Tag Archives: dinner

Peter Pan Possibilities

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Hello, lovely reader.  Are you having a nice day so far?

I’m very lucky that I came home from Edinburgh and got to see lots of my favourite people straight away.  It was an excellent way to stave off the post-Fringe blues.  As I type this I am sitting in my living room with two of my closest friends, talking about wedding shoes and boys and cheese (obviously).  We have a Sex and the City DVD on in the background and a lot of food on the table.  We are also all creative types doing bits and pieces of work on our laptops, so it’s a productive day as well as a very enjoyable one.  I am very happy right now.

Yesterday was not quite so good – I got a bit mopey about having to deal with real-life responsibilities again, and told my friend Laura that I didn’t want to be a grown up.  Her response was “Being a grown up is great.  It’s exactly the same as being a child, but you don’t have to answer to your parents.”

I decided to look on the bright side (as per the recommendation of those charming Monty Python chaps), and have a think about what some of the small but significant benefits of being a grown up actually are, particularly those that would have massively appealed to us as children.  Here are a few of my favourites:

1) You can stay up until 4am watching The Vicar of Dibley drinking Cava if you want to (which may or may not be what we did last night).  Bedtimes are a thing of the past.

2) You can do a massive jigsaw puzzle whenever you feel like it, and you don’t have to put it away until you want to.

3) You can have serious, adult conversations about life, love etc. AND you can have the same silly conversations as you did when you were a kid.  Example: “I don’t understand why anyone would bring up politics on a first date.”  “No, me neither.  Who do you think invented cheesecake?  I mean, it was a great idea, but it’s a bit of a random thing to make.”

4) Your household organisation system is entirely your own.  (There is a bizarre satisfaction to be had from deciding where to keep your mugs.)

5) You go on trips to museums, take long walks and read books because you actually want to, not because your parents or teachers are forcing you to.

6) You don’t have to do exams.  That’s a big one.

7) It doesn’t matter what kind of state you come home in, because no one is going to ground you.

8) Dinner can be whatever you fancy.  If you are anything like me and Ash, that means that a “sensible” dinner can be as simple as mozzarella dippers and Diet Coke.

9) If you decide that you want to wear a party dress on a Monday afternoon or pyjamas on a Saturday night, you are no longer restricted by school uniforms and parental advice.

10) You don’t have to worry about how bad your acne is going to be when you hit puberty, or whether or not sex is fun, or who you’re going to be when you grow up, because you’re already there and most of the scary, new things have already happened.

The thing about being a grown up is that it is difficult, but it’s also a lot of fun.  I think we should all try to enjoy the good stuff and be proud of ourselves for handling the tricky bits.  We might not get to be Peter Pan in terms of ageing, but we can certainly aim for his attitude.

Have a beautiful Thursday.

Get Thee to a Wetherspoons

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Hello, lovely reader.  How are you?  Have you completed your challenge to take a chance yet?  I’m about to do mine and I’m terrified, so don’t worry about it too much.

My birthday is coming up soon, and the plan for the day is to get a load of friends round, eat a lot of cake and then go to the pub.  Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  It won’t be.  I haven’t chosen a pub yet.  I was seriously considering the Montague Pyke in Piccadilly, because it’s large, central and pretty cheap, but I’ve been shouted down by some friends of mine who have better taste (and more experience of the Montague Pyke) than I do.  The hunt continues for a large, central, cheap pub in London.  And for my missing pet unicorn, Ephraim.

I know that I’m a “grown up” now, and I should have acquired a taste for the finer (or at least less rubbish) things in life, but deep down I’m still a student and my heart belongs to Wetherspoons pubs.  Here are five reasons why:

1) Consistency
Any Wetherspoons in any part of the country serves the same drinks, food and surly sarcasm.  You know where you stand with a Wetherspoons menu.  Even in the farthest flung corner of the British Isles (Inverness), I can tell you for a fact that the only difference between that menu and the ones in my local is the addition of neeps and tatties as a side.

2) Price
So it’s not the most glamorous place in the world.   You won’t come across any sultry jazz music or atmospheric lighting in a Wetherspoons pub, but you will be able to buy a pint without remortgaging your internal organs.  I don’t really care if there’s a group of asshats making too much noise in the booth next door, or the toilets are a ten minute walk away; the beer is cheap.

3) The toilets are a ten minute walk away
Which is good for you.  Exercise and all that.

4) Something for everyone
I feel very, very sorry for my friends, because going out for dinner with me is a nightmare.  My dietary requirements include a lethal (and I mean lethal) allergy, an intolerance of casein (because lactose is too mainstream, apparently), and a lifestyle choice to give up carbs.  It’s a wonder that my friends can even look at me sometimes, let alone sit in a restaurant with me.  But in a Wetherspoons, all of that goes away: the extensive menu has something for everyone, no matter what kind of allergy/faddy diet/craving you’re restricted by.  Problem solved.

5) Remember the good times
Remember that story about a friend of mine who re-enacted the Stations of the Cross with a burger, chips and excessive ketchup?  (It’s here if you’re floundering – don’t feel bad, I tell a lot of stories and most of them involve a slightly strange friend.)  That is just one of literally hundreds of happy memories I have that took place in a Wetherspoons pub.  From the New Crown in my beloved Southgate to the Westgate Inn in Canterbury (hour for hour I think spent more time in there than I did on my university campus), and back to where it all began in the Wetherspoons pubs of Watford and Rickmansworth: I owe Wetherspoons some of the best nights (and mornings after) of my life.  Christmas Eve with my best mate doing uni essays, inventing very complicated drinking games that involved stealing books, meeting some of my now closest friends, falling in love, getting into arguments, re-enacting stuff with food (it became a recurring issue), laughing until we cried: all of the best and most ridiculous things in my life have happened to me in a Wetherspoons pub.  It’s not glamorous, but it’s fun.

So.  Where shall we go for lunch?