At Ida & David’s rather fabulous Halloween party on Saturday, my favourite costumes included the Statue of Liberty, The Chinese Teacher From Hell (with the most hilariously appropriate spectacles you could imagine), and every man dressed in drag (there were several).

I have a certain bias in what impresses me in Halloween costumes. Much like my disappointment at anyone attending a Bad Taste party who doesn’t make a good-faith attempt to render themselves as outrageously fugly as they can manage, I’m not drawn to Halloween costumes where it’s obvious that the wearer still wants to look hot. As Lindsay Lohan’s character so sagely observed in Mean Girls, “In the regular world, Halloween is when children dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”

So my distaste for that general state of affairs is one of the reasons Alec and me went like this.

(For the benefit of non-Singaporean readers, the costumes are loosely based on two particular sorts of characters in Singaporean society that most Singaporeans would quite readily recognize, an “auntie” and “uncle“. It’s sort of impossible to distill the essence of auntiedom and uncledom into words, but I suppose their defining characteristics would be that they are middle-aged or older, decidedly unhip and unsophisticated, but generally good people who one addresses as “auntie” or “uncle” out of respect that they’ve had more life experience than you. Having said that, these particular depictions aren’t exact archetypes either. My auntie is more dressed up than usual, she’s put on her fancy clothes for the party. Alec’s uncle, on the other hand, has come straight from the neighbourhood coffeeshops without bothering to change.)

The second reason we chose those costumes was pure laziness. All that was required to put the costumes together was for me to walk downstairs and say “Hi parents, Alec and me are an uncle and auntie for Halloween. Can we borrow some clothes?”

My parents took it pretty well. My mum found some awful jewellery (all gifts, she swears) to wear with the leopard print blouse I pulled jubilantly from her wardrobe. My dad surfaced from the depths of his afternoon nap as I was rummaging through his clothes for a singlet to mumble “You want a torn one? Look deeper inside, sure got” and “Think they might be a bit small for him. But actually, like that will be better.”

So anyway, those were our costumes and I’m glad people seemed to like them. Apart from the fun of people wearing costumes, the party also included the fun of people removing their costumes. During the night an epidemic of male stripping somehow took hold and we ended up with almost every male in the place dancing shirtless in the living room, except, of course, some of the ones in drag – since that would clearly have been conduct unbecoming of a lady.

At some point a guy dressed as a French maid burst into the room where I was chatting with some people, pulling Alec along by the hand. “Honey,” he gushed to me, “your man is SO HOT! Omigod, and so are you!” Neither Alec nor I get compliments like this very often (assuming you ignore the attention Alec receives from the local prostitutes), and usually when we do the compliments are from people who could most kindly be described as…unfussy. But this guy had great hair and makeup and his dress fit him like a glove, so we were very flattered.

I shall take my leave with an anecdote from which it is hard to continue. At some point during the night I started chatting with a group of people I didn’t know, asking about their costumes and so on. One girl was a Raggedy Ann doll, another was The Chinese Teacher From Hell, the third was a cat and the fourth a Roman whore. Last was an Indian guy, wearing what looked like brown sackcloth underneath some white drapey cloth. I asked him what he was; he said to guess.

“Gandhi?” I ventured.

“Caesar,” he answered coldly, whereupon I excused myself quickly.

Pushing 26

I had a pretty great birthday last year. Long-time readers may be aware that despite being confident, well-adjusted and happy in every other area of my life I somehow suffer from dumb irrational birthday angst. So it really made me happy last year when loads of people remembered, my best friend sent flowers to my office, and Tortoise decided to grace Singapore with their presence.

This year’s birthday looked off to a bad start when I checked the gig schedule hopefully only to see…Jason Mraz. Thankfully, lots of preferable events quickly emerged, and I decided to take matters into my own hands for the actual day.

So this is the plan so far:

  • 15 March: Erlend Oye’s DJ set at the Mosaic music festival. I’ve long wished the dude would just quit indie music and focus on DJing because I think his taste in house music far outstrips his indie muzak.

  • 16 March: No special plans but my usual Thursday lindy hopping will probably keep me very happy. [Edit: Actually on second thoughts, I don’t really have the time for this one. Nuts.]

  • 17 March: my actual birthday. For the first time since the age of 8, I’m taking the chance on a party. Since my previous attempt at mixing my friends went okay, I decided to push my luck a little and impose a theme – being born on St Patrick’s Day makes it a no-brainer anyway. So “Craic Whores” it is then – a cheesy Irish theme party fit to inflict a lifetime’s worth of cringing on my poor Irishman.

