Monday, 25 June 2007

The Last Weekend (and mad shoes)

It was our last weekend here and by heck it was a good one. James had his first ever sleepover (at school) on Friday night. So, while the child is away, the mice will play….. My dear friend Jane came down from London and met us at Woods (where else?). Gins were drunk. Wine followed. Food was fabulous. I was being careful though so what happened next was all Jane’s fault. She decided that she wanted an extra glass of wine for the road. Paddy, the owner of Woods, is a bit of a wine buff and prides himself on his cellar (the wonder of Woods is that you can pick any wine and just have a glass if you want)… So he bustled over to ascertain what kind of wine she fancied, vanished for a bit and then came back brandishing a bottle of Crozes Hermitage, insisting it was on the house. Jane had a glass. I said ‘No thank you’. Paddy poured Adrian one but he was drinking beer of course. Now, what do you do, faced with a full glass of something very nice. How rude would it have been to have ignored it? So I drank it and very lovely it was. At which point, someone (possibly me, I confess) asked what Paddy was drinking. ‘Champagne and pastis,’ he said with a bit of a wink. ‘Now that’s what you want if you’re having a party. Drink a few of those and you don’t know who you are.’ And off he went, chuckling, only to come back with three champagne flutes and a couple of bottles.
‘Nooooo,’ we said. ‘Oh yes,’ he said. Evil Paddy.

Jane drank hers. Adrian took a sip and put his down. I drank mine even though I don’t like aniseed-flavoured things one little bit. I think that was the point at which I brought up about the night when Jane, eighteen, got off with the chemistry master from the boys’ school (not sure why I said that, but Paddy thought it was funny and Jane didn’t – particularly because she was also having a hot flush at that precise moment).
Then our cab came. I got up and noticed Adrian’s untouched glass and said (why, oh why?) ‘Can’t waste it. I’ll take it with me.’
Paddy laughed merrily.

So there I was, in a mini-cab, thinking I was wildly sober, sipping something totally disgusting. It was only when I got into bed and tried to read my book (Glass Books of the Dream Eaters) with one eye shut and the other squinting, desperately trying to focus, that I realised that I had overdone it. By a long way.

The next day was hell. Truly madly deeply hungover and without the option of lying in bed groaning. Had to whiz around Devon and Somerset to pick up James, go to osteopath, go shopping, pick up cars etc etc etc. Jane and I kept trying the food cure: bacon sarnies didn’t do it so we tried toasted tea-cakes (Jane swore by them – wrong, so wrong) and when they didn’t work we went back to town and had mad Welsh rarebit (which as children we always called rabbit). Opposite the tea-rooms is a very upmarket shoe shop. When it opened last year there was much muttering about ‘London prices for Londoners’ and truly I don’t see how you could get around here wearing a pair of purple satin pointy-heeled knee-high boots, lovely though they were.
Jane and I were a little hysterical by this point though and so had fun trying on mad shoes. She decided to buy a pair of very tasty and tasteful black slingbacks. Then she decided that I ought to try on the maddest shoes in the entire shop.
‘Slapper shoes,’ said I, perching in them and howling with laughter.
The owner looked a little affronted. ‘They were in Vogue, you know.’
So? Anyhow, Jane decided that they were so outrageous (and half-price because no-one on Exmoor was mad enough to buy them) that she would get them for me as a housewarming present.
And she did.
I’m not sure I have the guts to wear them to Speech Day on Friday. I’m not really sure I will ever have the guts to wear them anywhere (unless I’m invited to any brothels in the near future). But I think I might just get me one of those Perspex boxes and put them on display as an ormanent.

Sunday we lazed around for the morning, reading papers and then had a pre-prandial drink at the usual place before coming back for a vast roast beef and Yorkshire (yes, I know in June – but hey, not exactly barbecue weather, is it?) The rain held off for a bit and we played (attempted) cricket and then cranked the music up waaay high (for the last time) and danced our little hearts out on our hill. Ah but it was fabulous.
Then, as we were sitting down polishing off a nice Gigondas, the deer came. Four stags, their heads magnificent, came virtually up to the house and stood watching us.
‘They’re saying goodbye,’ said Adrian. It felt just like that, like a benediction somehow. They stayed like that for ages, just watching. Then slowly, so slowly, bowed their heads and walked down the hill.




23 comments:

Elizabethd said...

How lovely to see the deer like that, I wonder if they knew?
Love the shoes.....Manolos obviously?!

FunkyMunky said...

I'm so jealous of your weekend - though not the hangover obviously! The shoes are great and I think you should wear them at every given opportunity - just to see what people say!

Inthemud said...

