party tales & foodie heaven

Yesterday, more was a accomplished than ever should be with a hangover. Because Thursday night was stupidly drunken (no food + booze of various nature = drunk). It needed to be stupidly drunken because I was at a party that I shouldn't have been. You see, it was a friend's girlfriend's birthday party. But 2 months after the actual birthday. Upon arrival at a bar filled mostly with strangers, I spotted my mate and joined him at the bar. Where he told me that he and his lady had parted company 2 weeks ago. So my reason for being at the party really, really didn't want to be at a party. Here comes an oddity of human behaviour; when you're at a party you don't want to be at, instead of leaving you just drink more. So many a champagne cocktail, whisky and beer (Asahi - pure evil) later, I was really rather drunk. And my friend had left. And I was speaking at length to a divorcee from Kentucky. Then another friend showed up, kind of rescuing me from the divorcee (who was nice, but had a monopolistic tendency when it came to chat). The other friend simply shouldn't have been there but for the fact that it is indeed a small world, and he's mates with the now-ex-girlfriend of my friend's brother-in-law, married to the now-ex-girlfriend's twin sister. Whose non-birthday party it was too. And a welcome-home party to boot as she and her husband (friend of my friend) had just moved back to London from New York.

Are you confused? Good. Now drink a bathtub's worth of booze and try to work it out.

So then an old uni friend of mine turned up, who was at school with the now-ex-girlfriend. I knew this was going to happen. In fact, it was the one expected event of the evening. However, I was delighted to find how lovely it was to see her. As she's really rather lovely. I passed the mobile number on of a mutual friend and they met up the next day. I was sort of chuffed that I'd played a part in a small reunion. Not at the time, at the time I was quite drunk and needed to go home. It wasn't until yesterday that I had any feelings of chuffed-ness.

The tube and walk home were a blur. I think I played Neil Diamond REALLY LOUD when I got back home.

Yesterday I edited the nonsense I'd written in both the book and the blog (erased forever, thank goodness) when I returned home. Not sure how Faulkner managed to write The Bear inebriated. I have trouble with my name.

After editing I went to the Van Riusdael exhibit at the Royal Academy and the Americans in Paris exhibit at the National Gallery. Both were cool, and I found myself quite surprised at some of the unifying themes of the latter. Especially as the individual artists had quite varied styles. Lots of pretty colours too.

Today was awesome. My folks, myself and a family friend went to Borough Market in Southwark to food geek out. I cannot believe it's taken me this long to get to this incredible mecca of London food. The very best veg, meat, cheese, fish, bread - everything. It was almost dizzying. I think I went through about 30 or 40 meals in my head as I walked around. Mountains of fresh-baked chocolate brownies, small wine merchants with obscure parcels of rustic French wine. Butter - oh, the wonders of proper French farmhouse butter in varying shapes and sizes. Basket upon basket of wild mushroom. We bought a lot of food. And most of this afternoon has been spent prepping it. I've got venison shanks marinating for pot roast tomorrow while there's pork belly slow-roasting in the oven for tonight's meal. And there's a lot of amazing bread. Proper, hand-kneaded bread that tastes particularly good with lashings of proper French butter. Spanish ham, salt cod, veg that looks natural - not waxed an polished but ripe and smelling incredible. Fuck supermarkets, this was the real deal and even if it is an hour of tube journey far better than going to bloody Sainsbury's or Tesco.

Southwark Cathedral rising over the market. My Dad in his Sherlock Holmes hat at one of the market entrances

Wright Brothers Oyster & Porter Bar - lunch was awesome. Ate oysters and drank porter.

One of the big fish stalls in the market - some truly cracking fish, but we were in carnivore form.