|Friday 13 March 1998||Back Next|
Last Night (Curry 'n' Riven)
After a 2½ year absence, I once again joined the GeoVision crowd for a quick drink and a fabulous Indian feast in Bagshot. There was absolutely no lassi, but lots of papadum, nan, chicken jalfrezi, chicken dharma (I think I've got the name wrong -- it sounds way too philosophical), aloo gobi, a stewed mushroom dish, and nessun dorma (again, fairly certain the name's wrong.) I'm making such a big deal of this meal because I've never had such good jalfrezi anywhere else. Skip warned me that the restaurant had changed hands since I was there last, and that it wouldn't be the same, but it was close enough. Mmm.
Chatted with Ian's delightful girlfriend Sheena, who is a speech therapist in Maidenhead (though she lives in Camberley.) Had an altogether lovely evening, eating far too much, but wanting to eat more. The hot green chilies in the jalfrezi unclog my nose long enough to breathe (and hence taste the meal,) but once back chez Skippy, the sinuses locked up tighter than the Northwest Passage in November. I'm now deeply suspicious of the decongestant pills I bought earlier in the day. Recongestant pills, more like it.
A long dog of Riven, and then a very long sleep peppered with the strangest dreams (which I blame on the cold tablets.) Near the end, I woke up in my new apartment back home. Everything was white and the place was devoid of furniture. Out in the living room, someone had installed a new dryer exhaust duct (where no one would ever put a dryer. It looked as if a can of spray foam had exploded nearby, leaving foam gobbets splayed across the broadloom. Then I noticed that the answering machine had been unplugged which really irritated me. And then I woke up in an even unlikelier locale. I was in England, staring at a white ceiling. What was I doing here?
Getting ready for a road trip to Devon. That's what.
A Road Trip To Devon
We left Camberley at about 1:30 PM. Arrived at some point (5:30?) in Lynmouth. Found a bed and breakfast which was part way up a very steep road. View of the cliffs, the sea, the town below. I think the proprieter was trying to figure out whether Skip and I were gay lovers (we're no.) I later suggest to skip it might put the innkeeper's mind at ease if I asked whether he had a young daughter. Perhaps that's be a poor idea. Skippy suggests he is an axe murderer.
The rooms we're in have a full bath, kitchenette, TV, and pay-as-you-go electricity. You drop £1 coins in a box to turn on the lights. There's a red box on the kitchenette wall that says "Fire Blanket." I presume that's to keep us warm.
On the drive here, I spotted a road sign that said "Soft Verges." I think it's the first time I've seen the word "verge" used outside an otherwise meaningless idiom. North American translation for the sign is "Soft Shoulders."
Animals spotted by the side of the road (within about a meter): a rabbit, a pheasant, lots of sheep, crows, gulls.
10 PM. Supp'd at the Village Inn (lamb hot pot, £5.50). Very adequate. I'm sitting on my bed to write this, and have just noticed that the walls really aren't stucco'd, but are in fact covered by wallpaper with a stucco texture. Why would you do that? Now this is where I begin to sound a bit sour, even though I'm not. A quick glance left and right shows eight framed prints on three small walls. All masterpieces, I'm sure, and yet -- less is more.
Now that it's dark, you can look out over the Bristol channel and see the lights from Wales.
Did I mention the complete lack of toilet paper and soap? Perhaps I could use one of these eight fine framed prints.