Sea Bass

May. 25th, 2008 08:58 pm
leynos: (Cooking Mama)
And that, ladies and gentleman, is why I drink in the Blue Blazer. Any other pub, you'd be listlessly trying to apologise for not liking football to a heavyset man with no neck. Here, the heavy-set man with no neck gives you a concise and well-taught lesson on Chinese cookery that actually produces results (whilst you enjoy some splendid whiskies together, I might add).

It goes a little something like this:

  • Peel and cut a two inch long piece of ginger into staves, and slice three spring onions
  • Take one sea bass (well, he said sea bream, but I was limited by what Sainsbury's had), cut into the skin and rub with salt.
  • Fry half the ginger in a little oil until it briefly, then fry the fish on both sides with the ginger until the skin begins to crispen and brown.
  • Keep the fish warm and discard the burnt ginger
  • Fry the rest of the ginger and spring onions until the spring onions begin to wilt
  • Add a quarter pint of vegetable stock and a teaspoon of corn flour
  • Let the sauce reduce and thicken
  • serve with rice and green veg of your choice (and in my case, a pint of heffeweißen)
If I'd known it was that bloody easy, I'd have been doing this years ago.

Limbo

Mar. 3rd, 2007 09:34 pm
leynos: (Default)
I'm really starting to hate this house now. Really. It's starting to seriously depress me. To the extent that I have at times considered checking into a hotel rather than return home at night.

Similarly, despite the fact that I enjoy my job, the constant backwards and forwards-ing has been proving to be a little too much for me.

So with that in mind, a day of down time was exactly what I needed. I ate stupid amounts of chocolate, shoveled all my mum's junk mail into a bin liner, procured a bottle of shiraz, which I enjoyed with a lamb dansakh, and watched The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover and The Devil Wears Prada.

Peter Greenaway really should be locked up.

The day comfortably wasted, I feel a lot better now. Tomorrow, I visit my mother.

Now, regarding the house purchasing business, it's plodding along. I have a little bit of focus in my search now. I think I can get a reasonably priced flat of decent size if I look in the right place. I'm sick of viewing shoeboxes in Meadobank that I know will sell for 100k+, so I have decided to abandon any dreams of living within walking distance of Calton Studios, but I figure that my new objective offers a fair bit of promise.

Should be fun.
leynos: (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu)
Q: What's green and takes Leynos 3 years to finish?

A: A bottle of Marks and Sparks Islay Single Malt. I'm going to hazard a guess that it's Ardbeg. Or maybe Laphroaigg.

There is much in the way of dregs in the family drinks cabinet to be worked through.

--

On the subject of cheap laughs from Wikipedia vandalism, I highly recommend examining the diffs on the edits for the Buckfast entry.

My favourite: 'Also called "A bottle of What The F**k You Lookin' At?"(Leith Links, Edinburgh)'

Although the constant battle of substitutions between English and Scottish localities is rather amusing.
leynos: (Default)
I now have my RYA level 2 certificate, which means I can hire out a boat. Ooh yeah. So, anyone want to get together sometime in September and hire out a Wayfarer?

~

As promised, I got well hammered on Saturday at my flatmate's party. We all had a good time, though I think I scared a few people by ranting about Britain's nuclear armourment after one too many drams of Highland Park. That wasn't before I'd persuaded my flatmate to model my Bates & Co fedora and Jed phoenix self-tailoring jacket.

I also got to talk to [livejournal.com profile] dizziebeth properly for a bit. Although I imagine my ranting probably put me in the bad books.

~

To my many responsibilities at work has now been added "web designer." So accordingly, I spent the day re-learning (again) CSS, and coming up with a design that looks pretty in Internet Exploiter and Mozilla Firefox.

The boss liked it. W00t.
leynos: (Default)
Volume 2 is now over. Good God, is this getting interesting. Revelations are coming thick and fast, having me on the edge of my seat, mouth agape. When that's not happening, I'm oohing over the pathos of unfulfilled romance, smiling and Kyo and Tohrus' faltering love, or just laughing out loud at ridiculous and in part self-imposed situations.

I can't believe I was close to giving up on this manga. I shall be straight into Waterstones tomorrow lunch time to nab volume 3.

