Sunday, September 09, 2007

Tea For The Tillerman 

Drove home just a tiny bit hungover – is that legal? - and slobbed about the house all afternoon feeling tired, then went over to Kate and Rich's for tea.

Actually when she'd voicemailed, the invitation had been to come over for “dinner,” but that sounds so grown up it makes me giggle like a girl just to think of it, so I prefer to think of it as “going round for our tea.”

Funny how the lexicon of meal times varies from person to person.
In his diaries, Alan Bennett frequently mentions going to someone or other's house for supper, which to me suggests that he changes into his pyjamas and dressing gown before leaving the house, then has a cup of warm milk and a couple of chocolate biscuits with his friends, before returning home once Match Of The Day has finished, all snuggly and warm and ready for bedtime. Don't forget to brush your teeth, Alan! Have you really? Well brush them again, you've had hobnobs since then.
I don't think I'm mature enough to go to somebody's house for dinner just yet.

Anyway, it was a very enjoyable evening and we had a lovely tea, thank you, to mark Kate's birthday later this week. There are so many birthdays in early September, it makes you wonder what all our parents were up to during those long rainy Easter bank holiday weekends.
Her friends H and M were there who, like Kate, are in the newspaper game. Ooh, the stories they told that can't be repeated for anti-libel reasons... let's just say there are some celebrity gardeners who should spend a bit more time with their spellcheckers instead.
And I'm shocked and stunned at revelations of institutionalised racism at the NME. I was practically suckled on that rag. Say it ain't so, Joe.

There was lots of talks of journalists who can't write to save their lives, and grotesque lecherous proprietors who just love leering at female employee's breasts – who'd have guessed that? - and afterwards me and Girlfriend both confessed to thinking how very strange it was to be eating at a table on a Sunday night with people who work for the national papers. How did that come to be?
When I was a kid I used to help my friend Liam with his newspaper round after school. That's as close as I got, and even then, he never once paid me. I guess I just liked hanging out with him.

B was there too, full of fascinating stories of international oak tree trading. She was really interesting.
I hadn't realised until now that we have a new variant on the “If a tree falls down in a deserted forest, does it make a sound?” quandary. The new one goes “If there's a thriving market in transporting trees around the world, does it have a positive or negative effect on carbon emissions?” Hmmm. They're sold by girth, apparently.

The bit I think Girlfriend liked best was when Rich had a rant about housing, and the absolute bloody disgrace it was when the right to buy council houses was introduced, but the proceeds weren't then put back into building new houses. It's not enough that he supports Leeds, speaks with a Yorkshire accent and can rustle up an excellent fajita buffet, he's also passionate and authoritative on a subject v. close to Girlfriend's heart. I think she may have a soft spot.

So a very lovely evening, with lots of laughs and talk about music and general interesting stuff. I really enjoyed it, and the whole 'meeting new people' thing was very effortless and easy and just, you know, dead nice. Thanks Kate.

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