  • 18 March: This is the tricky bit. Ideally I will spend the afternoon getting drenched in water and dye and bhangra at the Holi festival, rush home to change, rush out again to Ci’en’s party where she has kindly invited a couple of us to play music, then finally head to see GANG STARR!(!!!!!) However, in reality it is far more likely that I will collapse asleep on my bed after Holi and wake up the next morning still Technicolored. I live in hope though.

Reluctantly Executive Summary

Graaargh. Being away from a computer the whole day during this three-month induction/rotation period for my new job is killing me. I have time to work, live, love, and sleep (5 hours a night, max), but doing more than that has been beyond me this week and last. But since I’m off shift-work today, here’s my attempt at an executive summary from last weekend till this one, minus the bits where I am actually an executive.


  • Mizeryfree/Zhen/Concave Scream at Bar None (last Monday): The first two bands made little impression on me, I was there to see the third. Concave Scream did a passable gig, but nothing as memorable as their Baybeats performance. Also, although I haven’t got tired of any of their songs yet, their setlist doesn’t seem to have changed much these three times I’ve seen them play – same tracks, same introductory banter, same encore.

  • Localbarboy at Hideout (last Wednesday): I told Joe that since I hardly know any pre-2003 local music, the mark of this gig’s success was that I still thoroughly enjoyed it. The immensely likable band, great song choices (how hard does Singapore Cowboy ROCK?) and happy supportive crowd made for a good gig vibe. After the gig the DJ just played the same ol’ same ol’ Singapore indie clubbing staples (doesn’t anyone else get tired of dancing to the same songs every time?) so I left – but not before some muppet-dancing with Alec to Here Comes Your Man. That was fun.


Are we hot or not?
  • Bad Taste (two Saturdays ago): At which Alec wore his famous spandex. Many other guests at the party were a little disappointing though, mostly because I feel they hadn’t made themselves look unattractive enough. For example, Ali Baba trousers shouldn’t have been paired with a flattering black top but rather something utterly hideous. Others fell into the trap I narrowly avoided while deciding on my outfit – accessorizing into hipness. The more I added belts, bracelets and necklaces, the more it looked like a cool outfit straight off the streets of Harajuku. So in the end I just stuck to the core items you see in the picture – black and white striped top, 70s retro dirty green skirt, bright green bag, grey trainers, black socks pulled up as high as they could go.
  • Dance Dance BBQolution (last Saturday): Kris’s birthday party cum sendoff to Trinidad. As can be expected for someone like him, the guests at his party reflected his diverse passions, from members of the Toa Payoh Community Centre Guitar Club to the multi-nationalitied denizens of the local tango scene. Later in his flat, I found myself dancing merengue, bhangra, my first ever tango, lots of madcap lindy to an awesome Indian swing track, and finally, the chicken dance.


  • Quills (last Friday): I attempted a review.


  • Morvern Callar (Alan Warner) is a very odd book, but perhaps you have to be an existentialist music geek with mild lesbian tendencies, a penchant for Southern Comfort and sufficient butchery skills to hack up your boyfriend’s corpse after he’s slit his own throat on your kitchen floor to really understand it properly. Unfortunately for me, I only identified with the music geek bit. Okay, and maybe the mild lesbian tendencies.

  • Love In a Blue Time (Hanif Kureishi) was rather disappointing compared to the effortless charm of The Buddha Of Suburbia. None of the stories really drew me in except perhaps for My Son The Fanatic, which took on fresh significance due to events transpiring in London since it was first published. A lacklustre read from a writer who previously delighted me.

Tangled Up In Bluegrass

A few posts ago, I wondered whether there was a bluegrass scene in Singapore. Jacob didn’t know, but in typical Jacob fashion he decided to make one.

Jacob with straw hat, bandanna, dungarees and bottle of moonshine
Host with the most.

It’s a pity the photo doesn’t capture the tighty-whities visible through the open sides of the dungarees – those really drew the whole costume together. Note also the bottle of “moonshine”.


I wore dungarees too. I’d like to say I bought them specially for the party, being far too hip and funky to ever have such items of clothing in my wardrobe, but I can’t. First, I last wore them as recently as the age of 17. And second, I kinda like dungarees. They’re very comfy. (People on my Flickr friends list can view our double-dungaree atrocity. Please note that in this second picture we are deliberately trying to look like the products of inbreeding.) [Edit: Just to clarify, I’m happy to add anyone who knows me in real life to my Flickr friends list, though I don’t see why you’d bother if you’re not already a Flickr member – me looking retarded isn’t exactly a rare sight.]

