La Grande Bouffe

And before you ask, no this nothing to do with porn, thank you very much. The weekend was an absolute triumph; veni vidi, er, I ate a lot. We’d all arranged to meet at Alex’s place and upon arrival, she and Soni continued their aggressive entertaining campaign which involves the guest being caught off-balance by the opulent surroundings before they are made as comfortable as possible and subsequently plied with as much good food as they can take (in this case upwards of six – count them – types of humous, pitta, salad and some lightly fried chorizo). My personal theory is that they plan to prevent all of their guest from leaving, it’s a sort of “Isle of Pleasure” surrounded by Canada Water, Surrey Water and The Thames. Later Alex, Dave and I crossed from the Pleasure Isle to the Spice Island, which is the girl’s local, to meet Meg and Kelvin fresh from their flight from Swansea (I use “flight”  in the sense that they were fleeing the place rather than they arrived in a plane). After a few drinks (two pints of Hoegaarden) we decided to eat before the party – here I made the mistake of assuming that The Spice Island’s tapas would be substantial. Three shrimps, five button mushrooms and a couple of olives later I was ready to (eat more, actually) party. We all piled into Alex’s car and drove down to Brixton stopping off for supplies (a bottle of Ernst & Julio Gallo Zinfandel and six Kronenberg – yeah, I was impressed…). On reflection the lack of food to weigh me down freed me up to bounce round Benj and Ros’ new place and talk utter rubbish at people all night. I also got to thank Dan’s girlfriend Audrey for the recipe she gave to Ros for butternut squash risotto with oranges that Ros and Benj prepared last for me last year. That had been the night that Ros had proudly shown off her electric peppermill with an inbuilt torch so you could illuminate what you’re seasoning, or would help you find your way to the fusebox during a powercut and leave a trail of spice to prevent you getting lost on the way back. Next morning in order to combat a terrible hangover (I blame the Spice Island) we bought in a Full English Kit and some Resolve (a but like Pro-plus with chalk). Dan was giving me a hand with cooking and we realised that since two men were tending more than one type of sausage and suitably attired (I was wearing an apron and Dan had his Russian hat) and everyone was waiting around expectantly, it was virtually a barbeque and so we armed ourselves with Kronenberg. After consuming bacon, sausages, scrambled egg, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans, toast and coffee Dave and I just had time to get our stuff together and head back to The Isle of Pleasure on the Northern Line (taking time to argue a few of the rules to Mornington Crescent) before the roast chicken was served.  This was accompanied by stuffing, bread sauce, potatoes, carrotts, parnips, peas,  gravy and a side salad washed down with twelvty bottles of good red. We finished off with ice cream (chocolate and black cherry) and a mini chocolate muffin. Everyone then seemed to feel that what was needed was a shot of lemon liquor but at that exact point I felt as if this would have been the wafer-thin-mint that exploded the fat man.

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