What else can I say?
It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m still fuming about something that happened more than 36 hours ago. Allow me to vent, if you will. On Friday night we had a “farewell” celebration, it’s complicated because around a third of the office are being made redundant. The remaining two thirds are being TUPE’d to another employer but doing the same job. I’m one of the “lucky” ones being TUPE’d.
The evening was great, we had a 70’s/80’s theme and everyone made the effort to dress up. Paul and myself were in matching outfits as we were meant to be members of a moderately successful 80’s boyband “Summer of Sunshine”. Will I post a picture here? Our silver jeans deserve a mention I suppose, ok here you go.
We had the whole back-story going, how we’d shortened our name to Sunshine when the other 2 members split in ’86. How we’d been most recently going down a storm playing the clubs in Benidorm. How we’re hoping to appear on the next series of “Re-born in the USA” but can’t say too much about that. It was a lot of fun, during random songs I’d be like “OMG I love this one, do you remember, we covered this one on our third album!”
So anywho, back to this story. We had the “150 people allowed” room in the Pub to ourselves and you needed a ticket to get in. However, towards the end of the night a few colleagues turned up with friends in tow and they were allowed entry. One of said colleagues, a black guy of African descent, had brought along a blonde haired, blue eyed type that struck up conversation with me. Although a little worse for the numerous sex-on-the-beach cocktails, (what else would an ageing boyband member drink?), I started to feel uneasy about the conversation.
He is talking and seems a nice enough guy, I agree with him on several points about music and other random nonsense. Perhaps sensing my approval on these minor points he presses on to more important issues, immigrants, blacks and other things I cant even repeat here. First off, I’m asking myself if I’m hearing him right, next I’m convinced that I’m in a scene from This is England! I’ feel like I’m in the middle of a B N P training video 😦
Now, bearing in mind I’m stood with this guy on one side and on the other side of me is Paul and 2 very good friends and colleagues who happen to be Indian nationals, I’m getting annoyed. Really very annoyed. Not wanting any trouble I made some vague noises and go to chat to someone else that “I just have to talk to!”
Shortly afterwards I pay a visit to the toilets and find the the same white guy pacing up and down talking animatedly into his mobile phone, “get down here it’s gonna kick off” and other scarey words. He’s accompanied by a couple of mates, including the colleague I mentioned, strange that a black guy is hanging with them but who knows whats going on there.
I left the gents as quick as I could and went straight to my Indian mates, drunkenly trying to explain that we should leave now. One of said friends decided to nip to the loo to check it out and when he re-appeared, also agreed that we should leave now. Outside, we grabbed a passing black cab and dropped them off on the way to our house, so all ended well.
It annoys me that this happened. Perhaps, all the more because we were enjoying a 70s/80s night, a time when Race was a major issue. The harsh reality is that in 2009 it is still a major issue for some people.
I probably should have some sort of profound point to make here at the end but really I’m just ranting about an unfair situation.
I’m left with these questions.
My priority was to safeguard my friends, without causing confrontation, was that wrong?
I worry that I should have done more, confronted them about their attitudes but what would that have achieved and what would have happened?
Christmas flew by in a blur didnt it? All that preparation and then in a flurry of visiting, eating, drinking and gifting, its all over.
Something I noticed this year was a distinct lack of Turkey. We ourselves had Beef and I’ve heard so many people talking about going back to traditional Geese and even 3 Bird Roasts 🙂
We’ve got a little tradition of our own starting up. Over the last few years myself and Paul are getting progressively later when it comes to opening our gifts to each another. The last few years its been late on Christmas day, this year it was late on Boxing day. When it comes to the things I’ve bought Paul and he has bought me, we like to do it in private. Settle down at the back, it’s not like that, no rude pressies! We like to buy each other a few stocking fillers to open, silly bits of stuff that we might not otherwise stock up on. A lot of it is foodie bits that I like and he doesn’t and vice versa. I scored some Olives, Corn Chips, a Nasi Goreng meal kit and a Chilli n Garlic Mill to name just a few. He got some tinned Braised Eel (will he try it?), Toffee Popcorn, Turkish delight (2 kinds) and Chinese Egg Cake (really!) among his gifts.
Of course, we had opened our gifts from other people at the same time they opened theirs. This year it was especially nice that Nephew Jacob, being only weeks away from his 10th birthday, took time to look at and enjoy his gifts. Nephew Joe, being only weeks away from his 5th birthday, continued his tradition of tearing the wrapping off and only glancing briefly before reaching for the next thing to unwrap!
After Christmas lunch, several members of the family took time out to practice another traditional Christmas activity 🙂
Sleeping those sprouts off!!
I mean really, could we be any different?
I’m having a lovely piece of Salmon, carefully pan fried to perfection. Paul is boiling some Kippers in a bag.
Of course I loved the Salmon, but I do envy the ability to eat Kippers. I love the taste of the smoked Herrings but I cant abide all those tiny bones.
