Heavy Fuel


This evening I went out for a quiet pint at the Bank of England. (It’s a pub that advertises its secret garden, although it’s unclear how secret it can be when there’s a big sign advertising it.)

One pint is never enough, so then we trotted down the road for a second, and then a third at the Princess Catherine, a pub renowned for the architectural quality of its urinals. I hadn’t been there in nigh on seven years and frankly, they weren’t as great as I’d remembered. It was almost as if someone was taking the piss.

After that laboured pun, I found myself in My Old Dutch, a restaurant near Holborn that serves enormous, leathery crepes that never seem to have been warmed up, and after that lamentable exercise, it was down to the Charing Cross Hotel for yet another pint.

There was a meeting of the Fawlty Towers Reenactment Society within the hotel, so as well as walking an interminable distance through oddly decorated corridors, our drinking was punctuated by occasional bellows of “Manuel! Manuel!” That is not something to complain about. However, it seems about as good an advert for the quality of a hotel as pushing The Hangover Suite upon your guests.

I’d had five heavy drinks. I fled home, half frozen. It may be April, but compared to Singapore, it’s still mind-bendingly cold on this side of the world.

I think I’ve eaten too much these last few days. For lunch today I met a friend and ex-colleague, and went heavy at Jamie’s Italian, the Jamie Oliver restaurant beneath my office. That was after eating enormous biscuits, but before cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery, and before my Stakhanovite drinking this evening. I’m thus worried that the extra calorie intake hasn’t been matched by the output required to maintain my body temperature this evening, but we’ll just have to see. I suppose if I run and run until I’m sick on Sunday then I may weigh the right amount to be allowed back into Singapore.


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