Monday 3 December 2012


On paper, the last week has been a remarkable week of over-indulgence and organised fun:

Tuesday - Carmen at the ENO
Thursday - Ben Howard at the Brixton 02
Friday - Ross Noble at the Hammersmith Apollo
Saturday - Dining on the Thames with Jamie Oliver
Sunday - Cocktail Master Class at Harvey Nichols

At that level of ridiculousness, I realise I have no scope to moan or groan...for most people, doing that much in a year would more than enough.  We are lucky.  We live in a bubble, and the only worry is that one day someone might pop it.  So when I do moan and groan, it's within the context of knowing that if anyone should want to, please feel free to tell me to shut up.

Ben Howard was brilliant...really good, much more rocky, lively and interesting than I had hoped.  It's just that The Cat's Mother and I weren't speaking, having argued earlier.  For the first time, ever, we left before the encore.  It hadn't been much fun.  All self-inflicted.

Ross Noble should have been great...but I'm not a great one for watching stand up comedians, and he was off form...some problems with the microphone put him off his pace, and he didn't really seem to have any sort of a theme or a thread.  I went to sleep, much to the amazement of the couple sitting next to me.

We've always been great fans of Jamie Oliver, so Saturday night was a bitter disappointment.  In fact this was organised by his catering business, and the food was like school dinners.  Tasteless, badly presented.  hopeless.I don't think Mr Oliver had had any involvement at all, which wouldn't have been so bad if it hadn't cost an arm and a leg...not that everyone had paid that much - the couple sitting next to us had booked for afternoon tea(!) and had been upgraded to the full monty.  This couple should have been fascinating company - both Oxford graduates, one having studied English Literature - just what The Cat would like to do.  But they were dull beyond belief.  The guy was a civil servant and had worked for Tessa Jowell, so could have had all sorts of interesting stories around the Olympics, but we gave up.  His fiance, had been a theatre reviewer, but couldn't really remember any plays she'd been to see...and when we prompted her with 'The Browning Version' she admitted she'd walked out - remarkable given that the parallel performance was written by David Hare, one of the twentieth centuries greatest writers, who she had no awareness of.  We left early, as soon as the boat docked deciding that The Cat should breeze into Oxford at that rate.

And Sunday...well truth be told, this was a fabulous experience - it was a birthday gift to The Cat's Mother from her BFF, The Queen of Essex.  A dozen of us piled into Harvey Nicks, to learn all about the different spirits, and  how making a great cocktail is all about balance.  There's 5,000 cocktails, and we sampled a few of them.  On a Sunday morning.  Brilliant experience, really fun...but we were groaning in the afternoon!