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Friday, August 26, 2011




They say that bad luck comes in threes, and they're right. At 3:33pm yesterday, we were three miles from Basingstoke on the M3, when Lisa got a call on her mobile. She's with O2, not Three, but it didn't make any difference. It was the dental surgery, saying that her teeth had arrived unexpectedly, and that despite what they'd told us earlier, they had a dentist available to fit them that afternoon if we wanted to come straight in.

It was one of those situations where you either have to laugh or cry. And if you cry, you're liable to crash the car into the central reservation at 70mph. So we did our best to laugh maniacally, whilst cursing the gods of dentistry and gnashing what teeth we had left. We did consider turning around at the next junction, but we were eighty miles from Brighton, and there was every chance we wouldn't make it back before they closed at 5pm. In the end, we decided not to waste any more of our precious time (or petrol money), and drove on to Big Sis's house instead.

So there you go. If Lisa hadn't rung her dentist yesterday morning and been told that she had no chance of getting her teeth this week, we'd have been in Brighton for that phone call, could have picked them up immediately, and would now be out and about in Devizes, smiling at strangers and posing for photos. As it is, I'm on Big Sis's sofa, and Lisa's just gone back to bed.

But to her credit, Lisa was determined not to let her lack of teeth ruin her birthday, so despite having little to smile about (or with), she and I went to The Well at Bulkington last night for a celebratory meal. We managed to get a table in the corner, where Lisa could face the wall and talk with her hand over her mouth without anyone thinking she was plotting an act of terrorism, and we successfully got through the evening without her speaking to any member of staff. It meant, of course, that I had to order everything for her, which made me feel slightly awkward. It's not easy saying "And my wife will have..." all the time, without sounding like a Victorian gentleman or a domineering husband. I'm hoping they thought she was either mute or Russian, but in reality they probably had me down as a wife-beater.

It was worth the embarrassment though. The Well lived up to all the expectations we'd built up from our last visit. Frankly if the chef had come out and introduced himself, Lisa would have filed for divorce on the spot. The food they serve is like nothing I've ever tasted elsewhere. And I've eaten at a Harvester. Lisa spent the entire meal giving out little moans of pleasure and ecstacy, the like of which I usually only hear... in my imagination.

It's tempting to think that when you've tasted Tuna Steak topped with Tomato & Basil Salsa on a bed of Pink Fir Apple Potatoes, followed by an Amaretto & Dime Bar Cheesecake served with Amaretto Ice Cream, that there's nowhere left to go. But as it happens, there were at least six other desserts I want to try, and a dozen main courses. So on the basis that you only live once, and the obese die young, we're going back again tonight. I've booked a table for seven-thirty. Look out Bulkington, the mute and the wife-beater are on their way!


Dave said...

Have something sweet for me.

Phil's Mum said...

They probably think everyone from Brighton behaves like that!

jon the bassist said...

If you are to carry on the Victorian gentleman ruse with your mute russian child bride then I think you will need a walking cane and a waxed handlebar moustache. By the way I found some pink fur potatoes behind the fridge and they tasted a bit off. You've been warned.
Happy belated birthday Lisa.