I never thought I'd say it, but I'm so pleased not to be going anywhere this evening. I can settle down with my glass of wine and catch up, while Grandson slumbers in my bed, cuddling his teddy bears. It has been a tough week, socially, and though I'm not complaining, neither am I planning to go anywhere or do anything for a while. I'm just going to be a couch, or computer, potato.
Last night was the cherry on top of the cupcake. I went to meet a group of friends at Blanch House in Brighton for a Birthday celebration. Now this watering hole/posh hotel has been bruited abroad as the best in Town - but I have to say I wasn't impressed. First off, it's practically impossible to find - which is taking exclusivity a touch too far I think. One of the gathered friends had tried to locate it on the Internet, but failed because the website doesn't give an address!! I walked down Atlingworth Street (there's a clue for anyone wanting to find it) and couldn't see anything that looked remotely like a hotel. I eventually located it by simply looking at the house names and numbers, and there it was, Blanch House, modestly painted above a door which wouldn't open. You have to ring a bell! And then you are brought in to a semi-dark room with a sparkly bar at one end. The group of friends was already there, crushed together at the dark end of the room on a banquette (how old fashioned) with those square, uncomfortable stools set around a table, so that any latecomers could all be equally uncomfortable. Anyway, to cut a long story short, cocktails are £7 or £8 each and crisps are £3! We debated whether the charge was made up of 49p for the crisps and £2.50 to set them out by hand in the bowl. Or maybe one crisp only was cut from each potato, making the wastage the reason for the expense! We came up with lots of alternatives. Cocktailwise, I had a "Burt Bacharach" which, predictably took a very long time to make (caramel liqueur, a brown sugar lump and a couple of other shots of mystery alcohol) It wasn't as nice as I'd expected. And then I chose an Amaretto Sour, which was much better, simply because I love Amaretto. Both drinks were very strong indeed, especially on an empty stomach (we resisted the £3 crisps). At about 8.30 the lights were suddenly turned down, probably making many of the drinkers think that they had been struck blind by the strong drink, and also rendering the Cocktail Menu totally unreadable (it wasn't easy before, being in tiny, pale type which I had to hold up to the light). So we decided we'd had enough and went in search of food. By this time the place was heaving with young-ish people who had all dressed up to the nines to come out on a Friday night and spend a fortune on alcohol. As we left, a group of them stumbled blindly (or drunkenly, it was hard to tell) towards the seats we had vacated. They obviously needed a sit down, or at least they would when they got the bill.
This morning I took a brisk walk by the sea, which looked lovely, but was very cold. There on the beach, laughing hysterically, was a group of young blokes, one of whom was bollock-naked and just emerging from the sea. I thought it was probably a Stag Weekend thing. They were enjoying the experience, taking photographs of (I guess) the groom-to-be from all angles, and falling about laughing. He was taking it very well, and I thought he was very brave - there was a bitter north wind and I don't know if he even had a towel. When I walked back again 10 minutes later they were still there, still enjoying the joke, but I was relieved to see that Mr Swimmer was getting into some warm clothes. It would be terrible if some essential bits dropped off before the wedding.
I took my Gay Friend out to lunch today because it had been his Birthday in the week. It wasn't an entirely joyful occasion however, because he has had some bad news this week - a close family friend has died (at 92) leaving behind his twin sister. This dear old "couple" have always lived together, in the same house all their lives. They never married, and have always been inseparable. Sadly, it seems as if she will not survive him for long. She is not ill, simply heartbroken, and doesn't want to live without her twin. It is very sad, but I can quite understand that she doesn't want to go on alone.
This afternoon Daughter arrived, with my scabby little Grandson, and she has now gone out for the evening with some Brighton friends. All I can say is she is welcome. It's pouring with rain and snow is forecast again for tomorrow. I'm not moving...