Again this morning the alarm clock buzzes just as I roll over to begin a second bout of sleep. This is God’s little way of teasing and tantalising me. Most people have wives that do it for them but me, I have a shitty appliance.
I am slow moving this morning. On GMTV all complaint about Thierry Henry’s double handball last night is feeble and ill informed and ill educated. They will not play this game again in a million years.
Today I can’t help but wonder if given half the chance Andrew Castle would like to be the UK equivalent of Glenn Beck.
Away from this I find myself being distracted by clips from Public Disgrace this morning. These clips are awful, this is not how people should be treated. This is not healthy sex or healthy porn.
As I leave and drive out of our communal car park The Ghost gets out of my way so that I am able to drive past him. While I do so I wave at him. Are we friends yet?
It’s a boring journey up to London today that takes in the lowest part of my thinking.
The working day turns out to be another disrupted one. The consultant is supposed to come in today but he doesn’t bother, not even taking the time to let us know or inform us of his absence in order to make a gesture to rearrange. We’ve got a right one here.
Downstairs in the afternoon the restaurant gets revamped as a corporate bash complete with red carpet takes over the entire place for a private booking. It all looks very serious and surprisingly swish as our gaff really gets polished up. Worryingly just before the end of the day we hear a large smash as somebody somewhere drops a lot of glasses but despite our boss panicking the manager seems nonplussed as she assures him that she has enough glasses to cater. The revamp is completed by an actual red carpet leading into the entrance of the restaurant. This is genuinely swish.
As the day hurtles toward an end there is still the fear that the consultant might troll in late in the day as we repeatedly echo the words “surely he won’t come in now.” Eventually we head off around 5PM in a minibus that takes us to Bloomsbury. On the way the Twin Peaks garage telephones me to remind me of my impending MOT (as if I needed reminding) and I book my car in for next Tuesday in the hope that dad will help me out with it.
Once out of the cab I lead everyone to the Bloomsbury Bowling where upon arrival nobody else from the company is to be seen. Even early in the evening the place is already swinging and immediately my boss looks pretty unimpressed by the place.
As we wait nobody turns up and then it becomes apparent that the lanes have actually been booked at the All Star Bowling lanes in Holborn. More grumpiness ensues as we storm over to the other lanes. Upon arrival straight away we spot the other bosses of the company and a set of foreign faces.
I wind up on a lane with a bunch of people I do not know. The most prominent person is some guy (a manager) I have been told is bi whose face regularly contorts with Coke snorts and spasms (another thing I have been told about him). Invariably this is the person I eventually end up competing against for last place. Things begin well however as with my second bowl I score a strike that garners congratulation from unexpected quarters. Unfortunately it all goes downhill from here. Early on I decide I don’t like my lane and eventually thankfully the game gets put out of its misery as I finish on a score of 77 managing to avoid finishing last.
Afterwards we head to the bar to get more drinks. For some reason I feel out of sync with everybody else but luckily the company is running a tab so I can order drinks freely and crawl out of my antisocial stances by getting drunk.
As with all bowling establishments this place lends a nod towards the Big Lebowski by offering a White Russian variation that basically is drink that comes with milk and Kahlua. Eager to try to this drink while a couple sit at the bar in the way I find myself having to lean over to look into the menu to see what it is called. As I do so the couple clock me and begin verbally wondering what I am doing (not least as it appears I am attempting to look up the woman’s skirt). Nonchalantly I explain that I am trying to read the menu at which point I get into a very stunted nonversation with them about the drink that none of the three of us what to be in.
Eventually I get my drink, accidentally ordering two when I think he is asking me how many shots I want. At this point the Filipino joins me at the bar so I give on of them to her. We take our seats and displaying something of a degree of ignorance I cannot be bothered to make friends and go through nice nice with any of these people while everyone else from our office seems keen to meet people and put faces to names. Why I am not feeling it tonight I don’t know. Perhaps I am still pissed off by the people on the lane I was at or maybe I am just cliquey. Most likely I am just not in the mood.
Later we head to the booths in order to have some food and the Australian manager of one of our central sites decides to join us as he begins hitting on The Girl. I don’t like this guy and while everyone prattles on about this and that I just grab a menu and hold it up to my face seemingly in some kind of gesture to hide. Obviously this soon gets pointed out and I have to admit I genuinely hadn’t clocked that I was doing it.
For a starter I order Squid Popcorn, which sounds delicious and exciting. To accompany this I order some kind of lasagne as my main and as conversation descends in directions I am not necessarily interested in when the food finally arrives it comes as a relief and the Squid Popcorn indeed tastes fantastic (after the addition of a little Tabasco sauce). Elsewhere on the table however no one seems impressed with their food and in a lame act of schadenfreude I take much amusement out of this.
The misery continues as the main courses turn up and everyone reacts as if they have been served shit. When did people get so snobby about food? I can’t help but think the worst people in the world to serve food to are indeed restaurant types of any level.
A couple of times The Girl heads outside for a smoke, joining various other manager and chef types. I should really be making the effort to speak to these people considering I work with them but I just can’t be bothered. When The Girl eventually returns out of boredom I begin asking her if the twitching manager has any coke on him. This does not go down very well especially considering that I am talking across our boss to get the question in.
As the Australian’s efforts to pull The Girl begin to become more and more desperate I eventually bother to have some kind of stilted conversation with him. It turns out that before coming to England to do the restaurant thing he spent time in Germany being a dancer. I feel like calling him a fairy and telling him to fuck off back to Australia but I don’t I’m a nice guy at least trying to make an effort.
Around 10PM gestures are made to making a move by us accounts types and as I head off I pretend to head to the toilet and don’t even bother to say “goodbye” to anybody. Quite frankly in many ways I should be shot.
After my piss I exit walking down Southampton Row drunk and grumpy heading towards Holborn station. When I eventually get to my platform I notice a CBS Action advertisement on the wall featuring Moonlighting. Now that was a passionate TV show.
In the end I manage to stagger aboard the 10.30PM train to Norwich meaning that thankfully it won’t be too late by the time I get back to Colchester. On the way I listen to the most recent Morrissey record on full volume and probably nod off.
Frustratingly on a night I want to get home in a hurry it takes thirty minutes to get from Liverpool Street to Romford. This is fucking feeble.
Once back in Colchester between the station and my flat just before midnight my phone rings and it is a missed call from The Girl. This is followed up by a text from her checking that I have got home safely. I respond in kind. From here I go to bed grumpy although TV is good. That’s all I need.