Tuesday, January 15


Love the film but that's another story. This is just to record an encounter with two dance floors in one day, a surfeit of chocolate and the inevitable music and laughter accompaniment.

The day started with a manic run to Dunstable at 7am for no reason other than my strange sense of duty and some belief that if a student turned up it would be more honourable for me to tell him or her that I'm heading East at 10:30 than their merely reading the post-it on the door. No-one did, of course, so it was M1 A1 and various other rain-soaked roads to help my brother extract my mum from a care home. Overtaking lorries through a haze of spray was the sort of thing that you wouldn't do if you really thought hard about it. I mean, you just assume that the lorry's lane and yours will run in parallel for long enough to get by and that there's not some massive puddle lurking in your lane further on. Job done, we were in need of refreshment and landed up in an inn in Whittlesey situated somewhere that you wouldn't ever go unless you were quite lost, as we were. Sauntered in through an open door and found ourselves on one of those wooden dance floors that I remembered from the 70s. Probably hadn't been on one since. "Look, there's even a glitterball!" I yelled. My brother didn't quite appreciate my enthusiasm but smiled before shaking his head and concentrating on the more important matter of finding the ruddy bar.

Now, normally a Friday lunch of the size that arrived would have been great news and enable me to cope with Saturday without any trouble or concern for breakfast. Just as I was finishing the last delicious bit of sea food and feeling decidedly warmer, I remembered that there was something called a candle-lit dinner chez Sarah & Adrian for several village inhabitants. One should not be fooled by either candle or lit. That may sound compact but I suspected that there wouldn't be room for the word lit even in a very very small font on the table, assuming that we ever made it through the mass of nibbles and aperitifs.

Made it home through ridiculous quantities of rain along the A14, A45 et al just in time to try and figure out what to take along and to change into some slightly drier clothes and trousers with room for expansion.

Great evening, apart from James Blunt wailing from a nearby speaker for a while but soon changed that to something else. In fact, I had a sudden and quite inexplicable urge to hear Paul Simon's The Only Living Boy In New York and managed to persuade Adrian to dig it out of his vast CD collection. The meal was vast and yummy but what has to be mentioned is the dessert. Two of the ladies had spent a considerable time in the kitchen and the fruits of their labours were simply massive bowls of ice cream, cream, rich, sweet sauces and chocolate galore. I mean if it hadn't been a warm sauce I declare that the whole dish would have solidified into a giant toblerone or elephantine chocolate fudge. It was delicious but I felt like apologising to my stomach for the space it was occupying down there.

Despite the weight and displacement inevitably brought on by the chocolate collision (as I feel it might be aptly named) two ladies decided to started twirling on the dance floor as the evening progressed . . . did I say dance floor? Yes, the house was, indeed, floored with almost exactly the same wood as the Whittlesey inn of earlier that day. Amazing.

It also snowed that night.

I woke up Saturday morning, turned on the radio just to check that it was Saurday and that it was morning still and this totally enchanting track was being played. 60s, French, female. Reminded me of Chocolat. Just had to find out who it was and discovered it was someone called Ria Bartok. Totally hooked now. The previous post has a grainy video. It's my latest craze.

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