In recent days.

It was a big weekend. Andy came down from St Andrews and Friday night I cooked a storming meal, wisely accompanied by 4 bottles of wine between the two of us. Andy had not sampled my local drinking establishments and so after we'd feasted and had a small dram we went to the pub for some fine pints which we needed about as much as we needed a kick in the nuts. Saturday we went first to Brick Lane to check out a free trade market stall that had some really cool clothes and stuff (I'm not a big shopper, I assure you, but Andy is the metrosexual shopping king). Howies had a stand there and I got some chinos and a couple gifts. Then we found Worn Again. 99% recycled footware - unbelievably cool stuff. There were hippies everywhere. Sometimes I get anxious around hippies... don't know why. All were very friendly and happy that between Andy and myself we bought a lot.

We then went to The Ivy and met Andy's mum for lunch, which was amazing. Great food, great service, great company and yet more to drink. Lunch lasted 3 1/2 hours. It was followed by a return to Brick Lane where Andy, as a thank you for lunch, was kind enough to buy me these incredibly groovy shoes:Made from old suits, old car seat leather upholstery and prison wash cloths. I am becoming trendier. I'm not sure if it suits me but those funky shoes rock nonetheless.

Then we walked up to Bethnal Green to meet Andy's brother for some crazy party he was having at, and I quote, "some dodgy fuckin' east end pub". And the Victory was exactly that. The dress was meant to be eighties sportswear, but as we'd been to The Ivy, Andy and I were remiss in our costumes. Fortunately, Andy's mate and general legend Hector went all out knees up crazy:We drank a lot of beer and got very drunk. I borrowed Hector's shades to take this picture:

I suddenly remembered that: a) I was very, very far from home, b) the tubes would shut soon and c) I had to co-host a Champagne tasting the next day. So I left Andy, promising him that whatever time he got back was fine and just to give me a buzz. At 635 am I get a phone call asking to let him in - I wasn't feeling spectacular but he plain looked fucking dreadful.

So then Champagne tasting in Hertford. I'd never been to Hertford. It was a nice wee town. Pete C seemed in good form. He and his new(ish) girlfriend seem to be doing well with eachother. Kind of like toffee sauce, you know? Really sweet and after awhile it makes you want to barf.

Anyway, Pete MC'd the tasting well, with me jumping in with random knowledge and the odd comment and it went well until lunchtime, where slow (but not that slow) service led to one of the people becoming obsessed, cranky and far more annoying than a 15 minute wait for dessert.
Then I got back to London and barely had a chance to chill out when Luke P, Marcus P & Ru all rocked up to The Dove. So a few pints and laughs had and then home.