Sunday, 22 June 2008

Getting by with a little help from my friends

Last night I had a perfect evening which has given me a big boost in the "surviving the break from babymaking" stakes.

It followed a not-so-perfect day, during which it had rained relentlessly, I had spent 90 minutes on the phone renegotiating our mortgage - which, in these credit-crunching times, is going to cost us around £100 more each month from August - and hubby and I had fought. (The argument was primarily about the fact that months ago, around the time I was stressing over the HSG, I assigned him the task of sorting out the mortgage situation, and he proceeded to do precisely nothing.)

But sometimes I think that good nights following bad days are all the better for the contrast. This one involved all the following aspects, which came together to make a perfect whole:

Good food. As possibly the world's fussiest eater, with a long list of dietary idiosyncrasies that renders me unable to stomach several whole food groups, including meat and dairy, I very rarely have a restaurant or dinner-party experience in which I love and gobble up everything put before me. Last night I did: a starter of fried soft-shell crab with chilli and cashews, followed by tempura barramundi served with homemade chips and mushy peas. Yum.

Good drinks. The evening included just enough alcohol to make me merry and relaxed, but not so much that I have a headache this morning - in short, the ideal amount. I also discovered the nicest cocktail I've ever had - a summery concoction involving raspberries, hazelnut liqueur, gomme syrup, vodka and Chambord. I had three.

Fun. We were with friends whose company I really enjoy, and there were several laughs big enough to hurt. Even hubby lightened up, although one of the best moments was sort of at his expense - after the restaurant we came back to our house and ended up playing somewhat drunkenly on the Wii. Hubby got so worked up flailing around during a boxing match that he actually broke wind - dramatically. It's juvenile, and you probably had to be there, but our collective wails of comic disbelief and revulsion afterwards brought tears to my eyes.

Ambience. The place where we ate had a live band and a very chilled atmosphere. Despite it being wet, it was warm, and there was a covered veranda out back where we drank our post-feast cocktails.

After our friends left, hubby retired immediately to bed and I sat up, finishing my wine and listening to the song that the evening had put me in mind of - an indie anthem from my university days entitled 'The Day We Caught The Train', which I always associate with good times as it includes the line:

"And when you find that things are getting wild, don't you need days like these?"

In short, evenings like that make living without what I really want bearable.

But then. I'm going to end by quoting another song I love - I seem to do this a lot, and hope readers don't find it cheesy; it's just that professional lyricists often put it so much better than I ever could. Anyway, this one's by Shawn Colvin, and is called 'New Thing Now':

"And it feels so good to doubt you, I could almost live without you, but not quite. Not quite."


s.e. said...

Oh! I was excited to get your comment and you posted too! So glad you are having good times. It is amazing how we cling to our happy moments when everything else seems not so perfect. And I am intriqued by the food and drinks you describe. Maybe I need to venture to the UK. Have an extra drink for me on your next perfect night.

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