To All The Sushi I’ve Loved Before

Eatin’ some down-home sushi on a Willie Nelson bandanna, just like we used to back on the farm.


Unsquare dancing

It was quite a riot. I think we all have a reserve of country music dancing skills hidden deep within us, it just takes an appropriate occasion and sufficient alcohol for them to surface.


Throughout the evening I was never very satisfied with the photos I was taking, because, well, it’s dang hard to photograph wildly dancing people. I either had to use the flash, which I ordinarily prefer to avoid, or settle for extreme blurriness. But you know, I think the photo below does actually capture that party quite well – happy people, clappin’ and dancin’, all viewed through an alcoholic blur.

Barely Legal Party People

I’d always been quite pessimistic about throwing parties because I felt my friends were a little too disparate to be able to mix properly, and half of them would spend the party thoroughly hating the other half. Thankfully, I don’t think that happened on Saturday, when over 30 people turned up for my Barely Legal party over the course of the night.

Some came alone but ended up staying much longer than they originally intended, because they were enjoying themselves. Some of my oldest friends talked happily to people I’d only just met when they turned up at my door. Some people I’d never have expected to hit it off told me later how well they’d gotten along.

Despite explicitly stating in the invite that people only had to bring their own drinks, so many bottles of wine and hard liquor were left (even after the drinking) that the flat is now stocked with more alcohol than we can possibly drink by ourselves. The solution to this problem, clearly, is more parties.

The next party location of the evening was DXO, where Kid Koala blew my already sky-high expectations out of the water. It wasn’t just turntable wizardry or amazing musicality that made his set so wonderful, it was also the obvious joy he took in every note of the records he was playing, yelling “FIAH FIAH BOMB!” right along with MIA, rapping along with everything, getting the crowd to clap rhythms during a transition, dropping Weird Science (!!!) and generally being incredibly endearing.

My favourite Kid Koala tracks aren’t his more typically Ninja Tune style ones like Emperor’s Main Course, so I’m glad he only did a little bit of that one. What I really love is where he takes something you think you know, and then shows you the vast universe you never knew it contained. Drunk Trumpet is the obvious example here, and let me tell you, however cool you thought it sounded on record, it’s a million times cooler live when you see how much he’s lovin’ the groove.

What I really want to write about, though, is what he did with Moon River, because it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever heard in a club. I’m not familiar with DJing techniques so I can’t give that sort of a description of what he did with it, but essentially it looked like he was quivering the record for tiny distances and at high speed. It didn’t sound like scratching at all but some hallucinogenic tremolo, like the way you see the air shimmer and swim just above the ground on a blazing hot day. It was incredibly evocative, and I will never forget it.

I’ve always been a bit nonplussed when people cite DXO’s lack of crowds as a downside to the place, because to me it’s a total plus. How is it a bad thing to have the opportunity to watch Kid Koala DJ from the empty platform only metres away from him? How is it a bad thing to be able to see every tiny move of a master turntablist close-up because you don’t have to jostle with other people in the stupid narrow space of Phuture? (So yeah, if you were at DXO on Saturday, that lone girl on the platform for the second half of his set was me.)

After the set he came down and stood in the crowd to watch the next DJ, so of course Jeremy and I had to go over to talk to him. I wanted to tell him that watching him was a musical – not just clubbing – treat. I wanted to tell him that those five minutes of Moon River alone had entranced me more than an entire DJ Shadow gig. (Anyone seen Shadow’s Live! In Tune And On Time DVD? Pretty cool, huh? Well, I was at that gig, and I’d give it all up for what I saw at DXO on Saturday.) I wanted to say all this, but out of fear of raving incoherently, all I did was thank him for coming, and tell him I’d been waiting years to see him. (But if you ever read this, Kid Koala, now you know.)

We had originally planned on continuing to Zouk for James Zabiela after Kid Koala’s set, but this plan got thwarted firstly by the next DJ being pretty good (first time I’ve heard Lady Sovereign played in any club here!), secondly by pretty blah reports coming from our girl in Zouk, and thirdly and most emphatically by beef kway teow and prata in Geylang.

An awesome night.