~

Amicus Apple has become my new haunt. The combination of friendly staff, inventive cocktails and handy location are just right. Sitting on the steps outside on a warm summer eveing, enjoying a caiparina and some shojou manga can't be beaten. The menu still makes me giggle.
leynos: (Default)
There's a whisky that tastes like a tequila. I know because I had a dram of it today at the Society.

In Princes St gardens at lunch time, there were models pretending to be beach volleyball players, pretending to play on a pretend beach. They weren't very good at it. The real players are playing tomorrow and on Sunday. Entry is free.

Wario Ware on the Gamecube is mad as hell with four people playing. I would expect no less. Four player Puzzle Bobble on the other hand just doesn't quite work. Especially since there is no interaction between the players. Tut tut.

I will be sans one flatmate in one week's time.
leynos: (Default)
I can't remember exactly what the twenty year old Glenfarclas tasted like. I do remember that its soft caramelized fruitiness and slight notes of burnt straw went a treat with the pre-theatre dinner I tucked into at the Whisky Society after work. The vegetable tempura starter with home made sweet chili sauce and the chicken with roast shallots on a bed of parmesan mash had both been prepared to perfection. These dishes more than made up for the slightly disappointing meal I had been served last time I dined at the Society.

Amicus Apple is a newly opened cocktail bar on Frederick Street. I was told about it by the alleged owner, whom I met in the Blue Blazer about two weeks ago. Apart from the disturbingly large number of people drinking Tennant's, it seems like a rather convivial place. An impressive array of inventively designed cocktails greets upon opening the menu, whose witticisms and wise cracks speak to the clientele as much as the drinks do.

First up comes the Monk Martini, a sharp and dry summery creation involving Benedictine, Grand Marnier and lemon juice. Enjoyed in the sun, it piqued the mood of the moment to a tee. Amicus' bid to be different extends to their stemware, which is markedly distinct from the traditional martini glass. Sadly however, this bid doesn't extend to their spirit selection. A very stock range of whiskies is accompanies a selection of rum that extends as far as 1919, and a solid, but not exceptional run of bourbon.

Following this, I ordered a mint julep. What I got wasn't a mint julep, but instead a delicious concoction of bourbon (Basil Heyden's, as requested), mint, bitters, gome, ginger beer and lemonade. It was so good that I found myself quite grateful for the surprise outcome. A tempting promise of further delights to come is offered by the intriguing compliment of non-alcoholic ingredients at the bartenders' disposal, including heather honey and fresh strawberries. For me though, I had to leave it at that for the time being.

Both drinks came to a very reasonable six quid each.

For those drinking shorts, it maybe doesn't offer much beyond the usual, but a very individualistic and adventurous cocktail selection awaits those willing to experiment and splash out a little. I'll definitely be returning.
leynos: (Default)
Scottie organized a comedy themed film night last night. Or at least, that's how it started. When I arrived, Stephen and Angus were there watching the Marx Brothers doing their best to offend the population of Italy. Bewildered, but very amused, I took a seat and enjoined the proceedings. By popular vote, this was followed by Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which of course, everyone enjoyed.

Now, here's where events became somewhat surreal. Scottie's friend's from work arrived. Three ladies and three laddies. With the bevvy. And the music. Er... Whisky Tango Foxtrot, over? What transpired next seemed somewhat akin to a cross between some good old fashioned high seas piracy and an episode of "Pimp My Party."

Angus and I continued to watch WFRR, increasingly alarmed by the calamity ensuing in the kitchen. (Lots of clinking of glass, slamming of oven doors, clattering of pots, etc.) The girls emerged from the kitchen carrying several saucepans full of punch, and proceeded to get a game of spin the bottle going.

The film night ended at around this point.

No sir, I don't mind a good party, as my flatmates will attest, but if you're going to bring a case of music with you, at least cater for more than one genre of music. At the very least, make that genre something other than R&B. Please. There aren't many genres of music I can say I categorically despise, but R&B is one of them. No, seriously. It's vomit inducing. No amount of gyrating booty will change that fact.

Sadly, Angus made his excuses and left. And then there were three. Stephen and I resigned ourselves to inevitability and joined in. "Truth, Dare or Drink." The latter seemed rather redundant, as everyone was drinking anyway. The dares seemed to consist unanimously of "snog foo." Which left truth. Stephen and I both got asked the obvious question, though Stephen had obviously put a lot more rehearsal into his answer.

