stray shots

this post involves the events of and surrounding my brother dan ([soon to be ex-games journalist] and [pun merchant extrordinaire])'s birthday.

i met dan in soho. eventually we found each other, coming in from
opposite directions, at the john snow, which was rammed and crammed
and creamed, and even reamed. so we took a wander down the main drag looking for somewhere friendly, sauntered through china town, stopping in at his favourite bakery where i had a custard tartlet like the ones i used to adore as a child when our mother managed the yang sing in manchester.. they'd be all i'd eat. it's amazing what you can do with sugar and egg. and you know what? actually, they're not that nice. i think i even realised that as a kid, but maybe in that case it was only after 12 of them.

this is my kermit the frog impression.

then a man with a pyramid frame in brass resting on his head quicklywalked past us and dan chased after him with his camera.

we went for a sit down in 'garlic and shots', where dan was being bought dinner later by the bioshock pr people for giving them a good review. can i write that? is that too much information? dan is always remarkably candid (with me) about the score he gave it; "it's a 10/10 game, for the xbox. regardless, they were absolutely lovely. later tim turned up:

in a very nice, convienient stopping through kind of way.

many words can be said about the cuisine of garlic and shots. indeed, for days after, many were. the next day, my boss remarked that everywhere - not just me, or this room, but everywhere - stank of garlic. i owned up to it and explained what had happened. for at least two days later, every pore of my body was seeping out garlic juice. washing didn't help, it just unclogged the holes so more could come out [citation needed]. both dan and i went off to see our respective girlfriends after dinner. stifled, they were.
understand, the garlic was everywhere. i started with a garlic and
honey brandy, followed by a bloodshot (uber-thick bloody mary in a
shot glass) and then half pints of beer with raw garlic in the foam. starters were fried cloves on a skewer - remarkably textured like chicken - and roast bulbs with bread - remarkably textured like potato. for dinner i has one of the sadly only two veggie options, the halloumi noodles (also very meaty). we didn't have any pudding, but had we done, garlic chocolate would have been served. it was delicious. by the end it was enough. and then you realised it was too much and there was nothing you could do.

given that i then went round rachel's after that, i can't figure outwhat i did with friday. the only clue i have is a text saying 'where are you now?' from rachel at 5.20. there's no communication with her on gmail. we must have discussed something 'off the record' the night before. why can't google just record everything? if you remember, rachel, leave a comment please.

So what actaully happened was it got to 10 o'clock and i'd not gone
round yet and she;d only just got in, cue a hilariously protacted
conversation of refelection and indecision as to whether it was worth the hour long journey, just to go over and go to bed, as oppose to coming over in the morning for breakfast. well of course it was. the next day we met her ex-flat mate seb and her friend heather. as an aside, i must say there is a complicated relationship pattern here; heather's brother is james who went out/lived with seb for, like, ever, with rachel in the flat too for at least some of it. so he, being the actual thing that binded the three of them together, in a way, was absolutely not to be mentioned, sadly. damn these soap opera life styles that we have.

so then i went home to get some jewish-style food for the party. it
was a bit of a disaster; getting home took a lifetime, sainsbury's had sold out of kniedles, or anything interesting, and pretty much the whole jewish section is made by either nestle or unilever. so i just got 6 different boxes of falafel mix (a nod towards dan's barmizvah present from our father, except that this time, they weren't empty). sadly this left me with no time to prepare a rabbi costume. i wish everyone else's (or even my real) excuse was that good.

so when i got down there, way down at the bottom of everything
(catford), our father dimitri was still there with iona. it had taken him two hours to get there from the other end of south-west london. dan had several silly beards he'd bought, photo-a-gogo with everyone trying them on, and then taking them off. there was a nice and small selection of people to begin with - the bath contingent, james petit, and the family. quite soon the telly went on so that a couple of people could watch the rugby, not exactly a great way to start a birthhousewarmingday party, but never mind.

The party was a little subdued for the most part, but it was pretty
vibrant and cosy too. eventually, when only the over-stayers were
left, the lads started trying to complete the advance challanges on
portal, and despite it being the first time i'd ever seen it, i
couldn't help but move over to the other half of the living room,
where all the girls were sitting, and having a conversation, and
stuff. mostly about how their men were completely ignoring them, and largely each other, but still. anyway, i could still see the screen from where we were sat - best of both worlds.
Rachel Wheeler and Maria Vasiliopoulos are now friends. they spent
most of the evening, once they realised they both grew up in the same square mile in kent, digging for further co-incidences, going as far as including a loathing of the peak caps that dan and i have
similtaenously taken to.

party pictures are here

the next day, we woke up to the sizzling childhood joy of vosht (a
kosher sausage, which according to a thorough google search, doesn't appear to be a word in use outside my family) and egg. us veggies just got egg, and i wish i'd thought to pick up the similar-looking meatless equivelent from the health food shop. course it wouldn't be the same without marks and spencers ketchup and instant mash....

once everyone but me had gone, i got the chance to play portal for
myself. i'll write up my experiances after i finish it tonight.

then we went off to meet our father and family and ann mitchel at kew gardens, a pointless hour before it was due to close. instead we went for a walk around hampton court woods or perhaps they're just gardens,and got a curry in. then went home and fell asleep in front of the
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