Art Of The Mix

On Alec’s previous visits here, failing to take him to a performance at the Esplanade was my most glaring omission out of many, but I finally remedied that on Friday. The SSO was doing Beethoven’s 6th, Schubert’s 2nd, and Mendelssohn’s Fingal’s Cave from The Hebrides, and for the princely sum of $21.75 (that’s total, not each), we enjoyed sound so divine from the third circle that even a sub-par SSO sounded great.

[I don’t mean the SSO is generally a sub-par orchestra, I just mean they weren’t really on fire on Friday. There were little timing hiccups here and there; perhaps they didn’t gel with the guest conductor as well as they normally do with Lan Shui. Some harshness in the violins, and I think there was one clarinet screwup. Also the Allegro ma non troppo which starts the Beethoven felt a little too non troppo for my liking, but perhaps I was just too impatient to get to the rollicking third movement.]

My Esplanade bliss is nothing new, but being able to share the place that makes me happiest in Singapore with the person who makes me happiest in Singapore was rather lovely.

* * *

Chinese New Year reunion dinner on Sunday at Chef Kang’s Canton Wok confirmed the fact that not only my mother but my entire extended family seems determined to make my boyfriend fat by forcing multiple servings of everything on him.

I’m not convinced that Canton Wok is “the best cze char in Singapore” as the newspaper articles claim, because I don’t think I saw it at its best on Sunday night. I didn’t have a problem with the ambience – eating on a cramped walkway in the depths of a Hougang HDB estate (a public housing estate) is fine by me – but the service was pretty poor. We waited for more than half an hour to be seated despite having made a reservation far in advance. When the first dish arrived we had plates but no chopsticks or spoons to eat with, cue exaggerated pawing motions at red wine chicken until the staff got the hint. Neither moist towelettes nor lemon water accompanied the crab, so anyone who wanted the rest of their meal to be non-sticky had to venture inside in search of a rather grotty basin.

Food-wise, some dishes were great (red wine chicken, crab with glutinous rice, coffee pork ribs, abalone and spinach), and others were pleasant but forgettable (steamed motherfucking big cod, those brown noodles which I think are called yu fu noodles). I’d like to go back there again to try dishes which were featured in the food reviews and looked really interesting, but weren’t on the festive set menu. But anyway, Alec wasn’t complaining. His mouth was too full.

* * *

And now Saturday. Toxic Jungle Saturday.

The party started off quite normal. True, the birthday boy had chosen to interpret the theme (The Beast Within) by wearing a snake in his crotch, but apart from that everything was fairly civilized.

Jacob and his snake
Jacob’s trouser snake

I hadn’t bothered to tell people other than East-dwellers about the party, but was pleasantly surprised when Kelly and Patrick decided it sounded like an interesting change from Zouk and came along. Karen, who I’d never met, turned up too, en route to Thumper with Ken. Then Ida and David. Then Mayee and Shao and Hwee Yee and Evan.

Since I’ve never been much of a “Circulate, darling!” type, this would have been more than enough people to keep me happily and drunkenly and uneventfully chatting the night away. But Jacob had other plans. Soon after twelve he unveiled karaoke hour, as well as the girls he’d hired to be back-up dancers for the karaokers.

I think the plan had been for karaokers to stand on the small stage in the middle of the bar while singing their songs, and for the girls to then do their thang around the singer. Unfortunately, a problem soon emerged – people were singing soppy ballads instead of songs conducive to girls shaking boo-tay in knee-high stiletto boots. I was equally complicit in this bloody waste, having put my name down earlier for Nothing Compares To You. The girls managed some lesbian slow-dance action to this, but it still wasn’t playing to their real strengths, and I felt guilty.

So when Jacob came round again saying they needed more songs to finish up the karaoke hour, I decided to revisit Toxic. I had expected to sing the song comfortably from my seat, while watching the girls shake boo-tay on stage. But the girls had other plans, and I didn’t feel like forcefully resisting two girls wearing little more than knee-high stiletto boots and little strips of cloth covering their naughty bits. Who knows what may have given way in the course of a struggle.

Forgive me, Britney, for I have sinned

I certainly don’t think of myself as an exhibitionist (at least insofar as anyone who keeps a blog can be said to not be an exhibitionist), but I like to be a good sport. Frankly I’d do it again. The girls were great.

The party went on for a couple of hours more after that. I had fun comparing childhood objects of lust with Mayee and Shao. Got beaten at pool by Alec, fuck! Continued on to Jacob’s place after the bar closed for a prata and champagne supper. Then finally staggered home.