Well, some drum 'n' bass did eventually make it onto the CD player, so I did get a little dancing in. But they changed the track before the end of the song.

Oh, and we got a gatecrasher too. A rather drunk chap in a Hibs shirt who shared the same glasses prescription as me.

"Hi, I'm John."

"Hi, I'm David"

"That's funny, my second name's David"

"That's funny, my middle name's John"

"Haha, you know what, my Dad's named David John"

"Even stranger, my sister's boyfriend's named Jon David"

Next time, I'll bring some whisky. And music.

Yummy

May. 23rd, 2006 08:40 pm
leynos: (Default)
Today is payday, so I decided to treat myself. Rather than the usual trip to Sushiya followed by a whisky overdose in the 'Blazer, I thought I might try something different.

I can't cook, but I like to pretend that I can.

Cut for gratuitous food pictures... )
leynos: (Default)
Ballboy are fan-fucking-tastic live. The energy in their songs heard in person is simply overwhelming. Or it could have just been my excitement at seeing for the first time the people who performed the music that I have grown to love over these years. Well, either way, I had fun.

They played an almost entirely electric set, made up of songs from their three principal albums with slightly more lifted from the first, Club Anthems 2001. I've yet to hear their third electric album, Royal Theatre, so I got to experience those songs played live first. The biggest surprise came in the form of the electric version of Olympic Cyclist, which to the best of my knowledge isn't on any of their CDs. Satisfyingly, I also got to stand right at the front.

Ballboy deliver music that has a rare honesty to it. Gordon McIntyre's lyrics talk of love and ambition in a way that is not the stuff of dreams, but instead makes the mundane and ordinary seem beautiful. They capture the energy and magic that is inherent in everything we do and somehow realize it as song. Tales of the small successes and the seemingly unscalable plateaus in life are married perfectly with a kinetic rhythm that that makes you want to just do something.

Before Ballboy, support act King Bear put on an impressive show. Their off-colour blend of wailing guitars and green-tinged synth shrieks offering something unique and memorable. I'm thankful for the introduction to this band.

Being as this was, the night after the Scottish cup final, the Gorgie carnival was out in full force. Chants of, "We're shit and we won the cup," to the tune of Go West filled the Grassmarket. It always makes for an interesting night, but preferably watched from behind glass. The 'Blazer, a welcoming establishment at the best of times, has a pretty low tolerance for football supporters, so it provided such a suitable vantage point.

Another fun thing about the 'Blazer is watching the perplexed look on punters' faces as they are informed that Jack Daniels and Baccardi aren't sold there. "We've got forty-five different rums. You don't have to drink Morgans, you know."

My bedroom is disturbingly tidy right now. Not just in an "omfg, you actually have a carpet" kind of way, but you can even see some of the walls too. I give it three days before it reverts back to the way it was.
leynos: (Default)
I spent yesterday evening in town, doing my best to chill out. A curry was enjoyed at the mosque, a pint of Coors downed at Centraal, and a pot of ginger and lemongrass tea savoured in the Forest. I also managed to purchase a ticket for Ballboy's concert tomorrow night at the Liquid Room. I should add that Coors is rather delicious, very clean tasting and refreshing, with a subtle maltiness to it.

All of this was in aid of a planned meeting with Scottie later in the evening. A restauranteur acquaintance of his had tasked him with delivering a bespoke point of sale solution, and I had been offered the opportunity to assist. So we talked about possible means and software designs, and examined available hardware and ready-built solutions. We envisaged waiters taking orders on tablet computers and database driven backends doing crazy wacked things with statistics.

I'd like to help out if I can, because it is some time since I've had any opportunity to do any real programming.

Speaking of opportunity, I have a job interview on Monday. The first in a while, since I postponed my job hunt on account of the therapy I'm undergoing. This is for a helpdesk operator / registration administrator for the e-commerce web site at the bank I work for. It should be interesting, but I don't have a lot of confidence right now. I know where I'm going wrong, but I just don't feel I have it in me to fix the problems. Still, I think I have better stories to tell the interviewer than I did a few months ago. The last month at work has been surprisingly eventful.

