Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Super Sandwich (and free beer)

A FREEBEE Brains Brewery Quiz night... and another chance to prove that attempting to answer questions after a Boozeday Tuesday session is a surefire recipe for disaster.
Yet there was no hint of the mayhem to follow when I set off for the Maindy swimming pool that morning. It being half term there were very few people in the pool and I managed to fit in 66 lengths, making me feel very proud of myself.
An exercise of this nature has great spin offs because it wipes away all feelings of guilt when you later spend five hours sat outside The Yard with your WoS colleagues shooting the breeze about practically anything that qualifies as trite nonsense.
A roll call of the usual suspects: The Prince of Darkness, Danny Boy (the poipes, the poipes), Smashy, Roberts, the Wonderful Withers, Wathanovski. But added to that there was a surprise appearance by Becks on a quick whistlestop from London. Interesting really because, in the Wonderful World of Withers, Becks and our other former colleague Rosey no longer exist. Withers refers to them these days as "my erstwhile friends".
I had every intention of returning home until persuaded by half the crew that the annual SA Brains Brewery quiz night was a reasonable alternative. The splinter group, the Prince and his forces of darkness, went off to see Arcade Fire (although "see" is probably being far too kind after the amount of alcohol sunk by the gig goers).
Of course when I turned up at the Brains do with Roberts, who was by that stage dragging around a 5 litre barrel of lager presented to him by those wonderful people who sponsor the Heineken Cup, the quiz had already started.
In fact they were on question 14 in the first round... but, of course, we thought that men of our calibre would be able to catch up in no time. We were wrong. I vaguely remember the answer artichoke being correct, but other than that we had given up long before the end.
Elsewhere, Withers had somehow managed to find himself in the team captained by Raffles, the honorable thief, and containing two blond vixens I had never encountered before. The wonderful one had, not for the first time, found himself the odd one out when the coke-sipping Shutts began selecting the team mates more likely to be impressed by his amazingly egotistical acts of Bon Viveur.
His preferred entourage included the obligatory female "mate" and he ponced around as if he were Russell Crowe organising his crew in Master and Commander.
Unfortunately, Shutts' crew won the trophy, probably helped by the fact that they were all sober. Apparently Withers' response to having missed out on the glory was to bustle up to Wathanovski as if spoiling for a "gay" fight (Wathanovski's words, not mine).
Shutts, meanwhile, accused me of being drunk, proving himself not only brave but, some would say, foolhardy. People have had ashtrays emptied over their heads for less.
Poor old Wren took a phone call from me during one of the cigarette breaks in which I proceded to hiccup down the phone for a good five minutes while trying to conduct some semblance of sensible and erudite conversation. Failing miserably I gave up, then stumbled home soon afterwards in a pretty sorry state, I must admit. Ever tried to watch Spooks out of one eye with blurred vision? Not recommended, I can assure you.
Wales on Sunday is doing a green edition this week. By a strange coincidence there were plenty of green faces on view this morning.

Wren paid me a visit on Friday night.
The phone call went like this:
Wren: "Where are you?"
Me: "Outside the Yard. Where are you?"
Wren: "Outside your house, waiting for you to let me in."
Doh! I get the feeling she wasn't best pleased when she picked me up, but don't let anyone tell you I don't know the way to a woman's heart. Domino's pizza. Works every time.

On Saturday night, after spending half an hour trying to escape a gridlocked Cardiff because of a Monster Trucks event at the Millennium Stadium and some stupid police decision to close down St Mary's Street to traffic, I persuaded Wren that the best way to finish the day was by watching the third game of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Colorado Rockies. She didn't even last past the programme's opening credits, while I was still watching when the Sox wrapped up victory just before 5am. Go Sox.
Sunday afternoon was spent enjoying a belly-busting, as-much-as-you-can-get-on-your-plate Toby Carvery. Mind you, it wasn't surprising we were hungry. Having found a place in Pontprennau on the website we then spent 45 minutes driving around the area before realising we were in the wrong place. When we did arrive there was a queue a mile long. Still, all in all it was worth it.
More baseball to round off the perfect day, as the Sox completed a 4-0 series clean sweep.
On Monday we went to Cineworld to see Rendition. A terrific film, starring Reece Witherspoon, I would recommend anyone to see it. It gets you thinking.
Afterwards we paid a visit to Wally's, the delicatessen that has anything a foodie's heart could desire. It's situated in one of the arcades off St Mary's Street, Cardiff. I bought some Italian sausages, a huge bag of dried chillis, some venison pate and some lovely peppered Pastrami.
On Tuesday lunchtime, after swimming and before boozeday, I made a triple decker sandwich with some lovely gammon I had cooked on Sunday and the pastrami, topping it off with horse radish. It set me up for the shenanighans to follow.

ps. for those who read my useless info about Withers' Good Morning Wales radio appearance, I apologise. The wonderful one will, in fact, be resuming his broadcasting career NEXT Tuesday, 6.35am. Be there or be sensible, and have a lie in.

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