23 And Less Angsty

I’m sorry it’s been a while. I was busy turning 23.

It didn’t involve anything spectacular, but it all added up to a rather happy me this week nonetheless. Some friends reading this will be aware of my birthday neurosis, but that was luckily kept under control this year, thanks to a very understanding Alec who decided to start calling my friends himself rather than wait for me to chicken out of organizing anything and then get depressed like last year.

On Saturday afternoon, after lunch with Alec, Brian and Esther at good ol’ Mr Jerk, I hit Berwick Street:

  • The Notwist: Neon Golden (£7.99)
  • Múm: Finally We Are No One (£7.99)
  • Lambchop: What Another Man Spills (£7.99)
  • Tori Amos: Scarlett’s Walk (£4.99)
  • (On Sunday, I also found Common’s Electric Circus in Music Zone for £6, yay.)
  • [Something else I’m also enjoying is the self-titled album by Mark Hollis (formerly of Talk Talk), my present from Benny, who is one of the few people around who would have the balls and self-confidence (deservedly so, I might add!) to give me any music I hadn’t already said I wanted, snob that I am. Thanks Benny!]

Then to Shoreditch for dinner at Song Que, which struggled a little with our party of 14, but did their best to remain smiley. I, on the other hand, wildly tried to move around the table, talk to people, and apologize for the various things my various offensive friends managed to say to each other, all at the same time. The life of a socialite is clearly not for me. After dinner we headed to Bar Kick, where I failed to acquit myself particularly well in our table football challenges, but I blame the cocktails. I think it all went okay. I haven’t really tried mixing different friends together since I was 8 and mixed 10 girls from school with my poor neighbour Roy, but I hope they sort of enjoyed themselves this time, and am ultimately very thankful they even bothered to come.

On Monday (my real birthday), Alec brought me lilies and the paper in bed, which made for many happy hours curled up reading all about how we were, er, headed for war. Oh well. So much for being able to celebrate my birth in a spirit of optimism. In the evening I got 5 seconds of fame at a law faculty prizegiving ceremony, but the other 89 minutes 55 seconds were extremely dull. Then dinner at Hunan, where being expected to trust the maitre d’s choice rather than order from a menu was a little difficult for control freak me, but it worked out lovely. When he found out it was my birthday, he asked if I had any favourite dishes they could make me. Given that Hunan is one of the very few Chinese restaurants in London that isn’t Cantonese, it is probably a good thing I stifled my response of “mat chap chi pa” (I can’t translate it exactly, but it’s something like “honey-cooked pork” I think – it’s yummy, anyway. Order it the next time you go to very Cantonese Chinatown). We managed to stagger out forgetting Alec’s scarf and my prize certificate (such is life with Alec and Michelle), but remembered before we’d gotten too far away, so all was well.

So I celebrated some of my birthday in Shoreditch and some of it in Sloane Square. I would pride myself on having social range, but must unfortunately admit I fit in much better in Shoreditch. (Quick note for non-Londoners: Sloane Square is where very rich people hang out. Shoreditch is near where Jack The Ripper used to kill prostitutes.)