When we last spoke, I was gearing up for a varied but rather lackluster weekend... and yes; the housework, the shopping, the exercise and the football all featured.
I didn't manage to get to grips with Why Do We Have to Live With Men unfortunately, cause I was still midway through the new title coming from Paige Toon - Pictures of Lily - but that situation has now been successfully resolved; and what a fantastic treat you all have in store come the end of October on pub date.
Page 1 had me snorting diet coke out of my nose, and whilst I'm only 80 pages in, I really do think this book may be the best Bernie Strachan since the brilliant Reluctant Landlady, her debut, and a book that always features in my Top Ten. Many authors in our genre are marketed as being brilliantly funny, and sassy and warm and witty and all that; but in truth, very few are genuinely that funny - you know - actual laugh out loud, wanna share the joke with your mates, titter on the tube funny. But, Bernie just is, simple. This new book tells the story of a group of mates who, like me and my mates, spend their drunken nights together slagging off the total shitty-ness of the men they have at home; their sloppy ways, their lack of responsibility when it comes to anything involving cooking, or cleaning, or other so called women's work duties; and promise that one day they will sod off and live together where no-one leaves wet towels on the floor, no-one leaves washing up in the sink for a week, and no-one leaves empty milk bottles in the fridge.
As I say, I'm only 80 pages in, but so far every page has made me laugh, the irony, the sarcasm, the spot on characterisation.... so, pre-order your copy now, or maybe, just maybe, you might miss out on the best book of the year.
So. On to other things.
I turned 40 on Tuesday. Yep. That was 40. And quite frankly I have very little else to say on the matter. Other than I was treated to vanilla biscuits, a cherry conserve Victoria Sponge, Lavender Iced Cupcakes and a Moist Chocolate Cake on the day; so Old Age maybe isn't too bad.
And Boo took me back to the newly refurbished Inn on the Green, or should I say, All Bar One looking Sanctum on the Green for a romantic meal. Highlights of the evening included the hand cut chips that were supposed to be served with my Dorset Crab Cakes arriving at the table after my dinner plate had been taken away; the waiter declaring he had "never eaten here" when asked what dessert he would recommend; and the duty manager forgetting to bring our bread basket despite three reminders...
And the new decor! Oh my. Very swanky. Or was that wanky? Who would bulldozer a Old English Country Lavender garden to make room for a ridiculous black slate swimming pool just a smidge bigger than my childhood paddling pool? Who would replace a dim and divine parlour with squishy, soft, red velvet armchairs and sofas for... well.... actually nothing. The whole front bar area has been knocked down and out to make room for 8 more restaurant tables. Why knock out the gorgeous old Lamp Room and replace it with a couple of uncomfortable and ridiculous upright chairs and the kind of lighting found in a hospital operating theatre? Why knock out some sort of English Heritage walls, dating back to the beginning of time or something, and replace with mirrors. Mirrors in Cookham Dene? I ask you! Oh I could go on. But I won't. We held hands over the newly varnished wooden tables and thanked our lucky stars that we got married there last year when it was a beautiful boutique restaurant with rooms, and vowed never to return...