Thursday, January 31, 2008

The words posh and swank come to mind

Andrew has been doing some training sessions lately in Piccadilly Circus, which is just one stop down from my office on the Tube, so we've been meeting up after work and doing fun, city things. The other evening, we were walking through the city, vaguely looking for somewhere to get a drink. We happened across a nice restaurant called The Wolseley, where I had tea with Mommy this summer, and I thought we'd try there, but the doorman said the restaurant didn't serve alcohol and pointed us to the bar at Brown's Hotel nearby. He said he sent all his friends there and told us to give his name to the doorman and he'd make sure we were taken care of. Wondering if there was some sort of doorman club where they all get together and swap contact lists or something, we headed off toward Brown's Hotel.

When we got there, we were ushered into the lobby, where someone whisked our coats away and led us to the Donovan Bar. We snagged a little silver leaf-topped table with a space on the banquette and a comfy club chair and took in the surroundings. There were black and white photographs on all the walls and little silver bowls of olives and crisps on all the tables. The lighting was dim, and the noise was at a comfortably loud murmur. Everyone in the bar was nicely dressed, and there were people discussing business, catching up with friends, and meeting for first dates. We settled in and chose our drinks from the menu. I got a strawberry, prosecco, and grand marnier confection, while Andrew went with a classic G&T. The drinks arrived with our very own silver bowls of snacks, and we sat back and savoured them. They were delicious. After a few minutes, a server came and collected the bowls, and we were sort of sad because there were still a couple olives left, but not 30 seconds later, she came back with more bowls of snacks. We were pretty stoked about that, and we went through a couple more helpings. They were good; what can I say? Also, the drinks were outrageously expensive, and free bar snacks made up for that somewhat.

The best thing about the whole evening, though, was that we were able to enjoy ourselves and have a really good conversation. So often when we find a nice place we either get caught up in the surroundings or find ourselves distracted by other people's voices. Here, we were able to just enjoy each other. Lovely.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hooray for a real internet connection!

So we are finally connected to the outside world again. Apparently we're starting to get problems with our phone; Andrew called BT today and was only on hold for 30 minutes, which is an improvement over my track record. He called in response to a letter saying they were canceling our phone service because we had switched to another provider, which was news to us. Apparently we've been "slammed," which I guess means someone called and canceled our service, pretending to be us? Why, I have no idea. But we do have internet, which is more important. And that means I can write my blog again.

I last posted in November after I started my new job. I wrote a bit about my lunchtime walks, which I have continued to take whenever it isn't raining. I've had good luck so far; it usually rains after lunch but not during it. The job continues to be not what I want to be doing but a decent timefiller for right now. Best of all, though, I've made a very good friend in Amy, my co-worker. We've hung out with her and her boyfriend Don a few times now, and when I was sick a couple weeks ago, Amy took very good care of me and made me cookies and tea. I can't tell you what a relief it is to have friends here.

We've made another friend, too, in the last couple weeks. We have a new upstairs neighbour, named Stewart, and he is fantastic! We went out for drinks with him in London two weekends ago, and he showed us some of his favourite places, that we never would have found on our own. That'll be a separate post.

So, jobs are going okay, friendships are forming nicely, our flat is still excellent and comfortable and homelike. We're starting to fit in a lot better in our adopted country. We're really enjoying ourselves. And I'm looking forward to telling you all about it on here. It's good to be back.