Capricorn 11° (January 2)
The last bits of last night were definitely a bit of a blur. After the night in with Jax and Larry singing cabaret songs and laughing our assess off for hours on end, then the next eve of New Year, and last night’s rather unexpected group party after an afternoon debauch, this morning was probably the puffiest if not the outright roughest. To be fair I felt fine, but the first thing JLB said at breakfast was that this was the first morning she didn’t get away with it. I felt bad because I knew she was the one driving and that isn’t always fun or easy. And there was that bridge to tackle. We set out directly and we got over it, literally. We had a huggy goodbye at the airport. Of course even the guy monitoring the rental car drop offs knew who LLB was. Everyone does. I realize that probably ore people recognize him than do Jo. I think people think they know him. And really he is exactly on television as he is in life. Again, that authenticity. Post hugs we jumped a tram and got off in the West End. It was pretty rainy but we managed to roll our bags all the way to the Edinburgh Residence. I think I spied the area where, on our first trip to town, we had supper. I’ve tried since to find this place so I figured I had it wrong. We dropped our stuff. The room was similar to one we’ve stayed in before but on a lower floor. We just dropped our bags and headed out for lunch and sure enough that road did contain the restaurant I’d been trying to refind all this time, along with a few others that looked good, plus the florist from which we always have flowers sent to the Murrays. Ironically, we first chose another restaurant across the road to go to because it looked more our collective speed—kind of a Frenchy wine bar. But there were a few things off about the place. For one the table(s) at the back had crap all over it as if the owner or staff were doing their accounting. I can’t stand that kind of mess. We did have a waitress come over before we were ready and then it took a very long time for her to return. In the meantime there was this couple at a hightop behind us. She disappeared and he got on Facetime or whatever with his child. Typically, that is a short conversation, but not this one. As I tried to read the menu which had minuscule type all I heard was this whiny child’s voice coming loudly through the phone and it wouldn’t stop. I thought I was annoyed but even more than me it seemed S. was having none of it, so off we went. Outside was the young wife smoking a cigarette and she rather manaically wished us a Happy New Year. Both she and hubby inside talking to the baby monster seemed pathologically knowing that they were annoying. So back we went to the old haunt I once tried to find.
There was hardly anyone in there but these handsome Scottish men, tall as trees, with reddish tanned faces, in expensive cashmere v-neck sweaters over slim physiques centered on the balls of their feet. We found a table in the back and realized that one had to go to the bar, as one does, to order what they wanted. I was worried it was too much a pub for S. but it would turn out that I was wrong. We went and ordered, she a very good glass of red wine and a soup which was meant to be butternut squash. I inquired about the mussels—they were out of them—so I ordered a steak and vegetable pie. I had a choice of chips or potatotes (aren’t chips potatoes?) I said potatoes and then I had a choice between something I didn’t understand and gravy. Gravy please. And I ordered a pint of something made in Edinburgh which had an Italian name that started with a P. And we got some chili rice crackers which we carried back to the table with our drinks. By the time the food arrived the place was absolutely packed which was very reassuring because we suddenly realized this was the place to be and it was going to be good. People next to us were talking about medicine and science, on the other side of us was a pretty well heeled family. The food arrived. The “mug” of soup was the side of a small planter and it wasn’t butternut squash it was beetroot—“is that okay?”—yes it was. And there was my pie, all flaky crust with molten meaty interior. I don’t really remember eating a vegetable other than a small, whole mushroom cap. The potatoes were only slightly smashed and molded into a small circular mound; and I assumed I should pour the small pitcher of gravy on them which I did. The whole thing was delicious. When we first arrived we headed downstairs because that’s where I remember eating last time. This must have been fifteen years ago. But they weren’t serving down there. So I was truly concerned this was going to be too pubby an experience, what with the framed sports tunics and other tributes to Scottish manhood. But it was pretty much run by pretty young women and it was so charming and so not off-putting or weird or alientating (that feeling of bullying) that places like this can look and be.
We did no strolling around but headed right back to the Residence and took paths and S. fell asleep. I sort of dozed off but I had that feeling you get when you’re so weirdly overtired. You know the one? When it almost feels dangerous to fall asleep. That you’re going to miss the sleep off-ramp and land directly into death. I was revived enough to throw on clothes and head down stairs in advance for a gin tonic which took so long to come it was only placed in front of me when S. arrived and we were meant to head off. This is something which doesn’t not happen to me. It would be “my luck.” But it was cool. I pretty much downed it and then we set off to the one restaurant where we could get a reservation, doing a little detour along the way to see if the place we really wanted to go to had a cancellation. The place had like five tables so that was a no go. So we continued on and I’m glad we did. We made it east to Thistle Street to Café St. Honore and declined the table by the door they had waiting and asked for the one a departing twosome had just left vacant. S. had two appetizers, smoked salmon tartare and beetroot salad; I had goat cheese salad and a rainbow trout with veg and endive. It sounds real simple and it was which was exactly what was called for. We had a lovely Chinon and a lemon almond cake with crème fraiche. I really wanted to take some pictures on the way home but I convinced myself that I would get out in advance of leaving in the morning and take some shots. That was definitely not meant to be.
To view the original Sabian Symbol themed 2015 Cosmic Blague corresponding to this day: Flashback! The degree pointof the Sabian Symbol will be one degree higher than the one listed for today. The Blague portrays the starting degree of for this day ( 0°, for instance), as I typically post in the morning, while the Sabian number corresponds to the end point (1°) of that same 0°-1° period. There are 360 degrees spread over 365 or 6 days per year—so they near but not exactly correlate.
Typos happen. I don’t have a proofreader. And I like to just write, post and go!
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