Twenty Two: The Black Dog, Vauxhall, SE11 5ER

The venue: The Black Dog, 112 Vauxhall Walk, London, SE11 5ER

The website:

The Sunday dinner: Pork belly

The price: £15

Before I begin this week’s instalment, I must caveat it with the news that little Ripley dog, my pal of 12 years, who has always been here for me, and who I love dearly, is not well. It’s more serious than we first thought and I’m waiting for the biopsy results after the bank holiday. In short, and without the outpouring of emotion and sentiment that I’m fully capable of, and am enacting in real life – a delight for all around to see – let’s just say that I’m very anxious, worried and sad. A right fucking mess, if you will. The state of my stupid, fake eyelashes as my tears melt the glue and sections fall off is doing little to placate me. I mention it because this week’s post is likely to be shite as a result. 

If you’re one of my nine regular Facebook commentators – please don’t write that you’re sorry to hear about Ripley, for I shall weep more due to your kindness. Just tell me I’m not very funny or entertaining when I’m miserable. I can deal with that. 

Right. Let’s get on with being a gobby, irritable, northern bitch who torments and berates her boyfriend, mainly because he deserves it. As per usual, we’ll review the week, ignoring vetinary visits and associated pain, but not ignoring the pain I feel because I STILL DON’T HAVE A TANGIBLE BIRTHDAY PRESENT. 

On Monday, I checked with my sister if she thought last week’s Garry Bushell progress would have a knock-on positive effect on family relationships:

Fair enough. 

On Tuesday morning, I did a last bit of research before an Internal Communications Manager job interview I’d secured at a prestigious global firm:

I did very well, considering, so revision does help. I’m now through to Round Two, providing they don’t stumble across this blog, I guess. That evening, I received some harrowing pictorial news from Mr Jus, who was in Asda:

Mr Jus didn’t understand the reference, so I had to explain I was talking about the lack of available cock on the market when you’re in your forties. It was a lie, of course – I’m still very popular and could literally have them coming out of every orifice, if I so choose, and wasn’t particularly picky. And paid. 

On Wednesday, I had a mild panic attack when I thought I’d developed a Caesarian scar, but later realised it was just the seam mark from a pair of snug 70 denier tights and I hadn’t actually had a baby taken from my womb without my knowledge. Phew. I also tried, several times, to pick up some cellophane from the carpet, which was actually a ray of light, which made me wonder if senility was truly setting in. 

On Thursday I gave a presentation to Year 9 pupils about my glittering career. I tried to make it lighthearted and fun, but just came across as a desperate, middle-aged twat who was trying to be down with the kids. I was asked what my one piece of advice would be. It would be to never waste your fucking valuable time giving a talk to a bunch of disinterested teenagers when you’ve got loads of work to do. 

Friday saw Mr Jus abandon me in my days of need and leave to cycle to Portsmouth for an overnight stay before Saturday’s ride around the Isle of Wight. He sent me a text to make sure I was ok with him going in light of my fragile state. It was good of him to check, even though he’d probably already pedalled to Guildford by that point. I spent the evening cuddling Ripley, drinking sherry and smoking in the house, because he wasn’t here to stop me. He hates it when I cuddle Ripley. 

On Saturday, Ripley and I went for a walk, passing a local independent retailer on our journey.  Look what they’re attempting to peddle, which I’ve displayed for you in a mustard-bordered collage:

What an insult to everyone’s intelligence. Even Mr ‘£137 soap dispenser’ Jus understands this isn’t right. Later that evening, I tried to make Mr Jus understand that his cycling jaunt return time was an insult to me. I expressed my displeasure using imagery on WhatsApp:

See how I quickly moved from topping myself to taking a mallet to his selfish ankles. He eventually responded.

Mission accomplished. 

Before we knew it, Sunday had/has arrived. We visited Newport Street Galley before eating today. Mr Jus instigated day drinking, which I had no complaints about. He said he’d treat me like a princess today, following his abandonment, and clearly went for Princess Margaret.

 I was nicely arseholed by 1.33pm. Here’s some art with a dead Hammerhead Shark vibe we saw. Enjoy: 

Here’s some rolls of fat, trussed in rope, on a Moped, which was reminiscent of a week I spent on Kos in 2003: 

Culture concluded, it was time to eat. Mr Jus chose The Black Dog, which I found slightly insensitive, given the circumstances. “It may as well be called Your Cancerous Hound,” I remarked.

Mr Jus had fish and chips, while I plumped for pork belly. Let’s look at it again. 

The pub looks like this, by the way:

A pleasant enough interior with attractive tiles, although she should hang her coat up. It’ll get creased. Highlights? Creamed leeks. It felt like I’d been given a vegetable upgrade. The gravy was half decent too. The Yorkshire looks a bit burnt, but the carcenogic levels were within range, according to my meter. It was crisp and fought off my attempted gravy drowning well. A hardy addition to the plate, that held its own. Lowlights? Apple sauce smeared pig pieces. Look. I’ll decide where I want my apple sauce, thanks. And it’s not there. In fact, it’s on the side. To be had as a pudding or not at all. I asked Mr Jus to scrape it off for me and he willingly obliged. 

I thought I could relax, but then fennel rushed the stage. I once got really pissed on Pernod, collapsed on the bathroom floor and thought I was going to die, so accents of aniseed never evoke happy memories. I remember my mum and sister standing over me to ensure I didn’t choke on my own vomit. I recall that Amy, who was around 13 at the time, said: “You’re pathetic.” And, although it was true, it didn’t feel right to hear it from a sibling five years my junior. I recall initially feeling ashamed, before thinking what a sanctimonious, cheeky little fucker she was and then feeling very dizzy. 

Anyway, the fennel was overpowering. Eight points removed. 

The pork, while tender, didn’t come with any crackling, which sort of helps to make eating fat acceptable. Because it’s crispy. When it’s just a lump of wet fat it no longer looks or tastes as sexy. 

The roast potatoes were a little undercooked, truth be told, and although the carrots and cabbage were tasty, they weren’t going to win awards. Unless a family member was on the judging panel or the vote was rigged. These things do happen in the cut throat world of vegetable pageants, I’m led to believe.

On the whole, it was a decent enough Sunday dinner, I suppose. Let’s see what Mr Jus had to say about his three course bonanza. Here’s the WhatsApp message he sent earlier, which makes it look like we only communicate with each other online: 

I don’t know why there’s a random exclamation and speech mark at the end either. Or why he’s not even attempted to be amusing.

Hopefully he, and the Sunday dinner venues around these parts, will try a bit harder in May.

Final score: 21/33


5 thoughts on “Twenty Two: The Black Dog, Vauxhall, SE11 5ER

    1. Faye does not want to see stuff like that you total knobber! Sorry Faye. May I say you are as hilarious as always and I’ve passed you on to my sons, who adore your writing.

      Liked by 1 person

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