Sunday, February 26, 2006

Friends Like These...

I think I must be the luckiest sonofabitch alive. There are many times when it's easy to take friends for granted but I've just had a fabulous weekend full of examples of how wonderful my friends are and how lucky I am to have them.

Had a lovely time out on Friday night ending up with cocktails at The Savoy at 1 a.m. The maitre-d in the bar demonstrated how civility and efficiency can be perfectly mixed. Not only did he allow my companion and me entry at such a late hour but positively insisted that we did not rush to finish our drinks when the bar closed and they wanted to shut up shop for night. That's service and a prime example of "the way things ought to be" and a perfect rounding off to a lovely night.

On Saturday morning my belated 30th birthday present from Jelly arrived in the post all the way from Strayaa. It was a beautiful hand bound book of photos that she took in Japan with her fiancee. As previously mentioned I am a real Japanophile and this beautiful little book just reinforces my conviction that I must visit. The pictures are beautiful, she really has a great eye and the effort and kindness that is evident in its construction made me well up a little as I sat in bed looking though the pictures with a cup of tea in hand. What a wonderful friend.

On Saturday night The Tall American hosted a beef fondue party accompanied by cocktails, much wine, and a trip to The Dolphin for karaoke. Now I should point out that The Tall American can cook, no messing, and last night's creations were well up to her ridiculously high standards. The meal was capped by the most delicious lemon curd I've ever had. There was also some excellent culinary skills displayed by The Youngest Doddling in the creation of many of fondue dips. The karaoke was (for me anyway) a purely spectatorial venture. I have the vocal range of Rex Harrison and it would probably constitute some sort of human rights abuse to inflict it on a pub of happy punters. I finally got home at about 5 a.m. after many hours of fabulous company, drink and scoff. So much fun it shouldn't be legal.

Of course I paid the price hard today for all the over indulgence but a pleasant afternoon watching the rugby wrapped up in a blanket on the sofa allowed me to recover my mental faculties, finally eat something without feeling sick, and gave me chance to reflect upon what a lucky sod I am. Friends, it is said, are God's apology for relatives, which though rather harsh does hint at the importance they have in our lives.


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