Saturday, 31 July 2010

hard luck stories

Summer holidays are an opportunity for teachers, and others no doubt, to catch up on the day-to-day jobs that need doing around the house.  The type of job that requires some thought and probably a little more effort than one can muster in term time. Yesterday is a case in point.  As first born is about to go and live in Mexico for a couple of years, second born is off to Croatia on a dig and third born off to Knebworth for a (Heavy Metal) festival, a bit of supermarket shopping seemed necessary for the various parties and trips. 

Mrs Dave took some of them off to sort that out and said goodbye with that sort-of "we're off so can you just paint that cupboard on the landing that we had put in two years ago" knowing look. Imagine her surprise - and, gentle reader, the look of chagrin - when she got home after a gruelling afternoon shopping at Sainsbury's, to find the kitchen table covered with that other pressing job I'd been meaning to do for the last two or three years.

I'd been meaning to strip down my old Strat and set it up for slide playing for a while now.  I took the advice of a recent article in Guitar & Bass Magazine but still managed to break the original nut;

so it's off he went to his grandfather's chest 
to find him a nut of the very, very best . . . 

And, this afternoon, I managed to put it on.  Still can't quite get the intonation right on the bass string, but I'm working on it.

Nurse! The screens!
 It's in the back room now.  Unfortunately, the painting of the aforesaid cupboard is still on hold.

As the family is about to spread itself around the world, we went out for a meal last night - not because the kitchen table was covered in guitar bits - and we ended up in the local brasserie on the sea front. Now, shades of an earlier posting here, but for some reason or other, the management felt that diners needed entertainment.  As you may remember, the recent meal in London where I was serenaded by the lone long-distance organist; here the whole family was "entertained" by a chubby woman in a glittery dress singing karaoke very loudly along to her laptop.

Now, I support live music and would have been quite happy for a low key winsome singer-songwriter type to pluck away at her instrument and tell us of her desperate sadness because Life had not dealt her the cards she deserved.  However, to have some out of tune windbag bimbo belting out Lady Gaga (and Eva bloody Cassidy) whilst we shouted ever louder to be heard over our fresh lobster was a step too far.  The business of such an establishment is to get the paying customers to, well, pay more money, I presume.  The waiter knew we were going to order more food and drinks but understood why we left early.  By my reckoning, such an establishment can't afford to lose somewhere in the region of £30-40.  But that's what happened - all five of us hated it so much that we left.   I hope it was reported back to the management.


Brendini said...

The meal ain't over till the fat lady sings.

Andy Wright said...

I do feel for you Dave. Like you I DO want to support local restaurants, local people and indeed local music and I try to do so when ever I can.. Not so much a 'local' tale but last Thursday I met an old friend in London for the evening and we went to the 'Bleeding Heart' Bistro very near Farringdon tube station. I like it there, I like the proximity of Smithfield and the general 'hustle and bustle'of the area. What I BLOODY DETEST is French waiters who initially talk to me in French and then when I reply (out of some misguided politeness (or politesse) in French, they then talk to me in English!!!!!! Zut bloody alors!! What REALLY , REALLY gets my goat is when they constantly fill up my ever emptying wine glass. 'Good service' one may argue. Bloody profiteering I say......'Bill for good meal for two, sans wine.... £50.00....... avec vin £105.00. Not good Dave, not good. You and I need to get out more(together).......really we do. By the way what a great 'verification word' I have today..... 'Spulte' sounds like a light fitting from IKEA!

Dave Leeke said...

Brendan, the meal was over while she was singing, sad to say.

Andy, I think we have a "splute" light fitting (it's more than likely).

I have been driving about a lot this weekend (mostly in Harvey - more of which later) and despite all the wonderful things I kept thinking about to say, I keep coming back to a weird meal in that strange Italian Restaurant in Stevenage Old Town where you and I sat (slightly the worse for wear) as a female journalist tried to explain how to eat spagbol -circa 1977, I guess.

People don't quite understand how new it all was to us - perhaps they haven't read "Toast" by Nigel Slater.

Anyway, I'm back and about to write plenty more er, "splute" over the coming days.

Andy Wright said...

I think it was something to do with winding one's 'spag' (with or without the 'bol' methinks?) into a dessert spoon?? Does that seem about right?
My God we were sooooooo innocent then!

Dave Leeke said...

Yes, that's right - we had no idea how to eat it and were both a little over-refreshed to say the least! Actually, I think that's how we spent most of our teenage years.

Youth is certainly wasted on the young.