Homicide Hatchback

Trip Start Sep 13, 2007
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Friday, September 14, 2007

Has anyone ever slept in an awning before? When my mum suggested it I had some horrible premonitions of freezing to death with the icy nose of a dog smudged to my face. Unfortunately none of this happened, though my sleep was considerably worse - though I have put this down to environmental factors ie. It's dark. I mean really dark. It's quiet. I mean really quiet. It's uncomfortable. I mean really uncomfortable. The latter remark does refer to the fact I slept the wrong way on the camping bed.
 
Milo did keep me company all night though and stayed right next to me for the duration. If he's not man's best friend, I'm certainly his.
 
I spent most of the day lounging and reading the many manuals for my car and new phone. This was entirely to plan as my first couple of days would be for winding down after the euphoria of leaving employment. Firstly I learnt how my car works. The stereo is still complicated but I can now at least stop the travel news interrupting Sibelius. There is also a highly amusing warning in the manual which states:
 
"Do not close an open hatchback door whilst a person(s) is sitting upright on the rear seat. The hatchback door or hatchback door glass may contact the head of a person sitting upright on the rear seat. Closing the hatchback door onto a person's head may cause serious injuries, including death."
 
If the Mazda RX8 has suicide passenger doors then surely the Coupe has a homicide hatchback?
 
I also noted Lavern has one of those Jeremy Clarkson buttons. Not only does pressing it mean all the safety systems (ESP) turn off, but you also become a loud mouth, opinionated bigot. I will always leave it switched off in his honour.
 
After a quick walk to the lake it was Tony time. My family have been visiting this area for nearly 25 years and it has only been the last couple of years we've eaten there. Why we don't know. Tony is a thoroughbred Italian. He tells tales and makes you feel like the most important diner in the house. Last week he stopped my parents from ordering anything and demanded he cooked for them. So right in the middle of the dining area he brought out a gas hotplate and cooked Steak Diane a la Savoy. He also said my dad was the Bishop of Lichfield.
 
For starters I chose the skewered chilli prawns. To say this was delicious would be an understatement. The chilli was hot enough to make to you it was there, but not overpowering. The Gaci di Gaci crisp dry white I'd selected was the perfect companion. For the main course I broke my taboo and had my first steak in over a year. The sirloin was cooked to perfect and the tomato and garlic sauce was saliva inducing. The best thing about the main courses is the selection of vegetables, or rather the deep fried cauliflower. If Fish and Chip shops offered this as a replacement to chips I'd have them every time. And this is serious; chips just aren't this nice - ever. Then there is the ratatouille which is clearly made from fresh, due to the huge slices of garlic. To accompany the main course I'd selected one of my favourites: Valpolicella. I've yet to try a poor one and that includes the 3.99 bottle I get from Sainsburys.
 
The best thing I like about Tony's though is the smell. When you go into most restaurants nowadays they don't smell of anything food related. Air conditioning, air fresheners and cleanliness rules have wiped out the authentic restaurant smell. Not only that you rarely get to smell other people's food. As soon as you walk through the door your olfactory senses are hit with a wave of seasoning. Garlic and herbs permeate through the air and breathing in becomes a pleasure rather than a necessity. Sitting down at your table you can smell the food from the adjacent diners and without the "aid" of dining music you feel like you've just walked into the most exclusive restaurant in the world.
 
Tony's reminds me of a place called The Casserole which used to be just down the road from my parents. As soon as you walked in there was a garlic odour with French bread. I really miss this.
 
By dessert I was completely stuffed, but felt the need to cap the evening off with something a little sweet. My choice was a Zochorotto (I think). It is frozen sponge around ice cream and laced with massalla wine and candied fruit. Delicious one again. We are going back there in two days. Can't wait.
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