Drugs and alcohol and fried chicken

Date: 7 February 2015.

Location: a Soho Italian cafe in search of hangover relief.

This has got to stop.

It's been tumultuous, welcoming but life-expectancy-shortening week. A brief rundown is below. No doubt more details will arise in subsequent entries.


Arrive Sunday. Middle East on the mind and red desert sand still in my Cons (and too tired, physically and mentally, to venture more than 20 feet from the hotel), opt for a dodgy schwarma for dinner. This will reveal itself to be a poor choice.

Monday. Evening spent at Mildred's, Soho, with Paris, Twiggy, Chandler and Monica. Poison of choice is Porn Star cocktails. Unfortunately I can't enjoy a single mouthful of the beautiful vegetarian food on offer as I must have imbibed something actually dangerous and I come down with severe food poisoning — during dinner. That night I end up sleeping on the toilet floor, a complete, feverish, chilly waste of the 4-star hotel king size bed work had paid for.

Tuesday. Further dates with bathroom floor and gastrolyte for meals, between viewing flats to let. London. Of all the places to get food poisoning.

Wednesday. Evening spent at Flesh and Buns, a basement Japanese restaurant, Covent Garden, with China Doll. Poison of choice: red wine. We gossip and just generally get a bit out of control. I somehow manage to get home around 3.

Thursday. Evening spent at The Owl and The Pussycat, Clutch Chicken, Jaguar Shoes, The Corner Shop, all Shoreditch on a 'friend date' with one of Joey's connections. Poison of choice: lager. Friend date gets off to terrifying start when I arrange to meet potential friend and potential housemate at her flat but my phone dies en route and I am not only lost in the dark streets of East London, but completely without a means to look up the address she's sent me or contact her. Panic. Somehow manage to accidentally end up outside her flat and she somehow (later she admits to stalking my Facebook, naturally enough) sees and recognises me. Evening saved. After she shows me around her modern penthouse with views out over london (heavens) we meet some of her friends for drinks: a pair of Yorkshire brothers, one South Kensington banker complete with blazer and pocket square (on his day off) and the other a chef without a phone or an ATM card but with an accent so rough and thick communication between us, especially over the Thursday pub buzz, is virtually impossible. From there we collect another friend and have dinner at the trendiest fried chicken place I've ever seen. Dinner consists of peppery buttermilk pieces of chicken and every type of trimming — slaw, stuffing, gravy, fries, beetroot salad. My good judgement tells me to leave after this point, but a desire to make new friends keeps me around for 'just one more drink'. Which turns into five and turns us onto the dance floor at The Corner Shop and then back to the penthouse for gin and, for those who indulge (for the record: not me), lines. Miraculously, I find my way home around 2.

Friday. Evening spent at The Bricklayer's Arms, Electricity Showrooms then Looking Glass, Shoreditch, with Ezekiel. Poisons of choice: pints, devolving into cocktails. He points out that it's been five years since we've seen one another. Despite this, and no doubt assisted by aforementioned poisons, we have no shortage of things to talk about. We reminisce about ski seasons and, again, conversation turns to illicit substances. This city appears to be fuelled on amphetamines — which explains a great deal. When he asks about my job we discover that the cafe/bar he manages is basically right next door to my office. He promises to have a hot strong magic coffee ready to soothe my pre-first day jitters on Monday morning.

Obviously this will all settle into a more manageable routine once I start work on Monday.

It has to! (After Saturday, obviously.)






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