I was happily writing that last entry and then noticed the time and had to race off to finish getting ready for work. So, now that I’m safely at work, and before my boss comes in and wants me to actually do some work, here’s part two:
It was the Chick Flicks film night last night, and lytteltonwitch and I arranged to meet beforehand for dinner (neither of us find it convenient to go all the way home for dinner after work and then back into town again for the film, so it’s easier to meet up for dinner in town (I think we’re the only two women in the group who work full-time – all the others have small children and either only work part-time or are full-time mothers)). We went to Le Cafe in the Arts Centre, because we’d arranged to meet the others there for coffee before the film.
In my (proper) student days, *cough* years ago, Le Cafe used to be a popular student hang-out, because although it was pretty trendy, their meals were large and not too expensive. Their nachos were always the most popular option, because one plate would be enough to feed two people it was so big, which is great when you’re a poor student. And by now you’ve probably guessed what I’m going to say next. Yep, the meals have got a lot smaller, and more expensive. And they’ve been sneaky about the more expensive thing – the prices look about the same (making allowance for inflation), but all the “on the side” things that used to come with the meal you now have to pay extra for (like an extra $5 if you want guacamole with your nachos – it used to just be part of the meal). I had thought about ordering nachos, just for old times’ sake, but I remembered how big they were and decided not to because I wouldn’t be able to get through them all on my own. However, I needn’t have worried – someone at the next table ordered them, and when they arrived I looked over to see if they looked as good as they used to, and the plate was tiny! It was about half the size it used to be, and I noticed she had no trouble getting through it on her own. I ordered a chicken and leek pot-pie, which was delicious but tiny. The “pot” was not much bigger than a coffee cup, which would have been an ok size for a pie, except it was only about half-full – the crust was a long way below the top of the dish. I was still feeling hungry after I finished it, and for the first time ever in a restaurant seriously considered ordering a second main course (in the end, I decided we didn’t really have time, so I had a desert instead). It’s a pity, because their food is still really good, but I left feeling ripped off 🙁
Anyway, the film totally made up for the disappointment of dinner. We went to the arthouse cinema in the Arts Centre, and saw On a Clear Day. It’s about a Glasgow man who’s laid off from his job of 30-odd years*, and to break out of the depression that caused in him, he decides to swim the English Channel. As the plan develops, his friends become involved, and his determination gives each of them the nudge they need to try for their own smaller goals. The plotline was pretty predictable, but that didn’t matter, because it was really well executed, and beautifully filmed. Oh, and it had Billy Boyd in it, which is always good.
*This was the most unlikely part of the story – not that he was laid off, but that he’d been in the same job for 30-odd years. Because he worked in a shipyard on the Clyde, and most of them closed down years ago (which is why my grandparents emigrated out here in the 1950s, because Grandda worked in one of those shipyards, and saw the writing on the wall and decided to get out before he ended up unemployed). I think there’s still a couple of shipyards left, but it just doesn’t seem likely any of the kind depicted in the film (which seemed to be a small business being taken over by a big multi-national) would still be around.
And when I got home, there was a new DVD waiting for me! We pre-ordered the new series of Dr Who from Amazon UK a while back (no, it’s not that which arrived – it’s not out until November so we have to wait a bit longer (although it’s about to be shown on TV here finally, yayy!)), and as a result of some promotion they had on, we got a £5 discount voucher to use on our next purchase over £20. Last week we realised the voucher was about to run out, so we decided to see if we could find something to spend £20 on and get our discount (yes, I know, false economy and all that, but it’s a great excuse to buy some more DVDs). In the end we decided to get a box set of Drop the Dead Donkey, which we’ve been wanting to get for ages (we used to watch it in the UK, but it’s never been shown here), and which they had on special for just over £20 so fitted our price requirements exactly. And that’s what arrived yesterday. Yay!!! We’ve now got three whole series to keep us amused on cold winter nights.
What’s not so yay is that the nice long weekend I’d had planned isn’t going to happen. It’s my birthday tomorrow, so I’d told my boss that if I managed to clear my desk of everything important today I’d be taking tomorrow and Friday off and have a nice long weekend. All was going according to plan, until I got an email yesterday from our HR people saying that they’d changed the dates of a training course I’d applied to go on, and guess what the new dates are? Yep, tomorrow and Friday. So I won’t be having a nice lazy birthday after all, I’ll be stuck in a room learning boring stuff. Grrrr.
Currently reading: Boating for Beginners by Jeanette Winterson