goes in the back, but this time I put the strange banana in a purple sombrero in plain sight.I like the purple-hatted banana. Can you spot it?

I also got a shot of my mother's very groovy oriental screen. She was given it by her godmother or great aunt or something. She may well have been both - stranger things have happened. Especially in my family.
At the moment I am sitting in the Gate 5 departure complex at Heathrow Terminal 1, waiting for my delayed flight to board. I'm going to St Andrews for a fine champagne tasting with the Naughton Dining Club. Many people have pulled out, recommitted and pulled out again and everything seems as disorganised as ever, but I'm sure it will be fun. Going to one of my favourite restaurants ever tonight for dinner and the tasting is being held at another favourite for lunch tomorrow. I sense a great hangover or two in the works.

In other news, I got all my shopping done for Christmas. Everyone I needed to get a present has one. Hope they like them. Of course, if they don't, that's just tough shit.

Breathing big sigh of relief.

There is intelligent life...

I chuckled and rejoiced at this, this morning. Perhaps hope is not lost for my nation? Fingers and toes both crossed. I hope Georgie W is spitting nails at this one. Heh heh.

More later. Promise. Been rubbish. Tree's up though. Even got pics.

19 December 2005

Hereditary insanity?

I don't know whether it was my aunt posting her Christmas list to Father Christmas or my mother demanding I tie beef fat to the bird-feeder that tipped me off to the ultimate truth that my family are not only nuts, but indeed madder than a bag of rabid badgers. It makes for seasonal amusement, to be sure.

No shopping done.

Tree up but semi-naked.

No idea what to buy mom (beef fat tied to a bird-feeder?...she's got that already).