We have changed
While you have been away we have been busy having a bit of a make over, what do you think?
The Hair is eventually growing, though it gave us a bit of a scare in February by continuing to fall out, a bald wife is ok for 8 months or so I say , but not 9, oh no. So just as I was reaching for the string and glue to offer a pro-active alternative, the folicals got their act together and we saw the first signs of spring.
Our first major planned outing after Tash officially ended Cycle 8 was with a group of friends that she met whilst working at JPMorgan (note* That's a bank, not a bottle of Rum, by the way). These guys are all now married and are currently in that 'having children' phase. The latest of these couples to go down that road, Jon and Helene, should now be in the final weeks of their soon to be extinct childless lifestyle.
We are notoriously bad at meeting up, largely due to most of the boys actually having important jobs that require them to travel internationally. Richard is a 'Global head' of 'something important' when he is at work and this prompted me to suggest to Tash that we should attach similar titles to our own self importance (remember, we work for ourselves). I fancy one upping him to be 'Galactic Head of Technical Services' and for Tash, it has to be 'CEO of Transdementional Knitting research'.
Anyway I digress, we haven't all been together since the barbecue at the end of Cycle 3. Thankfully it was a largely non-alcoholic meeting, due to the double-headed-serpent-of-doom (this is dependant on your point of view of course, Tash fancied a drink, so I have sided with her point of view here) of driving and pregnancy responsibilities for one out of each of the couples. Tash and I could therefore concentrate on getting the food out, both on time and hot for once, mindful that on this occasion our guests where sober and so would actually notice any of our usual cuisine orientated slackness.
Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, little Daniel showing a highly sophisticated palette for a 3 yr old by demolishing all our olives, and Lindsay and Graham showing why they are the uber urban parents.... not only had they remembered to bring their child, but thoughtfully had fed her an (experimental) tangerine a couple of days earlier, thus providing Graham and I with a chance to revisit a previous occasion when we had to leave the house to, at that time, go in search of more wine, and this time, nappies, as Robyn and the orange fruit had found a way to dispose of the all their supplies. Standing in the local shop I noted that the wine was next to the Nappies, obviously taunting us.
A week or two later we were out again, this time with the CSFB group of Sarah, Karen and Donna with their respective partners. I had spectacularly wiped myself out the night before with some free cheap wine at a crappy work do and so, this time it was my turn not to drink. Not unsurprisingly, Franc, Donna's husband, had chosen to give up alcohol this year for Lent, along with just about anything else he was offered that night, so I had a sober sparring partner for the evening whilst the others melted away into a red wine induced semi-conscience state.
The following Saturday was my birthday, we marked the occasion by trying not to argue and by feeling rather ill, as we both had developed a very persistent cold. The beginning of my 35th year was kicked off by a visit to Ubon, the sister venue to the Robert DeNiro financed, Japanese super restaurant Nobu. My idea of heaven found realisation in the 7 dish of the tasting menu and unlike the annoying couple next to us, I am pleased to report that Tash joined me on my fish odyssey. This had double benefits, as it gave us something to talk about and from dish 5, I could have seconds too!
As you may have noticed, it has been two years since we got married. This occasion was celebrated with a night away at 'England's largest private castle' or so they told us. In retrospect I suspect not, as the owners of Windsor castle may have something to say about that. We had managed to secure one of the 'must-have' suites, our one having private access to the battlements and a whirlpool bath, not that these two things are usually associated together in a must have package, but how many castles have you stayed in?
Now a few of you reading here have stayed at Amberley Castle and, well, what did you do? Apart from that obvious of course, but really, we aren't teenagers any more, surely you left the room at some point, right? - We walked around the grounds, saw a miniature pony that was exceedingly grumpy, (small horse syndrome I think), a couple of llama's and a 'world class putting green'- all standard fare for a castle possibly, but not for our high standards, so we then went back to our room to eat the complimentary cheese and biscuits until the evening.
Dinner was a sumptuous affair, possibly more sumptuous in places than needed and occasionally confusing; Tash's starter, a Japanese tasting plate being one of them, particularly in a French restaurant in an English Castle. We appreciated being surrounded with all the heraldic knick knacks that one could ever want for and the ancient and historic nature of our surroundings were not lost on our conversation, as I was heard to ask Tash over the meal:
'If we were to have a fight in here, what weapon would you choose, the broad sword or the muskets? I would have to go for the Crossbow, oh, hold on, there are no bolts so I would have to club you with it'.
In leaving the next morning we had to deal with some Muppet who was being photographed in a shiney new Ferrari right on the exit from the car park like he owned the place, though there was no indication that he did. This small penised moron and his picture snapping friend proceeded to treat us like the peasants that we obviously are, so in gently running the car off the gravel and over the finely manicured lawns we bid Castle Grey Skull good-bye....
These have been the high points of our last month. Tash is still finding the green Kryptonite around the place, so is often still to be found on the sofa recuperating (knitting), but as she was telling me today, as each week passes she finds improvement.
Until next month then.