The venue: The Mayflower Pub, 117 Rotherhithe Street, Rotherhithe, London, SE16 4NF
The website: The Mayflower Pub
The Sunday dinner: Chicken
The price: £13.95
Hello, everyone. Hope you’re well. I just want to start by saying a great big thank you to those of you who ordered a Hello Fresh box last week using our code. So that’s none of you miserable little bastards, is it? Cheers. Nice doing business with you. I mean, how likely do you think it is that I’ll win the free Hello Fresh holiday now? In all seriousness, I think it’s a bit tight and I’m not very happy with any of you. To be honest, you’ve pissed me off. I get neck ache from poor posture when I sit and write these blogs, you know. And I have to have a drink because I believe it aids my creativity, so I end up feeling a bit sick and dizzy when I’ve finished. Yet paying £9.90 for six delicious meals and helping a friend is too much to ask, is it?
I’ll try not to hold a grudge. I don’t need real friends now that I’ve started chilling with my homies at Hello Fresh this week. ‘Chilling out with my homies’ means socialising, relaxing, and possibly smoking weed with close friends. Not that the Hello Fresh social media team is into that kind of thing. Yes, they use emojis, for sure, but that’s not indicative of casual drug abuse.
It’s just what the youngsters say these days. I know, because as a brand ambassador I can appeal, and fit in, with all social groups. Could I gain respect at an inner-city sixth form college? Yes. They’d think I was sick. Which means good and not perverted or gravely ill. I know, because I’m youthful and what’s called ‘street’. Would I be respected and well-liked in a Mecca Bingo Hall, amongst working class pensioners ? Definitely. I’ve got some good mates at the Acocks Green branch. Might I be revered by the members of a Knightsbridge Bridge Club? You bet. Have I already been drinking this afternoon? Of course.
I’m not sure where I’m going with this. I think I’m still trying to get a job where I can write bollocks like this for a living and then do some reading in the sun, have a nice swim and be clattered by 11am. But all of us borderline alcoholics want that, don’t we? I added swimming to make me sound slightly athletic, by the way. I’d probably go on one of those lilo things and just float around. Which is similar to swimming so I didn’t lie completely.
Anyway, that’s not happening any time soon, and as it’ll soon be time for work, let’s get on with it.
On Monday, I got a response to my blog post from not one, but two, Hello Fresh employees. Hence me not needing friends anymore, as I mentioned. So please never contact me again. One said the review actually made them ‘lol’, and the other wrote: ‘large guffaws coming from my desk as I type’. Yet neither offered me as much as a free teaspoon of fucking paprika. I wrote to them again that evening, because I had nothing better to do, Mr Jus had rustled up the latest dish, and I’d had my toys out.
Polly wrote something pleasant back, but nothing about it said ‘PACK YOUR BAGS, YOU’RE FLYING TO BARBADOS’ so I’ve decided to give up my quest to win a free holiday. Mr Jus, God bless him, is still going strong on the old sales front, however. He tried to pitch the Hello Fresh deal to his mum on Tuesday. It took about fifteen minutes of him trying to convince her to try a box before he bothered asking if she’d had a nice holiday. To date she has not taken up the offer, so we probably won’t bother meeting up with his parents again.
On Wednesday I woke up after a dream in which I opened a lesbian detective agency called ‘Oranges’. I recall no additional details about my new business. I’ve been in some strange slumber situations this week, you know. One night, my dad’s mistress turned up at the house with her two daughters. She was old, with straggly hair and I was furious she had the audacity to turn up there. To cut a long story short, at one point she was sat on the sofa with her skirt around her shoulders and her 30 denier ecru tights around her calves, and her massive cock resting on her stomach. It was quite a shock and it bothered me throughout the following day, until I remembered that Mr Jus and I had watched the end of Tootsie a couple of nights ago. And a programme about a lesbian detective agency called Oranges last Sunday. We didn’t do the latter. Oranges is my idea. I might use it as the premise of my first novel. Think about it, Hello Fresh.
On Thursday, I bought my work colleagues a treat to show them just how much they mean to me.
I placed the photo on Facebook (18 likes, 3 laughing faces, one heart) and also tweeted Marks and Spencer, as I am more interested in engaging with large companies, rather than traitors who won’t buy a cheap box of meals from me, whatever fucking reaction icon they press. My cool, new friends, M&S, responded:
‘We’re sure the team are feeling very loved tonight! We hope they saved you a slice?’
I mean, it was kind of them to write back and I gave their response a like, despite the exclamation mark, but I’d have had more respect for the brand if they’d replied:
‘You tight bitch. Still, I bet they’re arseholes. Especially Skeletor. Hope you enjoy it.’
“Here’s a free holiday, Faye.’
But they didn’t. I comforted myself by reading this Facebook memory from two years ago. I had 100% battery when I took this screenshot. Thanks.
