So yesterday was my 7th wedding anniversary. Seven years with Gail. The remarkable thing looking at it, is that of all our friends who said we’d never make it because we “bicker too much” or “are both too fiery for our own good”, we’re the ones still going strong while the rest (and there were a few) have all split up, divorced, or had to take time out from their marriage.
I always said I’d only marry once and I stand by it. Gail’s the only one I’ll ever want enough to ask for her hand for. Besides, marriage is way too much hassle to go through any of it again.
To celebrate our anniversary I took Gail out to see a show and then for a meal. We left the house in a taxi around 6.30pm and headed up to Bristo Square in University-land. We had a couple of drinks in a bar next to the Udderbelly and took in the atmosphere: the mixture of people, the well kent faces (Stewart Lee standing having a pint), the noise from the Underbelly “tent” and the general buzz about the place.
Shortly before 8pm we joined the queue for Sean Hughes and made our way, beers in hand, to the Debating Hall on the top floor of the Gilded Balloon. I used to watch Hughes on the TV in the 90s and I thought he was great back then. Live, and with him now a 44 year old “veteran comic”, he is an absolute scream. I had tears rolling down my face for most of his 75 minute set, and experienced several convulsive moments when I couldn’t stop roaring with laughter (much to my wife’s embarrassment). What can I say—I love laughing!
After the show we jumped into another cab and headed out to the salubrious surroundings of Prestonfield House and its exclusive award winning restaurant, Rhubarb.
This is a restaurant that is way off the scale where opulence is concerned. The staff were absolutely lovely but the place reeked of ostentation, which was where my enjoyment of the meal started to wane. We were seated at a table alongside another couple already halfway through their meal. Gail was mouthing something to me as we sat down but I misheard her. “Pet shops? What are you talking about?” I asked, but just she shook her head in disgust and sat back in her couch—yes, she was seated on a small couch for the meal.
For my meal I had a starter of roast quail and chanterelle mushroom tartlet with wild mushroom chutney. My main comprised 21 day aged roast rump, spinach, warm sauce vierge with English mustard mascarpone. And for my dessert I chose the chocolate spiced chocolate torte with orange sorbet. This was all washed down with a bottle of red wine—not the cheapest and not the dearest (that came in at £1800 (yes, that’s not a typo)—which I struggled to finish it was so heavy.
During the meal I realised the couple next to us—a middle-aged man and a lady—were talking as though they had nothing much to say and were filling a void with random words. The man started singing at one point, which although Gail found annoying it helped me join the dots from earlier—we were sitting next to Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys.
What did become annoying, or perhaps to be more accurate, slightly complimentary, Neil and his partner decided their conversation was so dull they started listening into ours. Cue several nifty remarks about the best of 80s music from myself (Erasure, Madness, etc.), helped along no doubt, by the wine and beers consumed earlier.
We retired after dinner to the (wait for it) Drawing Room, where I really began to feel uncomfortable. All throughout I could hear this voice in my ear saying: “who the fuck do you think you are?” and “what on earth are you doing here?” So we had the concierge call us a cab and off we went into the wet night, slightly worse for wear for the drink but having had an excellent night.
Although I’ve finished with last year’s GDR and am still working on the next one, I have put together an August work plan in order to keep me ticking along so to speak. Most of my time and energy will be going into book festival events and going with the flow with what happens in Charlotte Square, but there a few things I would also like to try and get done in the next couple of weeks.
* Writing sessions at EDINBURGH BOOK FESTIVAL
* Polish and complete final draft of GREENER IS THE GRASS
* Re-submit any rejected/recalled short stories
* Submit to selected fiction/poetry competitions
* Writing sessions at EDINBURGH BOOK FESTIVAL
* Layout RR issue 12 for 1st Sep issue
* Expect site update requests from photography client
* Keep all my websites updated and relevant
Reading & Learning
* AMERICA LIBRE by Raul Ramos – IP
* EDINBURGH BOOK FESTIVAL
* Complete 2010/11 Annual GDR Plan
Tonight at the book festival: Gillian Galbraith.
Once again Colin your blog post doesn’t fail to entertain. I’ve got to say though I almost baulked at the cost of that bottle of wine. But you were in the company of a real pop legend I suppose, so maybe it was worth it. Regardless, it’s not every day that it’s your wedding anniversary is it? So money well spent in my mind. Congratulations to you both.
Now, any chance you can stop this sill anniversary nonsense and get back to EdBookFesting? 🙂
Oh heavens – I never paid 1800 for a bottle of wine – that was just the most expensive one on the list. Didn’t mean to make it read like that… the bottle of wine we consumed cost 22 quid!
Anyway, as you say, back to book festing 🙂
Thank goodness for that Colin. I thought you were losing your mind 🙂
Enjoy today’s events
Sounds like you had more fun the year you went to The Witchery — still, just think how you can mine it for your writing.
Happy Anniversary to you both!
You’re right – The Witchery was better…. 🙂