I do like the prospect of working closer to the town centre. Well, to be precise, I like the prospect of working across the road from the Blue Blazer.
leynos: (Default)
Part 1 of 5

In which Leynos arrives, gets lost, meets the Singing Handyman, sees a play and gets drunk.

Lost in Transition


I stepped out of Leicester Square Underground station, and still slightly dizzy from all the beer drunk on the train, I started to wonder around aimlessly.

Erin, my sister, had said to meet at the All Bar One in Leicester Square. Now, erm... Where is that? Not really sure where I should be going, my wonderings took me down a rather pretty lane, lined with what appeared to be nothing but shops selling collectables. Coins, books, records, stamps, toy cars, you name it. That's something I like about London: the way streets and precincts become devoted to a single branch of commerce. Saville Row for taylors, Tottenham Court Road for electronics, Camden Town for cool gothy shit, etc. it's almost adorable. Streets in Edinburgh never become quite so single minded.

So, as you'd expect, I got a little distracted, which was kind of the idea anyway. Eventually, I found Leicester Square. All Bar One still eluded me however. I wound up sipping a glass of bourbon and ice in a chain pub that might as well have been All Bar One. Given the weather, I'd have preferred to sit outside, but a window seat had to suffice. Erin arrived at five o'clock, and we headed for her flat in Woolwich to ditch luggage.

Just to prove that crazy goings on happen all the time, as we left the Square, Darin-esque crooning lilted through the air. The source soon became apparent in the form of a smiling chap singing from the cab of his dinky toy van into a PA system. Ladies and gentlemen, may we present The Singing Handyman.


Voted small builder of the year no less



At Charing Cross Station, my sister informed my, much to my dismay, that my shiny new Ken Livingstone Card would be of no use on the overground trains to Woolwich. Drat. Back to bits of paper with magnetic strips.

Tartuffe


Tartuffe had been my suggestion, albeit one made without much fore-knowledge. The synopsis sounded agreeable, and I knew that it had run at the Lyceum in Edinburgh with much prominence. I don't actually go to the theatre normally, but seeing a play in London had been recommended by a number of people. As it turns out, the play was running in the Greenwich Theatre rather than the West End. Although that just made the whole thing even more fun. Like shunning the famous pubs to find a cosy tavern in a quiet back lane.

We both enjoyed the show, as we were treated to a masterful comedy of deception. The use of rhyming couplets in the writing worked delightfully to accentuate and mock the characters speaking the lines, and the writing positively dripped with erudite wit. The elabourate setup in the first half paid of spectacularly, as the sly villain got his comeuppance in the end, but not before the dull-witted figurehead of the play nearly saw his world collapse around him. Praise must go not only to the 17th century author, but to the translator of this new version, which connects with the audience and delivers impeccable humour whilst retaining the feel of a play from four centuries past.

End of the night


My sister's boyfriend joined us for drinks in a bizarre establishment in New Cross that purported to be an Irish pub. Before long, two guitarists on stage, the guy on the left looking strangely like on of The Proclaimers, had launched into a set of surprisingly passible pop covers.

I guess that this is the South London equivalent of a piano bar. As the night ran, the place slowly began to fill up, and then people started dancing. Before long, the floor was shaking. My sister suggested, "I bet you didn't think you'd see everyone in here dancing like this." An accurate observation I have to say.
leynos: (Default)
I have some film reviews to post, but I'm too drunk to finish them right now. The great thing about alcohol is that it erases everything that happens before. It's like you get two days for the price of one.

Ho-Il is visiting tomorrow. I will try and cook chicken gaeng phed for him, since I owe him a nice meal. I was a little surprised to learn that he'd purchased Kill Zone for the PS2, until I remembered that the bad guys in it bear a striking resemblance to the Wolf Brigade troops in Jin Roh, which he has a major obsession with.

Anyway, I found a recipe for Thai Red Curry on E2 (where else), so I'll give it a go.

I was also surprised, and a little happy to find that cigar smoke doesn't set off the fire alarms in my flat. I think I may have to visit the Cigar Box and pick up a Monte Cristo No. 2 to celebrate. Although I'm a little worried that I may have become addicted to nicotine now.

Fun goings on at the 'Blazer:



All pints £2.20

Tasting notes


Cacique 500 (Venezuelan Rum) - Very spirity nose. Cadbury's chocolate buttons with a hint of cinnamon on the palate. A little dull in flavour, but very warm. No smokiness. By the time I finished the glass I was hooked.