Although I love the fish (of all kinds) I wasn’t brought up with it. It seems I never learned the trick of eating boney fish with mouthfuls of bread and butter to help the bones slip down!
PS, Please excuse my dirty hob, I do clean it regularly, you’ve just caught me at the end of my clean/dirty cycle 🙂
It is my Dads birthday tomorrow, he wont be reading this but I’ll say it anyway, “Happy Birthday Dad!”
We couldnt make it to his birthday lunch with the rest of the family on Sunday, so I suggested taking him out for lunch on Saturday. We picked them up and headed to the Wetherby Whaler in Wakefield. Here’s Mum and Dad as we chatted while waiting for our food.
Hurrah, my “Giant” Haddock arrived. I can confirm that it was wonderfully cooked, the chips were like Gran used to fry and the mushy peas perfectly mushed 🙂
On the way home we stopped off at New Miller Dam and enjoyed a treat from the ice cream van. The boy in the ice cream van had 2 hearing aids, he was very good though.
A couple handing out religious postcards were quickly rebuffed by me. Unfortunately, Mum opened things up again, “is it religious? I’ll take one, I am a confirmed Christian.” I then had to spend the next 5 minutes explaining how this version of religion is just a little bit kooky.
We then went for a walk in the woods along the waters edge. An Andrex puppy being walked by a couple caused quite a stir, I put my foot down, no dogs allowed in my house!
We made it back to the car with seconds to spare on the parking meter and completed the journey back to Mexborough, dropping off the parents, finally driving back to Sheffield and liberating a couple of Lagers from the fridge.
A succesful day and mission accomplished 🙂
NaBloPoMo July 08 Day 30
My brunch snack yesterday, a salad of melon, garlic stuffed olives and spianata calabrese salami.
The super hot peppery salami against the sweet cool flavour of the melon edged by the sour garlicky olives was a sensational combination.
The salami was a surprise for me that Paul brought back from the supermarket the other day. It’s not one I’ve tried before but I’ll be having it again for sure. Here is what it looked like before I chopped it up. I’ve not seen a salami this shape before either!
You can see the peppercorns, I don’t have to tell you how hot it was 🙂
NaBloPoMo July 08 Day 29
Monday’s lunch was was an early one, we were on late shift again so needing to eat before going to work. Paul made big fat chips (you may call them wedges) by frying up the leftover potatoes from Sunday dinner.
Add these to some re-heated chicken and gravy and you have got a satisfiying meal 🙂
You just can’t beat chips and gravy!
NaBloPoMo July 08 Day 26
Friday was an odd day menu-wise. On Thursday night we looked in the freezer to decide on Friday’s dinner. It was decided we would have the last portion of calamari we froze a while back. The plan was to put it in the fridge in the morning to defrosft during the day. During the day, when I asked Paul what we were haviing for dinner, “Oh, I forgot to get the squid out of the freezer.”
So I thought a while and came up with a naughty idea for Fun-Food-Friday. Burger, fried egg, chips and tinned spaghetti hoops. I know! it’s like my dream menu from when I was 10 years old 🙂
Later in the evening, after a couple of beers, Paul decided that he didnt want to cook and by that time I had gone off the idea.
So what happenend? The take-away menus came out of the drawer and Chinese was decided upon. I know, I’m sorry, it’s only a week since we last had Chinese, but hey, we were hungry!
So here is a shot of Paul, “cooking” Friday night’s dinner. This isnt my NaBloPoMo picture for today, that’s further down 🙂
In other news I tried another of those Polish Knorr soups, Barszcz Czerwony. This was a red beetroot soup, I suppose what I’d call Borscht. I was surprised when I opened the packet, the granules look like sherbet! I added some leftover fresh beetroot to give it a bit “extra” flavour. Sadly I had to leave half of it, even with salt and pepper added, it was just too sweet. I give it 5 out of 10.
I have another packet in the cupboard, do you want it?
NaBloPoMo July 08 Day 22
Mondays are a bit rubbish, aren’t they? Getting up and going back to work after the weekend is a real effort. As soon as I get to work I just want to come home already. Once home I just want to chill out, relax and get over the shock of the whole Monday thing.
So it’s no surprise that I want want to make as little effort as possible with Monday meals, I just want to eat. Last night, dinner was planned to be leftover Sunday dinner. During the day and getting stonger as 6pm approached, was the feeling that leftovers just wouldn’t do. I wanted quick easy comfort food. I wandered over to Pauls desk and made him an offer he could’nt refuse. The offer was KFC, something he can’t refuse 🙂
So here you have it, a KFC indoor picnic.
I dropped Paul at home, he warmed plates and mixed up some instant gravy, making it extra thick so it sticks to the chips. KFC gravy is tasty but just too runny. I drove around the corner to the drive through and was back shortly with the food.
There are a few pieces of chicken leftover, I’ll take them to work today for my lunch 🙂