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Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Brasserie Pizza & PastaIt's been a busy couple of days here in the heart of the Polish community. Lisa and I went for a meal the other night at a new restaurant which has just opened around the corner in St James's Street. Until a few months ago it was called 'The Gourmet Palace', which strangely enough never appealed to us, but after a couple of bailiffs with scant regard for fine dining plastered it with repossession notices, it promptly closed down, and has now reopened as 'The Brasserie Pizza & Pasta'. Which sounded a lot more up our street. Especially when I mis-read Brasserie as Brassiere.

We were keen to go sooner rather than later, as every time I've walked past they've had no customers whatsoever, and will no doubt be going out of business before the end of the month. They've now resorted to placing a large blackboard outside with the words "WE ARE OPEN!" to try and get the message across, and sure enough it seems to have worked - when we arrived there were two people in there. Both of whom left within five minutes.

It's a shame though, because the food was actually pretty good. They do quail eggs as a pizza topping, which has got to be some kind of first. My only complaint is that when I order a pizza with pepperoni, chicken & sweetcorn, I expect it to feature tomato sauce as well. I thought that was pretty much a given with pizzas, but apparently not. It was nice anyway, although they do charge £1.90 for a thimble-full of Diet Coke, which is enough to make you go thirsty.

Following that we did our bit for the younger generation by dropping in on Lisa's nephews. Nephew Number One showed me how to risk my life by climbing to the top of a door frame, Nephew Number Three is now the shape and weight of a bowling ball, while Nephew Number Two merely ran up to me shouting "You be Evil Phil and get me!".

I told him I wanted a role that would stretch me, and I wasn't sure the part of Evil Phil was really it, but he just started throwing Lego at me, so I didn't have much choice.

Being beaten up by a 3½-year-old is nothing however, compared to the financial pain inflicted on me by my car this week. On Monday I had to pay £115 road tax, on Tuesday I renewed my AA membership for £102, and today I've had to fork out £184 for a new exhaust. I wouldn't mind, but that comes to four hundred pounds, which is more than my car's worth.

It should have been less too. According to my itemised bill from ATS Euromaster, I've been charged 89p plus VAT for the "environmental disposal" of my old exhaust. If I'd known, I'd have asked for my pound back and chucked it in the sea myself.