You would think having one social occasion in the week before your first UK 10k would be harmless, wouldn’t you?
And if I said it was my book club’s monthly meeting, why you’d imagine a sober group of like-minded individuals debating the finer points of a novel – it’s pluses, it’s less-than perfectly realised plotting, it’s characterisation…
Anyone nodding clearly isn’t in a book club. The word ‘sober’ certainly needs editing from the paragraph above. People in my book club have lost mobile phones, laptops while out with book club.
They’re not exactly wild bacchanal orgies of indecency, but they do involve a fair amount of wine and food and wine. And sometimes the odd gin and tonic. And some wine. Did I mention wine?
This month we met at Jamie’s, a new restaurant in town owned by Jamie Oliver. it used to be a bank and the private dining room is in the vault. It’s called the vault. It looks like a vault. It does have that 80s industrial, polished steel vibe and I loved the memphis-style chandelier but the rest. Hmmm. The constantly flushing of loos outside, not so much. The whirr of hand dryers, not so much. People constantly coming in for a nosy – ok, but wearisome after the fifth interruption.
So the food. Pretty, tasty, quality – expensive. We ordered a selection of starters – cracking olives. I had the turkey Milanese with a side order of broccoli that turned into cabbage because they’d run out of broccoli. Nutritionally it hit the button, but you know, it’s not broccoli. They ran out of a lot of stuff. £40 a head including tip.
Oh the book – Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes. My advice; don’t. But lots of people like it and if mawkish floats your boat then go for it. I just found the characterisation lazy in that they were all archetypes, parts of the plot seemed wholly unbelievable to me and while I wanted to take the book seriously – the central plot revolves around a city boy adventurer who gets hit by a motorbike and ends up paralysed from the neck down – the irking elements made the whole just annoying.
But hey – that’s just me.
This month – The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. What kind of bloke survives childhood being named Amor? A talented one, it seems. I’m enjoying this book greatly. 1930s New York with the Wall Street crash looming, it’s a trip around the clubs and lifestyles of the haves and have-nots of Manhattan. Great writing, great pace, struggling to leave it alone for five minutes. I think I’m going to love this one.
And did this whole episode add to my running technique? Well, I have enough garlic in my system to ward off colds and vampires for the rest of the month but no running Friday due to ‘tiredness’ but I did get out on Sunday morning. Quick update coming next.