I like weekends.

The Black Forest Of Katong

There I was, standing awkwardly outside Katong Mall at 11 pm on Boxing Day, having just been told by the mall security guard and the 7-11 staff that they were absolutely sure there was no Black Forest Bar in the basement, and in fact that the entire building was closed.

At this point I was sorely tempted to go home, since the wisdom of scouring the dodgy bars of Katong (basically, that would be all the bars of Katong, and there are lots of them) in search of a random ang moh I only knew on the Internet seemed debatable to say the least. Also, the ah peks in the coffee shop across the road were giving me curious glances, even though I was dressed quite conservatively because of a party I’d attended earlier. Also, I had a geography teacher in school who we used to call Black Forest for puerile reasons (it wasn’t racial), and the words still make me giggle.

So there I was. And then suddenly, I spotted a sheet of paper stuck to a wall, with Black Forest Bar and a down arrow scribbled on it, and a little stick figure turntablist. I followed the arrow into the bowels of the building, and when I heard Dizzee Rascal in the distance I knew I’d finally found the right place.

I was a little shy, because it’s always weird meeting an Internet person in real life, and I didn’t drink enough to really reduce my inhibitions either. This was, however, a good thing when Jacob played The Knife’s Heartbeats, because that always makes me imagine thrashing around in suffocating black velvet. Anyway, Jacob and his friends were a lot of fun. I wasn’t just impressed by his record-playing choices, but also his karaoke choices, which included Lemon Tree and It’s A Small World After All. This is clearly an ang moh who truly understands the joy of karaoke.

I’ve never sung karaoke in a bar area, just the tacky faux-opulent private rooms in lounges, but I wasn’t spared. After telling J my number one song for the year was Toxic, I later found it cued up on the karaoke system and the mike thrust into my hand. I did my best but without the air stewardess uniform I felt like a phony. I followed this by mauling half of An Jing with my speech-defect-quality Chinese, and belting out All Out Of Love with Joe Ng. The thought crossed my mind at some point that I was singing karaoke with a voice that had been played on John Peel. My geekiness deepens by the day.

Oh, and Black Forest Bar is unbelievable. It has a pond with actual fish in it, and fake greenery everywhere, and it’s almost completely empty. Alec, the next time you come here I’ve got another so-shit-it’s-lovely bar to take you to!


Clawing back still in progress. This is about Saturday.

I’d originally been pissed off at myself for not snagging us tickets to Maxim Vengerov (kowtow kowtow) performing the Beethoven violin concerto at the Esplanade that night, but in the end when we got asked to three separate parties on the same night, we were glad we weren’t tied down to it. We finally decided we could only make two, and picked the first two we’d been invited to.

* * *

Kelly’s housewarming party came first. We brought a dessert Alec first made for me in London, and which I have subsequently decided is one of my favourite desserts in the world: pears poached in red wine, cinnamon and other stuff, topped with mint-infused mascarpone cheese. Bloody tedious to make, and it looks a bit vile while you’re eating it because the cheese mixes with the wine, but it’s my idea of dessert heaven and I’m not even a dessert person.

I had a great time, but was probably not at my socializing best because I kept getting distracted by the classic music videos among Patrick’s DVD collection. I’m incapable of watching Coldcut’s Timber and making conversation at the same time, unless the conversation is about the utter genius of the video. I probably managed some half-witted remarks during Amon Tobin’s Verbal, but I don’t actually remember what I said or who I was talking to.

I also vaguely remember demanding, in my usual overemphatic tone, that Patrick play the above two videos once I realized he had them. This is of course the best possible way to interact with someone you have only just met. Sigh. I’d like to blame the beer but I don’t think I’d had much at that point.

Anyway, thanks for having us, Kelly and Patrick, and happy housewarming. I eagerly await my next invitation. :)

* * *

Sue’s birthday was at China Jump, which is…really not our kind of place…but it was still nice to see Sue so happy.

Our night there started off badly, but we fortified ourselves with more beer, and danced to Naughty Girl. I also danced to the few aggressive hip-hop tracks they played, until they realized that hardly anyone else wanted to dance to that, and changed back to cheese.

And then we spotted the empty pool table. I’m sure there have been better feelings in my life than making the winning shot in a pool game by perching tipsily in a flimsy tube dress with my left bum cheek on the side of the table and my right arm twisted around my back in order to get a shot at the black, AND THEN POTTING THE FUCKING BLACK THEREBY ROUNDLY KICKING ALEC’S ASS, but this one will do for now.