I remember being so pleased he’d agreed to acting like utter dicks in a public arena. I laughed when he said we were misleading people because it wasn’t a quiche lorraine, as it contained broccoli. I was delighted when he suggested wrapping it in a tea towel, so it looked like “the baby is in swaddling clothes”. I remember loving him dearly and tenderly that day as we arsed about. I mused over how it’s only been in these later years that he has consistently failed to do things he’s asked, such as dust, which has led to the disharmony we’re currently experiencing.
Friday arrived and Mr Jus decided it was ok to post the morning’s WhatsApp conversation on Facebook.
It’s easy to spend time dicking about when you’re not in gainful employment, but I had a job to do and would have got the answer a lot quicker had I not taken two work calls, written a performance development review, and developed a CSR strategy during our conversation. I still found the time to set him a little puzzle later that day, of course.
We met for cocktails and tapas that evening and a splendid time was had by all, I believe. I’m not sure – we were both a bit drunk. I don’t remember arguing or anything, so I assume it was fine. What I do remember is this very informative sign. But only because I took a photo of it.
On Saturday, I met up with a friend from Birmingham and wandered the streets of London aimlessly until our feet began to sting, which isn’t a pleasant feeling, but is nowhere near as bad as cystitis. Or insect bites, of which I have three fresh ones, including a belter on my bum, because I clearly don’t deserve any fucking peace or happiness in my life.
Mr Jus retweeted a cycling interview I’d conducted with him after he completed the TransContinental last year, which is further proof of how I can adapt my writing style to suit any brief and cover any discipline or genre. Yes, it contains gratuitous swearing, but what real life conversation doesn’t?
It proved more popular than any of these Sunday Dinner Diary posts and has been viewed around the world. I wondered if I should perhaps concentrate on sports journalism and write specifically for cyclists. I know what GRINDS THEIR GEARS (good), I know what makes THEIR GARMINS TICK (not sure if Garmins tick), I won’t SADDLE them with bullshit (good again). Then I realised that it bores the shit out of me, so I’ve decided not to pursue that career path.
The interview is here if you’d like to read it: The Fish And The Bicycle
On Sunday, which is today, it was time for dinner, after a nice old lie in. Here’s the extent of my movement before 10.30am:
It was to be a traditional one, for once. A return to my diary roots. According to the Mayflower Pub’s menu, it came with ‘Proper Gravy’. And, despite being annoyed at the upper casing, that bold claim definitely sparked my interest.
We decided to walk to this week’s venue and it was a most enjoyable hour, despite the route taking us through a couple of industrial estates. The sunshine and warmth was a blessing, plus Ripley did not get too tired and die at the roadside, which is a grave fear of mine these days.
Here’s a montage to set the scene.
View of the river, hanging baskets, undead dog on a jetty, historical information – it’s looking good so far, right? Well it’s about to get a whole lot better. Here’s the starter:
I love Scampi Fries. And I will always warm to a place where they’re in stock. If you also like Scampi Fries, we’ll probably be great friends. Unless you’ve committed terrible crimes, or your favourite colour is pink, or a whole host of other reasons.
Things appeared ok, until our meals arrived just five minutes after ordering. Don’t get me wrong, I like prompt service, but this felt too soon. Let’s have another look at my chicken. Not a euphemism. But if you do want me to send you a photo of something a bit blue (I mean x-rated when I say ‘blue’ – not that my vagina is that colour), feel free to DM me. Thanks.
Look how close Mr Jus’ pint is to the end of the table. Then look at the little grubby plaster that’s on his finger. Then look at the chicken skin which is NOT CRISPY ENOUGH, and then look at the broccoli, which is neither here nor there and was a bit too hard. After that, look at the Yorkshire pudding, which was decent enough. Then look at Mr Jus’ plate again and say out loud: ‘WHY DON’T YOU JUST MARRY THE HORSERADISH SAUCE, CHARLES?’ Finally, look at the gravy which is not even that proper. Let alone Proper. Hmm.
I’ll tell you straight. It wasn’t great. Yet the place was buzzing with people and clearly doing a roaring trade. It just didn’t do anything for me. Or for Mr Jus:
“This was poor,” he sighed, somewhat dramatically. “The beef was horrendously over-cooked* and it didn’t seem like a proper piece of meat. The whole thing reeked of mass catering. The speed at which it arrived made me suspicious. The broccoli was cold, and possibly pre-blanched and then microwaved. It was a nice location, but an expensive meal that didn’t do anything for me*.”
*so about medium.
*I told you it didn’t do anything for him.
On the walk home, I saw this, which I am going to get Mr Jus as a Christmas present, in case he fancies a wank over Genesis. I imagine he’s bored of masturbating over the ‘No Jacket Required’ album cover by now. That was a Phil Collins/sperm production reference that didn’t quite work, but I’ll leave in.
We stopped off for a drink at a pub and Mr Jus took this photo for me in the toilets. Don’t be afraid to scroll on. It’s nothing blue. Not that I’m saying his cock is the colour blue. I mean the x-rated thing again.
Seeing this sort of made up for my disappointment with today’s dinner. Actually, I have no idea why I just typed that. It really didn’t. I laughed for 1.5 seconds at most.
Final score: 16/33