What a wonderful weekend! Well you had to make the most of it didn't you, next weekend you will be in youir new home, how very exciting. I'm so pleased for you. At Last it;'s really going to happen.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Deer are my most favourite of wild animal. We see them here in the fields having wandered from the woods around. Sounds like you had a fab weekend! Any chance you remember any of it?!!

Crystal x

Preseli Mags said...

I'm with funkymunky - you HAVE to wear those shoes! If nothing else, they'll be perfect for the next Purplecoo party.

And how wonderful to see the stags, although, I must confess the comment about them saying goodbye brought a lump to my throat! But, while they were watching you, I wonder what they were saying to each other?

patsy said...

With you on the shoes Jane, absolutely gorgeous!
Been remembering a similar weekend with Chiswick friend(?) who led me astray. I'm afraid the bushes are slowly recovering! Swore off the drink for... ooo... at least a month !! I'm such a lightweight now, one sniff of the barmaid's apron....!

elizabethm said...

the blog with the mostest - it has it all. have so been there on the virtue sliding away and the taxi and the leery squinting in bed and the hangover. Adore the shoes although think are for indoor wear. And the deer - how fabulous.

Woozle1967 said...

Dear Jane, I am sooooo bad at keeping up to date just now! So much to do, so little time..... But this brought a lump to my throat as I read it out to J. You have so many wonderful memories to take with you, and you will make fabulous new ones in your new home as you continue your life's journey. Re electric fencing and Asbo. Er........ hate to tell you this, but JRT's (the little blighters) "tend" to take a run at them, get a shock and then shake themselves down as they continue their escape! Alfie (bless him!) can get out of our garden even after the most careful "dog proofing" and we have to keep him on one of those enormously long ropes, staked into the ground (the rope, not Alfie ha ha) or he's off! It's a male dog thing. The 2 girls just aren't interested in escaping at all. What happened about adopting the other one (Ruby was it?)?xx

sally's chateau said...

oooh crozes hermitage, whoever could have refused, you must wear the shoes on the school run.

Hopping Moon said...

Love the shoes - totally - or should i say toe-tally snazzy!

CAMILLA said...

Wow, what shoes Dear Jane, they would look lovely with your outfit you have for your book cover. I think the Deer knew you were moving, you will miss them. Is it this weekend you are moving Jane? My daughter has only been in her cottage for four months, and she is moving again this weekend, it will be nearer to me and also not so remote, so boxes everywhere again at present. My son took me out for a meal last Saturday evening, too much of the old vino I'm afraid, felt quite sick when I got home. Lovely blog Jane.
Camilla.xxx

bodran... said...

A last! what a strange feeling it must be part utter relief part trepidition for the new move..not a good time to be hungover,but what a hoot. keep the shoes in a perspex box and admire them or better still use them to totter out to the clothes line, that'll distract from asbo chasing chickens.xx good luck for this week.x

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

ChrisH said...

I think Rodrigo reckons your shoes would look fab with one of his tee shirts. I am SO jealous of those shoes. Lucky you. Good luck with the move.

Suffolkmum said...

Yes Rodrigo's clearly smitten with the shoes, perhaps he wants you to model them with a T-shirt. Great weekend, I just can't do killer hangovers any more. I LOVE the shoes, you have to go to a prent's evening in them! The stags brought a lump to my throat too.

DevonLife said...

Nice friend to have! Coming in, getting you drunk, feeding you tea cakes and then buyingyou shoes - hurrah for her.

Gosh, how totally amazing that this is your last week. It seems to have happened so very quickly.

Julie said...

what a great time i love thoes shoes xx jep

Pondside said...

No, no, no - not with the T-shirt! Those shoes will be fabulous at the bottom of every severe black outfit you own. Little black dress - THE shoes; mannish black pant suit - THE shoes etc etc.
Your weekend sounds just wonderful. I'm wildly envious. Haven't done that for eons - have become dull and respectable - I think I'll have to lever my sister out of her house and out for an evening!

Urban Chick said...

faaaaaaaaaaaaaaab shoes!!!!!!!!

rivergirlie said...

tra la la! it's you - isn't it? how brilliant to find you here. i'm incognito - see if you can work me out
x

CAMILLA said...

Dear Jane,
Thank you for your comments and concern. Husband is more stable now, he is waiting for a CT Scan later today. Horrid weather, let's hope the sun shines by the time you move into your GORGEOUS new home..
Camilla.xxx

Exmoorjane said...

rivergirlie, think I finally have you sussed. Was it the shoes? Could it be the not-Choos? Am I right or right up the wrong tree?

countrymousie said...

You played mice without me!!