Saturday


The day started at two pm. Well, kind of earlier, since I needed to get dressed, have a shower, etc. But at two, more or less, I showed up at the PSC stall on Princes Street and offered to help. Leafletting turned out to be surprisingly easy. I had expected plenty of heckling and cold shoulders. In fact, most people are quite happy to accept the material when offered.

As before, the friendliness of the other PSC members I worked beside impressed me. As did their technique with passers by. They excelled at identifying interested passers by and building rapport with them. One guy in particular seemed to have a good way with multiculturalism, greeting people in Arabic and Polish, among other languages and presenting the leaflets to them with a flourish. Personally, I found that a friendly smile worked best, but I'm sure I'll have plenty of time to work on technique. As it stands, I learned how to say "welcome" in Arabic.

On Monday at 7:30, there is a screening of Arna's Children, a film about refugees in Jenin, at the CWU, 15 Brunswick Street (off London Road).

When the stall wound up, I headed to Nicholson Square for tea. For a change, I decided to give Kebab Mahal a go, where I was treated to a pleasingly delicate lamb and fenugreek curry followed by gulab jamin.

Remaining plans for the evening consisted of Junebug at Cineworld and Pierrepoint at the Filmhouse.

Er... Speaking of Junebug, I'm really angry that I can't watch a film about romance or listen to music about people fucking without getting upset. I really like Arab Strap too, and it annoys me that it now hurts to listen to their songs.

~

There are two Bluetooth devices in range of my PC that aren't mine. My flatemates? The downstairs neighbours? Who knows?
leynos: (Default)
Kendo class on Friday went well. Unlike last week, I didn't miss the bus, but instead got there in plenty of time. Before class, a nice chap in the changing room explained how to put on my newly acquired hakama and keikogi. The trousers had shrunk nicely, but the jacket, which I hadn't washed yet, was still a little on the large side.

The lesson took more or less the same format as the previous week, I'm guessing because that this was done on account of the sensei's absence. Once again, we worked our way through the nine kihon-waza drills with bokuto, and again with shinai. I'm not complaining though, as this was a welcome opportunity to better get to grips with the techniques there-in.

Afterwards, I walked with some other students to Gorgie, and we talked about life etc. One of them told me about the farmer's market on Castle Terrace on Saturdays. This is something I will have to check out. Maybe next weekend. The prospect of ostrich burgers sounds very enticing.

Snider


I spent the rest of the evening at the flat of a friend from work, where we drank whisky and played PSP games. As expected, I got well hammered at Street Fighter Alpha 3. We also watched Assault on Precinct 13, though I wasn't really paying attention to the film for the most part. Between us, we polished off a bottle of Grouse (hey, it's cheap), washed down with a tin of snider (as Chris termed it) each.

Since it was cold and wet outside I slept on the sofa and went home the following morning. I believe I must have drunk a little too much, as I was left with a more-than-slightly upset stomach that persisted through the day.
leynos: (Default)
Be ill on four occasions inside of twelve months, and you have to attend a health and well being meeting. This is not a disciplinary meeting, you understand. It is merely out of concern. So I explain to my line manager, and I think that an explanation is due, that the reason I am attending weekly therapy sessions is that I have been depressed since before Christmas. He is quite understanding actually. He even offers me an hour a week on medical grounds to attend the sessions. I decline of course. So all is well at work.

They are migrating the office to Windows XP. I help my line manager by migrating his desktop shortcuts and Microsoft Outlook settings. I just want to help, but I'm scared that the IT guy will think that I am getting in his way. Maybe I am. Or worse, that I am after his job.

When I get home, there is a ticket waiting for me in a Whisky Society envelope. Woodford Reserve have organized an evening of bourbon and horse racing. I don't know much about horses, save what my Dad taught me on Saturday mornings, but I love bourbon. Especially when it's free. The event is also free. I just had to wait on the ticket arriving, and here it is.

Cut for alcoholism... )
leynos: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] brucec and I had planned to go snowboarding today on the artificial slope at Hillend. Unfortunately, they wouldn't let us on without lessons, and the lessons were fully booked. Drat. So on a whim, I decided to visit the National Gallery instead.

