12 days until Santa comes

Trip Start May 27, 2010
Trip End Aug 31, 2011

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Monday, December 12, 2011

I finally impressed the judge a la Masterchef this week. But rather than dishing up a culinary delight that would be suitably adequate for the likes of the critics on Masterchef (whose waists, might I add, are expanding with every season), it was an achievement in the finer art of making tea. And coming from an English person, this was an accolade I was sure to grab. Phil complimented me on the cup of tea I made for him, saying "mmmm that's a good one" when he took his first slurp. I was pretty impressed, and had to make sure he wasn't just having me on, so when he said that I'd done a good job, I was ever so chuffed with my efforts. He taught me that rather than rush the tea making process, I should be patient and wait until the tea leaves have properly infused into the water, and only then can I pour the milk and stir in some sugar. Oh, and the tea bag must be removed before putting the milk in.  So either he's a good teacher, or I'm a good student. I dare say we'll both have opposing views on that!

This is a shout out to girls who buy new shoes. Take the stickers off the bottom ladies. Otherwise you look like an absolute Wally walking down the road flashing the price sticker to everyone walking behind. Do we leave the price banners on the windscreen when we buy a new car?  No.  Do we leave the price tag hanging from the sleeve of our new coats? No, we don't.  I admit, sometimes we do forget. But I for one don't want the world knowing where I got my latest wheels and how much I paid for them. Price stickers aren't a design feature of shoes.  Remove them. 

Christmas kicked in with a bang this week, starting with my work team's lunch. We went to a buffet place which was all you could eat. We left the office at about 2pm and headed to the bar/restaurant and spent a good hour there before we were ejected. The organiser had previously been told that the restaurant would stay open for our special party, but they reneged on that deal and turned off the lights and heating, and subtly suggested that we move on. So we moved on, to another bar just up the street. By 4pm a handful of people were well and truly sozzled, and I decided that it wasn't really my thing to get spastic drunk on a Tuesday afternoon, and so I called Super Phil to come to my rescue. Earlier that day I'd suggested going to the Handmade Burger Co on the canal for dinner, which in hindsight was a bit of a mistake because I was still full from my lunch.

I again met Phil after work on Friday night at the German markets, at the cider stall where we'd had a drink last Friday. (We also nicked some mulled cider spices the last time. They'll come in handy.) We had a mulled cider to warm the cockles and then had a couple in the Old Joint Stock, and analysed whether the transvestite from Phil's work that was at the other side of the bar was in fact a transsexual or transvestite. We concluded that we couldn't be sure either way, and so we had to change the topic. We went on to our favourite Indian restaurant in Moseley, and ate all the goodies they brought out to us, including an Indian cheese which was amazing and will definitely form part of our usual curry repertoire. I decided I'm going to write a review on tripadvisor.com and say that the food is great, but what's with the waiter in the wife-beater showing off his guns? He just stands there at the end of the corridor, flexing, and leering at the customers until they notice him, and then he moves. He's really distracting, and really puts me off. After I'd blocked him out of my mind and finished my dinner, we decided that there was no way we could possibly continue past the Hares & Hounds without stopping for at least one drink. So we contained our excitement and, probably because there were no stools to settle in on, we had one and a half Addlestones and then went home. Very controlled indeed.

But we had jobs to do on Saturday, and I was adamant that we were going to tick some boxes and make the most of one of the last weekends before Christmas. So we joined the other thousands of shoppers in and around the city centre, and shopped for the things we needed, wanted and had to have. All this economy-boosting was tiring, so we had to stop at the German markets and have a waffle with chocolate sauce and nuts just to keep us going. We picked up Phil's ring, a tie, and a few other odds and sods, and then headed home via the Asian grocer to stock up on dumplings and ingredients to make sushi. I will get around to it one day!

On Sunday Philo went off to play football while I had my usual Sunday morning sleep in, Gok-fest and cleaned the house. I wanted to go over to Ikea to grab a couple of things that afternoon, so we did that and again came home with all the things we needed, and of course some things we didn't need. I got a new pillow, something I have been pining for ever since I moved to England 18 months ago. It is bound to make a difference to my sleep.

Jacci and Dave flew in on Sunday but, at the time of writing, I still have not heard from them. I assume they are safe and well and busy enjoying the company of Dave's family and friends, and that they are so busy catching up with people that they don't have time to contact me. That's ok. I don't mind. I'm not at all excited that they're in the same country. Not at all wanting to hear from them. 

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