Some Vice With Your Chicken Rice?

We cooked dinner on Wednesday night for various old friends at the hall. Alec made chicken rice, and I made Thai beef salad. A simple, fairly healthy, fairly nutritious meal combining the smooth mild flavour of chicken rice with the piquancy of the Thai beef salad.

If only such meal-planning and flavour-mixing decisions could be equally applied to after-dinner drinking with similarly enjoyable, innocuous consequences.

The available tipples, mostly what Alec and I had managed to accumulate and needed help in consuming, included wine, vodka, mead, Sheridan’s, whiskey, schnapps and absinthe. After consuming almost everything there the hall bar’s stocks of Bacardi Breezers, Smirnoff Ices and a bottle of Jack Daniels were also raided. In the course of the evening I consumed almost all of the above, as did most others present.

Suzy provided an extremely appropriate cocktail for this evening involving former residents of a Catholic hall. The Weeping Jesus involves absinthe, schnapps and grenadine. The green of the absinthe is the Garden of Gethsemane, and the red grenadine gets dribbled down the sides to represent Jesus’s tears of blood. The instructions on the absinthe bottle say you must always dilute it before drinking, given that it’s 68% alcohol by volume. I don’t think they really meant diluting it with schnapps though.

As I write this (it was written on Thursday) it’s 2.32 pm. As of an hour ago, Chris was still in bed. Alec has taken some Resolve, and is now just about capable of vacantly watching old episodes of Jeeves and Wooster. And I am listlessly trying to tear myself away from this random typing and back to civil liberties and the responses to terrorism.

Not Quite Nigella

It is probably advisable, when throwing a dinner party on Friday, to decide you’re doing it a little earlier than Thursday.

I don’t really know what I was expecting when I decided, in a fit of festive benevolence, that I’d throw some sort of dinner party at my flat in an attempt to celebrate the end of term and general Christmassiness in a more sophisticated way than getting pissed at the union. It was a tentative idea at first, more tadpole than frog, and could quite possibly have been abandoned soon after as more trouble than it was worth. And then we arrived at Michael’s basement palace in Kensington for his Christmas party, and there were candles, and an improvised cloakroom, and people in nice clothes, and chocolate fondue, and all of a sudden I thought I too could be Nigella Lawson.

So I got home (having earlier called a few friends who gamely agreed to take the plunge), settled myself down with our cookbook collection and a Crispy Strip (chocolate fondue isn’t really filling), inserted a finger up my arse, and started tugging.

[Clarity note: this doesn’t refer to what I eventually served at the dinner party. That would be disgusting. It’s just that I commonly refer to embarking on an enterprise for which I am ill-suited and have no real knowledge or skill for as “pulling something out of my arse”. Brits will understand.]

Morning came. I tidied my room. Went out and bought groceries. Lugged everything home. Cooked. I was planning on crudites (unfortunately named, I’ve always thought) and dip for everyone to munch on while I was finishing cooking, and a bizarre mixture of Thai beef salad, chicken, aubergine and chick pea curry, spinachy garlicky rice, and paratha, for the main meal. Nav brought chocolate cake. Gwen brought wine. Alec brought wine, ice-cream, interior decorating resourcefulness (a folded bedsheet with coloured napkins on top for the tablecloth) and general sweetness and reliability in helping to fight fires (I mean this literally as well as figuratively).

I’d even invested in crackers and festively hued serviettes.

We started at nine, an hour after the time I’d told people to come for, which was annoying to my perfectionist’s soul, but still fairly on par with most other dinner parties I’ve been to, so I won’t scourge myself for it. All I can say for the quality of the food was that I thoroughly enjoyed it – the Thai beef salad actually lived up to the immense trouble it was to make, the chicken absorbed the flavours of the curry and wasn’t dry, and while some mistakes I made with the rice meant it could have been a lot better, it still tasted good to me. As for what my guests thought, or the state of their digestive systems the next morning, I can only vouch for Alec (whose cooking credentials far surpass mine, which made his thumbs-up all the more gratifying), but the absence of lawsuits thus far indicates they were at least not too negatively affected.

The party ended around three in the morning. I spent Saturday nursing my headache and cleaning the place up.

Would I do it again? I’m not sure. I don’t regret having done it, but it was a lot of effort for the benefit of a very small number of people. I think my energies might be better directed towards world domination.