So I got to go to the races on Saturday which was nice. I'd never been before, and know very little about horses, betting or any of it, but the Epsom Derby was a good place to start, I reckon. The main reason I was there is that Chelsea Boy lives just round the corner, about 10 minutes walk from the racecourse. You can decide for yourselves whether he was an excuse to see the races or the races were an excuse to see him. The sun shone just enough for all the freckles on my nose to come out and there was beer which is always a good start. Frankie Dettori won, finally: apparently despite winning everything else in sight he's never won the Derby before and so it was a big deal. I, on the other hand, did not win: I blew £25 (last of the big spenders, me) betting on 3 useless old nags which, if I had any say in the matter, would be sent directly and without delay to some nearby purveyor of tasty canine treats. Still, I had fun, and we had a really tasty barbecue in the evening chez CB (which entailed meeting his family...)
Sunday was a day of lounging around, and eating in 2 of my favourite London eateries: Café Gallipoli on Upper St, Islington, for excellent Turkish & Middle Eastern food, and then supper at Masala Zone in Soho, for brilliant and unusual curry. There was an amazing side dish of broccoli in coconut milk, an intriguing raita with crunchy green apple pieces, and a slow-roast quasi-smoked lamb curry with cloves. In between stuffing our faces CB and I wandered around Islington a bit then went and lounged on the sofas at the Jorene Celeste, a long-term favourite pub, and drank beer in a lazy way.
The reason I was in the UK at all was to carry out various admin jobs, do some paper work, sort out some house stuff, organise a gardener, that kind of thing. So Weds-Fri were spent in a whirlwind of busy-ness, catching up with my brother and doing sorting/tidying things. Mostly sorted now, at least temporarily. Lovely as ever to see my brother and catch up: but it's weird not living in the same place any more. Not knowing any of his new friends personally, for instance, or having followed the development of his latest dissertation in person, or any of the rest of it. It changes nothing in how we get on, but it changes the mechanics of things, the need to fill in backstory incessantly. Does distance, I wonder, inevitably breed distance? I trust not. But it changes parameters.
lots to blog about when I have some time including the latest kerfuffle over Liverpool fans, the abolition of inheritance tax in France, the new Pirates of the Caribbean film, the Claudio-Ranieri-to-Juve story, the latest twist in the sad story of Filippo Raciti, and the phenomenal ugliness of the new London 2012 Olympics logo. Of which I shall probably get round to discussing only one or two, but hey.