Oh my God, I had a big weekend. Not toxic, but super-fulfilling.
We arrived in Norwich at about eleven on Saturday night (damn my disorganisation) as Peter’s engagement party was in full swing. I got drunk. I then hung around chatting with loads of people until about seven the following morning. I crawled into bed very drunk and smelling of paraffin from fire breathing. Fire breathing is mad. I’d say it’s better to look at than to do and the following paraffin burps are dark. So dark that even two bowls of Mat’s fantastic green curry couldn’t get rid of them. I ate two bowls of Rhubarb crumble as well :-)
So, bright and early yesterday morning, at 10:30, Louise and I get up and go to christening. Man I was hungover, but I didn’t hurl, just. The christening was lovely, but was made slightly surreal by the fact that Delia Smith was there. Delia is the father’s boss (he works for Norwich City Football Club). Louise had to hold her hand during a prayer. Baby Grace was lovely. She was having a great time at the christening until she fell asleep. Later she posed for photographs happily as well.
Our relationship to the family is that the mother, Zoe, was Louise’s boss whilst Louise was teaching in Norwich. Zoe is lovely and Neil, her husband, seemed very nice as well. Their house is extremely beautiful, being an old farmhouse out in the Suffolk countryside. Zoe had covered her table in food. It repulsed me (or at least my hungover self) at first, but eventually I succumbed and I think it was key in shifting the brainsqueeze.
Louise and I had some interesting conversations with the party guests, including the reverend (I think), Damian, who is Zoe’s brother. He was fairly left-wing and worked in a school in Glasgow. It was slightly odd chatting to him because he was so definitely an authority figure, but was actually fairly quiet. My camera also went down well with everybody and I espoused the benefits of digital photography.
Once back at the ranch and out of my suit, I got down to some frisbee. Ah summer! Roping people into the game as they walked between the house and the gazebo by throwing the frisbee at them. That was unisex frisbee. Later on we played Man’s frisbee, which involved throwing much harder, being further apart and running more. Fantastic. The gazebo is basically and open sided tent, furnished with all manner of crazy garden furniture and a homemade table. It was perfect for garden chilling.
Yesterday evening Adam cooked the chilli. This had been subject to much discussion during the week speculating about the hotness and also that day due to Adam doing his usual trick of buying all the chillies that Sainsbury’s had. The chilli was deeeelicious. I think we were actually saved a little by Sainsbury’s poor stock :-). In addition, I have yet to suffer the “day after pain” that usually goes with Adam’s chilli. Much beer and an amount of high cream milk certainly eased things yesterday and it looks like today as well.
After that there was much lazing, drinking and hacking around on computers. Everybody produced their laptops and Mart tinkered with Lisa’s old Pentium, now running Mandrake. We deleted KDE and installed blackbox and now it doesn’t skip when playing MP3s, despite being a P one hundred and something. I stole four gigs of MP3s from Mart, Mat and Rich. A gig and a half of Can and some other krautrock and much other stuff. I filled my disk and four CDs. I need a bigger disk. Luckily one is on it’s way, my new Powerbook has 60 gig.
Today summer began properly. It was sunny and we all sat in the garden all day. Around one the idea of a barbecue was mooted and hastily agreed. This truly was the weekend of food. We went and got Greg and then eighty quid’s worth of food. On the way out of Sainsbury’s I had a sudden hit of “oh God what incredible western excess!”, but I have to say that I didn’t do anything about it.
I made salads for the barby, Adam and Martin made burgers, Mat managed the fire space, Greg made Pimm’s, Louise did everything else and everybody ate and ate. It was good. We played music from Turner’s iPod into Mat’s diddy PC speakers. When the iPod died, we plugged it into my laptop and used it as a drive. His playlists just came up in iTunes and it worked without any hacking whatsoever! The iPod even charged through the Firewire.
It was sad to leave. On the drive home we were very tired and a little down about leaving everybody again. I love all those people and when we coordinate to have a good time like this weekend it all works so damn well. Then in London I know very few people and live a much more insular life. I think that the only way I survive like this is that I have so much online contact with my disparate friends.
During last week, I talked with Martin about how I think a lot about the good summer times in Norm’s VW combivan and at Thickthorn, times just like this weekend, and how it makes me sad that life isn’t like it used to be. This weekend showed me that that’s bullshit. Life is just as good now as then. Each coming weekend just brings another opportunity to have more and more fun with more and more lovely people. Louise and I know how to do things now. We bugger off on Saturday to be at a nexus of people, the party in Oxford, this one in Norwich, or we set something up in London, like Manga night, and we stretch it out with beer, food, gaming and other relaxing delights. Shut out the world and just chill.
In conclusion, the summer is here and it’s going to be *the bomb*. Woo hoo!