Tuesday 26 August 2014

A wet bank holiday

The Muffins have some friends who have a whisky collection.  They inherited on the death of the father of one of them.  There's enough that they like to hold dinner parties combined with whisky tasting evenings.  As I enjoy my whisky (not so much whiskey), I was delighted to head along on Saturday evening.  The meal consisted of salmon with cream cheese on blinis, followed by smoked duck on a bed of watercress, followed by tagliatelle and finally mackerel fish cakes...that's if you don't include the chocolate and ginger drops.  With each course we sampled a different whisky or two.  Delicious.  I learnt a few things.  Firstly, a mouthful of food can radically change the flavour of a whisky (some that we liked we liked less after a bite of mackerel, etc) and that the cost of a whisky can often reflect its rarity rather than its quality.  It was a really lovely evening...with tales of disastrous weddings at Camden Registry office and wedding rings made from three generations of mothers' wedding rings...and some gold fillings.

Naturally Sunday morning was a little fuggy.

The Cat and The Boy headed off to a party near Canterbury...old school friends recounting tales of their past year since leaving school.  I don't think it got too wild, I do think it went on quite late.  And so it should.

We reconvened as a family group in Deal where we were meeting some friends who live there.  They have returned to Blighty after years of living and working abroad, most recently in Germany.  This gave The Boy a chance to practice his Austrian-accented German.  I believe he passed muster.  We all had a game or two of pool in the 'man cave'...and I was quite pleased to have won both games...it was only fun, but actually as I hadn't picked up a cue for a couple of decades there was a small joy to winning!

It also gave me the opportunity to freshen up.I hadn't realised the extent to which the #icebucketchallenge had swept the country, so had been surprised to find that I had been challenged.  I think there's a bit of a backlash as happens with these things, but I guess I feel that it's a bit of fun, and encourages people to donate money they would otherwise not, so why not.  As it happens another of the guests there had been challenged too, so we took up the challenge together.  You're probably bored with seeing these, but then what's another...

The Boy is very single-minded in all things.  That's both a blessing and a curse.  It means he has an iron determination to achieve what he wants to, and there is no doubting that is a good thing.  On the other hand he does speak incessantly about a subject when a bit of variety might be a good idea.  Still I would rather have it this way round, than him having no interests or no passion about the things he gets involved in.

The Boy and I are all set for our trip up to Edinburgh.  He's off to study German and English Literature starting early September.  It's an eight hour journey, and car rental is out of the question...he's not yet 23, so I'll be driving there and back in a weekend.  Groan.  Muffin Dad suggested renting a car one way and flying back which  is a  great idea, but the cost is horrendous, so I've had to rule that out.  Am hoping that Auntie Gwen will supply her son's  contact details so my Boy will be able to hook up with hers.

Oh what a tangled web we weave.  The Middle East is going from bad to worse it seems, and from where I sit, the west is largely responsible for stirring up this hornet's nest.  Not just in the last ten, twenty or thirty years, but going way way back.  There's even talk of us having to support the Assad Government in Syria against ISIS.  Really?  How mad is that?  Perhaps in future, the West will learn to keep its collective noses out of the region.  But I doubt it.