04 October 2006


Just fiddling with the look a bit. Writer's block. It leads to odd distractions. Like it? I'm not sure. I needed to get rid of the orange though. Comments in comments (who am I kidding?).


Today I had one task. Well, lots of tasks, but there was one task unique to the day. Part of the task required me to be in Edinburgh. I was delivering something. But just delivering something is boring, so I arranged lunch. Lunch should never be boring. So Kirsty and I arranged to meet for lunch where I would deliver her stylish-executive-style-groovy black jacket and we would eat yummy food. She chose a groovy little place on George IV Bridge. Sorted. Traffic was easy. I found a parking space no problem. The walk from Castle Terrace to the bridge was lovely, the sun was out and I paused to admire the apples in Ian Mellis on Victoria St. I got to the restaurant first and was given a big comfy couch, in spite of there being a reserved notice on it. Maybe the waitress liked me? The menu looked good. I ordered a soft drink. Kirsty walked in, all smiles, and I felt like a total prat. Her stylish-executive-style-groovy jacket, the reason for me being in Edinburgh, for having lunch, my day's task, was hanging in the closet back at the house.

My memory perplexes me. I'm nine years-old, lying upside down on the pale blue carpeted staircase in a flat my parents rent on St Peter's Sq, in London. I've just been Indiana Jones, and my adventure has left me inverted. My imaginary adversary fared far worse, no doubt. For some reason I burn that image in to my brain, and promise myself I will remember it for the next twenty years.

That was twenty-one years ago last month. The details are there, but it's arbitrary. There are thousands like it, both before and after that moment that seem so clear, and for some reason significant merely for their clarity. A moment's concentration and more comes out. Detail after detail, names, faces, times, dates, menus not just what I ordered but what others ordered. What people said, why they said it. Or why I thought they said it. Moments of horrendous embarrassment and great triumph - the former surface with more annoying regularity, of course - it's all there.

Well, almost all of it. Story ideas disappear without a trace - only the echo of elation at their conception remains. Nothing brings them back. I have notebooks but forget to bring them with me. Ironically, I forget to remind friends about things. There's laundry in the drier, I've just remembered, that I put in three days ago. I remember birthdays, but not family ones. I don't remember the chat that led to me kissing the most beautiful girl I've ever kissed. I didn't remember Kirsty's jacket. But I remember the first night I met Kirsty. I remember it was February of 2002. Andy introduced me. I had just finished my shift at the shop. The Central still had Becks on draft, so I drank five pints as we chatted about the wine business and got to know each other. Afterwards, I went back to the shop, tipsy, and bought a bottle of Les Forts de Latour 1988 and opened it then and there. I only drank a glass, because my palate was a mess from all the beer. I left the rest for Zana, who was working until ten.

It could have been yesterday. But it's today, and I forgot the jacket. Lunch, however, was excellent and well worth the trip. Just as well, really.

Pete C scales the shelves of the Naughton cellar, much to Kirsty's bemusement

01 October 2006

lifting haze

It turns out a dinner party of two can still be a party - provided champagne, wine and port are consumed as well as a smattering of oloroso and a healthy dash of talking utter gibberish. Exes phoned as drunk as we were and added to the general nonsense.

Once again the problems of the world and heart were solved but once again we remembered none of the solutions in the morning.

If only all hangovers could be so good.

The sun followed us north across the bridge while Jonathon Ross provided the chuckles. Two speed camera close calls and we were once again in North Fife, where the haar consumed us, a silver filter on the sunlight. Bacon butties for brunch coupled with strong coffee and the curious question as to where everyone had gone. To the front steps we went, rehydrating and shaking the cobwebs out. Snippets from the night before; the chat, the wines, the food, the questions raised drifted through the conversation. Our heads cleared with the haar and in the bright autumn sun we brought apples for the horses. We contemplated kidapping Chester, the wee fat mini Shetland, but thought better of it.

Back at Naughton the coffee machine bubbled, and a glance in Polo Times revealed one of my photos, leading to a juvenile swelling of chest and pride. Kirsty rocked up and we had a cocktail and a glass of champagne. I got home late. The cats were hungry and grumpy. Ah well.

There's beach polo and a wine tasting tomorrow: not a bad weekend really. Though I really ought to write something.