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Monday, 29 October 2012

Summer of Love

When you meet someone who you love, you really love, it's very hard to describe how fantastic it is. As much as I love writing, I find it very hard to write about Mat except to say that I love him very much. We now live over three thousand miles apart, and this makes it harder than ever to explain. And harder for a lot of people to understand. It works for me because there's only one person for me, and that is Mat. Whatever you want to call it, it is pretty wonderful.

One of the best things about Mat is the way he loves his food and drink as much as me. Many a fun night and day is spent in New York (or wherever) discussing the very important business of lunch and dinner. And possibly breakfast if we've risen early enough to make our day a trio of gastronomic delectation. When Mat first told me about the wonders of New York- for him - it was the ability to get a sandwich at 4 ' clock in the morning. Now the only time I've ever seen Mat awake at 4am is on New Year's eve, and sandwiches are rarely called for at that time - rather more cheese and whatever drink's going...

Here is a taster (!) of our culinary escapades this summer. Needless to say in September we both went for rather more restrained fare, to discourage our strained waistlines!

His and Hers.Vesper for Mat. Margarita for me

 French Silk and Fudge - two scoops!

One scoop of Marion county blackberry. YUM!

En route to Chicago for the weekend we tried out Sherman's dairy bar in South Haven. Wow, they know how to make ice cream!

Completely delectable Italian appetisers, also in South Haven

Among the pictures were many other shared meals. We did brunch at Sarah Beth's East on the upper east. Mat and I tried to order sensible amounts of food. And failed. I took my leftovers home. Mat manned up and ate all of his!

Mexican at Mole on 2nd avenue, and tacos at Cascabel Taqueria - also on second - were eaten up with gusto. Pork Pibl, Burritos grande and enchiladas all sound like heaven, and the $5 happy hour margaritas aren't bad either!

And more in New York... Death and Company for the truffled macaroni; Artisanal for the cheese plate, or just the cheese in general; Bareburger for fantastic burgers from many different cattle; Parlor for brunch; Ooki for Sushi and Brick Lane (right downtown) for fabulous Indian food. Not to mention Momofuku, which we didn't get to this time, but will definitely be on the menu for us next time Mat visits.

As Shakespeare once said in his McDonald's days, "If burgers be the food of love, eat on." Amen.

Carry on at your Convenience

Evelyn Waugh's sage advice in Brideshead Revisited was “You spend the first term at Oxford meeting interesting and exciting people and the rest of your time there avoiding them.” And while I certainly did meet interesting and exciting people, I have to say, Mr. Waugh, that some of those very people are - nearly 14 years later - my best friends. 

One of my friends, Kristian, is heavily into the wedding years as her friends in the UK and US are getting married in droves (and I guess I include myself in that group!). For the wedding of New York friend Ana I was delighted to welcome Kristian to my 5th floor walk up for the weekend...apart from the fact that the poor woman had sprained her ankle (on her birthday, no less, cruel fate) and had to hobble her way up four flights before being installed in my little pied-a-terre. Which, of course, is not so a-terre as one might hope in this situation.

Evenings with Kristian are now are delicious rare treat because of our very busy, transatlantic lives, so we happily installed ourselves in my front room for the night, knowing that wine was a couple of feet away in the fridge, and sushi a mere phone call from our door, to catch up on all the latest news - mine of apartment searches and work tales, her of tales from the PhD and of her medical exploits to date (alas). Exhausted after another week's work I tend to crash out very early, and wake earlier still.

At 3am, then, I woke and visited the bathroom...and discovered this missive...

There was also a wire coat hanger, stretched into a thin line, on the toilet tank. Puzzling.

Waking up, it turns out that Kristian had had a slight mishap in the old bathroom. Well. no evening could be complete with some kind of hilarity. And in a modern version of a Joe Orton sketch Kristian and I kept missing each other throughout the night. She hobbled into the bathroom and had her accident. I stumbled there at 3am and was puzzled by the whole thing. I ended up going running as she slept, then came back and snoozed while she woke. All in all, a typical evening.

Some like it Kitsch. The Bathroom

It turns out that some rather flimsy smalls were the culprit. Down the plug hole they had dashed - I do have very enthusiastic water pressure...couldn't be helped really.

Luckily our local hero hardware store, none other than Wankel's itself, came to the rescue.

Wankel's. There's really nothing more to say.

That's right ladies and gents, it doesn't get much more carry on than this! We purchased a long claw like plastic drain clearer and a wrench. We ladies don't mess about.

All was well that ended well when the u bend came up trumps and Mr. Calvin Klein's upper east side dignity remained intact. Just goes to show that we Brits still know how to have a jolly good adventure. Thank goodness for Wankel's and for great friends.