It's the most wonderful time of the year.....
This is the time of year when hard-working Geoffrey turns into a social animal. My grandmother used to say to me "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." This was during my 'O' Levels, from a woman who never had any play in her adult life.
The thing is, however much I hate work, I find it preferable to having to socialise.
The following are the highlights of Thursday and Friday lunchtimes:-
1. Thursday lunchtime in the Maple Leaf pub, a Canadian theme pub with pictures of Mounties on the walls and Molson on tap. Knowing that once I start on the red wine I won't stop, I had myself two halves of John Smiths Smooth - Britain's favourite bitter and the only one in the pub. I accompanied this with a cold BLT on soft baguette...
A couple of others in our little gang gorged themselves on this muck...
...poutine, the Canadian national dish of chips, cheese and gravy. This prompted a five minute discussion on the tastiness of chips with curry sauce. Throughout the lunch hour my digestion held up remarkably well - I know my limits, and like Ken Barlow, two halves of bitter are enough for my delicate constitution.
2. Friday lunchtime in the Porterhouse, an Irish themed designer pub. Knowing that once I start on the red wine I won't stop, I ordered myself a £3.05 pint of Porterhouse Red...
...although an "ale", not really an improvement on the John Smiths Smooth.
This was a mistake.
The only other beer drinker, a lager drinker, finished his second pint and asked me if I wanted another. Me with three quarters of a pint left.
"No thanks," I said.
"Oh go on, keep me company."
"Oh alright, I'll have a half, please."
"Go on have a pint."
And he's off to the bar to get me another pint.
I know it's going to fuck up my guts but I've got to be polite and of course I've got to buy him a pint in return when he quickly guzzles down his third pint.
If only I was a stronger personality, if I could say "no" in a firm but polite way, if only I was six foot seven and built like a brick shithouse, I'm sure my guts wouldn't suffer so much. But I'm weak and give in to peer pressure.
And Christmas hasn't even started yet. These two outings were to celebrate a birthday and a leaving-work. Tomorrow we celebrate my mum's 75th at The Victorian Restaurant. What is Victorian food? Betty has mentioned greengages. Will it involve offal, hearts and kidneys? I know one thing's for sure. I'm going to suffer.
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