It turns out that it hasn't changed much since I last visited with my Mum, ten-plus years ago. Still, my memory is far from perfect, and there was a lot for me to take in. Walking through the renaissance hall, I felt a deep appreciation for the level of detail evident in these paintings. It's humbling to think of the years the painters must have spent studying reflections and perspective in order to produce imagery like that. There was one pianting featuring an intricately detailed suit of armour glinting in the sun in photographic detail. What it must have taken to be the first person to realize the techniques needed to accurately reproduce that.

I'd always been one more for landscapes and still-lifes rather than portraits, but even watching the painters come to grips with recording the human form and then applying that experience to telling stories and conveying emotion or even humour filled me with awe.

In the impressionist hall, I was struck by the way so many of those paintings drew me in, and made me feel a part of the environment being captured. I know it's old news to anyone who has ever studied art, but seeing the evolution of the style and getting a chance to fully take in the magic of these works is something that filled me with joy in a way it didn't a decade ago. The paintings haven't changed, but I have. I still love the mathematically precise virtuoso perspective works, but I now understand the appeal of those vividly flowing silk robes and captivating sunlit glades. I spent a full five minutes entranced by Monet's Shipping at Midnight, taken away to those rough seas I'd envisaged listening to Radio 4, the beam of the lighthouse sweeping through the driving rain and masts straining audibly against the gale.

After that excitement, the Scottish hall in the basement seemed almost sedate, but I was none the less pleased to see how how well the work of my countrymen stood up against the best from Italy, Spain and Holland. Emotive, almost defiant portraits and still lives pulsing with meaning gave me much to think about. There were times when the artists borrowed from painters abroad and made the style their own, such as a portrayal of triumphantly returning trawlers in oil displaying shades of Japanese woodprints, and others where the work was undeniably and irrepressibly local.

Evening


Back home for dinner, and I headed out again to the Blazer for the Listening Room. Here Jason put on an amusing set of fresh compositions; Nobody Jones, whose voice is the stuff of heaven, teamed up with his mate to form the Jones Brothers; and Lisa Paton did a competent impersonation of Norah Jones with a guitar instead of a piano. I'm not entirely convinced of Ms Paton yet, but she is performing again at Out of the Bedroom on the 28th, so I will give her a second hearing then. Because I do like Norah Jones.

I also like alcoholic women. They're the only type I seem to be able to really identify with, or hold something resembling a real conversation with. Even if the conversation did involve a large onion and the difficulties of cooking for one. Unfortunately, the lady in question got turned away from the bar and asked to leave. I'd have offered to buy her a drink, but I already had half a Basil Heyden and a pint of Harvestoun Engine Oil to finish.

More tasting notes


W.L. Weller (bourbon) - Nose: Physilis, Cadbury's chocolate, and butter toffee. Pallete: Orange peel, blackcurrent, licorice, slight edge of Irn-Bru. Medium dry mouthfeel. Fades to strawberries and black pepper on the finish.
leynos: (Default)
I spent yesteday afternoon in North Berwick exploring the town, and, given the time of year, I couldn't have asked for nicer weather for it. The sun shone warmly and a mild cooling breeze blew in from the sea, making the experience all the more pleasant. It made me happy to find that as I walked through the high street and along the beach, I was able to think of nothing but my surroundings. The last thing I wanted was to come to this place and wind up just pouring over the week's worries.

Read more escapism... )
leynos: (Default)
Missing the bus to my kendo class was a rather stupid thing to do. Getting so drunk that they wouldn't let me into the Cabaret Voltaire was also a rather stupid thing to do. And almost getting into a fight with a ned on the way home was a positively idiotic thing to do.

So all in all, not a very sensible evening.

Not all was lost though. I had a good time in the Borough Hotel bar getting more than a little intoxicated. I now know, first hand, why the Montecristo Number 4 is such a big seller (starts out tasting like sultana sponge, and ultimately metamorphoses into spiced fruitcake). I also tried for the first time aged tequila (Don Augustin, which is also the first tequila I can say I've really enjoyed straight) and I was introduced to Brazil's national drink (Cachaça, a sugar cane spirit that tastes kind of like white rum infused with bamboo shoots) by a well travelled German sitting at the bar.

