The venue: The Ivy House, 20 Stuart Road, SE15 3BE
The Sunday dinner: Beef
The price: £11.50
Hello again. I hope you’re well and have forgiven me for not being rude enough about dinner with my boss last week. I’ve been called an ‘arse-licker’, a ‘creep’ and a ‘brown-nose’ by disappointed colleagues, who are clearly intent on seeing me sacked. Well it won’t be for slating my manager in public, guys. But don’t you worry; I’ll get there through sheer incompetence and grand theft stationery, the latter being the name of a new video game that I’ve commissioned Mr Jus to produce.
I’m writing this introduction as I speed back towards London on a Virgin Pendolino (Seat C33) after a weekend with my family in Birmingham, where I ably fulfilled the role of lovely, kind, considerate, sexy, daughter, sister and aunt.
My mum cooked me a tasty meal, lathered in high quality gravy, even though it pissed her off to use her new oven, because she didn’t want to get it dirty. I took my sister for cocktails and tapas. We did some chuckling before she developed stomach cramps and had to suddenly depart, and I kept it to myself that I was annoyed she’d left one of her meatballs (the Spanish word for these is similar to Gabby Agbonlahor, I think). I’ve written that so men think I know about football and sigh and go: ‘She’s even into sport. She’s more perfect than I ever imagined.’
I went shopping with my mum on Saturday, and took her for brunch. I say brunch, even though I detest the word, and even though we only shared two slices of toast. It was £1.50, which I found slightly excessive – we were at the cafe in Solihull Library, not the fucking Ritz, and it was just Sunblest or similar – so I stole four sachets of salad cream to try to make myself feel a little better. Which it did. So, if you work with me and want to liven up your Pret salad or whatever, give me a shout. I’ll charge you 80p for one, and you’ll pay it, because you’re ridiculous southerners.
Us ridiculous northerners spent yesterday evening at the Mecca Bingo in Acocks Green. Look. Here I am, having a Strongbow, of all things.
It didn’t stop me helping to rearrange her living room furniture.
“I had the TV in this position before,” she told me as she settled down to watch yet another episode of ‘A Place In The Sun’. “I used to worry that I’d get shot in the back of the head.”
I’ve included this line to demonstrate that anxiety must be hereditary. Saying that, my sister doesn’t have such constant dark thoughts and takes a more pragmatic approach.
“If a sniper is taking her out, it’s surely better that she gets shot in the back of the head,” Amy argued. Amy is the name of my sister if you struggle to follow simple storylines, like Mr Jus, who was once confused by a Sainsbury’s advert plot. “If they shot her in the face they might just blow her jaw off, rather than kill her,” she concluded.
I didn’t like the idea of my mum having her jaw blown off. While it’d hamper her INCESSANT FUCKING TALKING, Nina Conti might fit one of those silly faces to her and start doing ventriloquism, which I wouldn’t enjoy, because she’s not funny and Mr Jus quite fancies her (Nina Conti, not my mum). I don’t like ventriloquists at all, although I did used to work with a bloke called Keith Harris. I never met him, but I’d see his clockcard near the machine and smile to myself, and think about how I loved the abuse Cuddles the Monkey gave Orville, which was thoroughly justified and deserved.
I also went through her box of old photographs while I was there. I sent Amy (the sister, remember?) some of the gems I came across. Here’s a snippet of that conversation.
Now then. Jonathan is just the son of one of her mates, so I’m right to be aggrieved that he features more heavily. And I made a mental note to have a chat with Kitty and tell her to keep doing what she’s doing (being a little shit, not having skull feathers – again, clarity for those who are easily confused). The skull feathers line might sound mean, but guess what? I bought her a wig this weekend, as well as some toast. She ordered it online, so let’s face it, it’s going to be shit and look like a wig, but she’s been going on about wanting one for ages. And I made it happen. Like Jim’ll Fix It for the WhatsApp generation. Sans paedophilia. I hope ‘sans’ means ‘without’.
Anyway, she was happy and can have the hassle of sending it back.
Meanwhile, on Twitter…
You may recall that I’ve been attempting to raise my blog’s profile using my extraordinary social media reach. I approached celebrities from the Grimsby/Cleethorpes area and the cast of Only Fools and Horses this week. Got a like from Julie Peasgood. It’s better than nothing and Boycie can go suck Jordan Knight’s cock for all I care. Here’s Julie, thinking about how neat the Primark in Freshney Place, Grimsby, is.
This week also saw me take on supermarket giant, Asda, via social media and win.
You know how I’ve put in my opening gambit that I try and avoid live jazz in the venues we choose? Well these guys accompanied us today:
Bit much. I haven’t looked up who they are, for I am lazy and disrespectful, but they’re sort of a mini big band, I suppose. Thankfully, the doors to the room they were performing in were closed, so it was muffled enough to be tolerated. That’s not to say they weren’t any good, just that I can’t concentrate on eating with Mr Bojangles being blasted out at 143 decibels. I’m not actually sure if that’s a lot of decibels. Again, I can’t be arsed to look it up.
The meal arrived within six minutes of placing the order. It was a generous portion. Extra gravy was immediately requested, which arrived equally promptly. Here’s a reminder of how it looked:
The Yorkshire was a strong specimen, the vegetables decently cooked, the gravy of reasonable thickness, but blandeth taste (I also speak Medieval English as well as Latin). The red cabbage guest appearance added something; it just didn’t add enough. The meal also also lacked heat. Not like that place where I had to finger-bang the mash, so I didn’t complain, but only slightly above that level.
There was also a slight chill in the air, which didn’t add to the meal’s enjoyment, following a disagreement Mr Jus and I had on the walk to the pub.
He’d sold something on eBay, and discovered postage was more than he’d quoted (based on eBay’s costings). He wrote to the buyer asking if he’d pay the extra £4.40. The buyer said no. Mr Jus is livid. Really livid. In an email argument with the guy.
I told him I think the buyer’s in the right and shouldn’t have to pay the extra and he needed to shrug it off.
Mr Jus stopped in the street.
“Wow,” he said, visibly shaking, like a fucking madman. “Thanks for your support.”
Really seriously. Like he was disgusted with me. It spoiled my dinner, because I thought he was being ridiculous, and he thought I was a traitorous whore.
Mr Jus believes the buyer is “a mean spirited cunt who deserves nothing but pain, misery, torment and torpour, until the day he dies”. Seriously – he’s not even joking.
He wanted to be quoted as saying worse things, but they are so bad I can’t even write them. He described the above quote as “a warm up sentence”. He wants the buyer put into the ninth circle of hell, beneath Judas”. He’s going crackers. When I didn’t back him up, and told him that he just needed to learn from it, and understand the rules of eBay, he said:
“Wow. Thanks for your support.” Again.
In a really disgusted way. Like I’d shown my true colours and he’d just seen me in a terrible light.
I’ve told him I’ll put this out as a query in today’s post, rather than allow him a quote. It’s a new feature I’m introducing, called:
The Sunday Dinner Dilemma
So. In summary, You sell something on eBay and list a postage price (advised by eBay). It costs more to post than that amount.
A) Expect the buyer to pay the extra postage, get into a war of words with him when he says no, start planning to brick his windows, and detest your own girlfriend because she disagrees with you?
B) Accept you should have put a couple of extra quid on the postage quote to be on the safe side and realise you just have to suck it up, rather than call him a prick in the feedback, as that’ll just make you look crazy?
Mr Jus has assured me that he will “vigorously defend” himself in the Facebook comments. And a court of law.
He spoiled my dinner, folks.
Final score: 17/33