Borough has pretty much the most impressive selection of single malts I've seen in a cocktail bar. It's all mostly supermarket ages, but in terms of breadth, it's a range that will be rather difficult for me to exhaust any time soon. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for their stock of rum or bourbon, but there is still enough variety to keep most people happy. Borough's real strength is in their supply of esoteric spirits and liqueurs, although getting the most of this requires a bit of research beforehand. The knowledgeable bartenders are of course a great help however. Borough's other surprise is the solid range of bottled beer, also uncharacteristic of a cocktail bar. Rounded off by a relaxed clientele and plenty of room to move even on a Friday or Saturday, I've found in Borough a place where I can enjoy quality alcohol with a minimum of hassle.

Ah yes, the alcohol. I can rationalize and say that the Cab is too small and is usually too packed, especially on a free night, but I am a little sad that I missed a rare chance to hear the Dogma and Access DJs together again. On a whim, I headed to the Studios, whose bouncers let in even those unable to string two coherent syllables together, where indie and "alternative" night, Fuzz, was in residence.

It's nice to know that there is a club night that caters for people still living in 1998. The music was all the stuff I used to listen to in my first year of University, and still composes a large percentage of my MP3 collection. Pulp, Terrorvision, Garbage, Republica, Kula Shaker, and the like. Along side this, they played the obligatory Smiths and New Order songs. I thought it a bit amusing that at school, I'd always considered myself to be one of the badguys in Different Class (one of my favourite albums none the less), and here I was dancing to Common People. Hypocrite.

As much as I had been trying to avoid St Patrick's Day, I did manage to find myself, briefly, wearing a green furry top hat at one point. ^^;

Sadly, the place was rather empty, but I was in uber-anti-social mood anyway. I don't think I said much more than 10 words to anyone after I arrived, except to repeatedly order glasses of Sailor Jerry from the bar. I'm not convinced that this club night will last much longer, but it was a decent enough filler. Just for a nice bit of irony, on the way out I met two other people who had also been turned away from the Cab. They happened to be the other two permanent fixtures on the dance floor. We lamented the lack of a good techno club at the Studios, and went our separate ways.

I think that this is what is meant by "avoidant behaviour."
leynos: (Default)
One of the few benefits of working where I do is the opportunity to join various sports and social clubs subsidized by the company. Last night, I attended the annual dinner for my employer's Hill Walking Club, taking place at the Bruntsfield Hotel. This made a nice change from the usual work nights out, which invariably boil down to an evening at the pub. The evening also afforded me an opportunity to meet more people from outside of my own department, and to become better acquainted with the other walkers I had met on the four club outings I've attended so far. That, and I never turn down the offer of a good meal.

The food was very well prepared and very much to my liking. The company was most certainly interesting too. I did feel a little out of place there, being both one of the youngest people there (pretty much everyone at my table was in their thirties), and also in a far lower position within the bank than most. In some ways, it was a glimpse into a world I fear I may never be a part of. Even so, I felt more comfortable here than I do on the evenings spent in pubs with my workmates. Everyone was friendly, and it was great to hear tales of peoples adventures in the highlands, of walks in Spain and Germany, and of volunteer work done in Sri Lanka.

Along with the high brow stuff came bizarre conversations about pole dancing classes and subscription chocolate clubs. Definitely not like my typical work night out. I'm maybe looking in the wrong place of I want to make new friends, but I did enjoy the evening as I'd hoped. Strangely, an interest in hill walking and a taste for malt whisky seem to go hand in hand, so for a change I wasn't the only ordering the stuff, as round after round of Laphroaig and Highland Park were brought to the table. (Okay, the consuming lots of alcohol aspect never seems to change, but it's not like I'm complaining.)

After I bade my farewell, I made my way to [livejournal.com profile] scotm's house for a late arrival at his filmnight. Only Stephen was there. We watched Sympathy for Lady Vengeance , which I enjoyed even more on the second viewing. My first was tainted by expectations from Park's earlier film, Oldboy. This time, I was able to appreciate the inventive storytelling more fully. Sadly, I had to leave after that, being in danger of falling asleep, and made my way home among the early leavers from the nearby club night.

Today, I'm heading home to Kinross for my Dad's birthday tomorrow. My sister is up from London as well, so I can give her her birthday present too.

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leynos

January 2015

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