The wonderful thing about the internet, and this blogging malarkey, is that later today I'll be able to raid Wikipedia or someplace and find some elegant phrase to describe just how fucking freezing it was in London last night, and insert it without you knowing, thus elevating myself to the dizzy heights of Dorothy Parker or Richard Littlejohn, and probably winning an award for brilliant blogging or something....
Anyway, despite the fucking cold, we made it to dinner in North London and it gave us something to moan about while we're throwing our coats down and sinking the first drink, awaiting the stragglers before we could sit down and eat. Pal A is a fantastic cook and it's worth skipping the dim sum or Gregg's Jumbo Sausage Roll (*change this too) at lunch to appreciate his fine fare. Over the salad we discussed the forthcoming French Film Festival at the Curzon Mayfair where I determinedly determined that I would wish to see all 12 films in two days (at a later date we shan't bother inseerting how many I actually see after La Vie en Rose), the just passed Chinese Film Festival at the Filmhouse Edinburgh which Pal S (son of Pal A) was raving about (* insert names of Chinese films) and then Bill, who was explaining his attempts to get an exhibition in London for a Nigerian newspaper political cartoonist.
Bill, one of the most quiet spoken men I've met in a long time, ler slip after a glass or two that he lived a little further north of Belsize Park, Kirkwall to be exact (in the Orkneys, d'oh!) where among other things he has been a sometime trawler fishermen for many years and nearly drowned twice, the first time being near his home when he'd line caught so many sharks his wee boat sank under the weight and he went down with it. Everything that could float did, including the last two sharks which were still alive and slowly swam off into the dark, cold waters, towards John O'Groats possibly (*), thankfully not turning around to see the drowning man who had hauled them aboard in the first place.
The second time was in the Minch where his slightly bigger boat was holed by a stray railway sleeper in the middle of the night. (I'll stop the flowing flow (*) of this narrative to explain to those who, unlike experts in this subject like my good self, have no idea why railway sleepers float around the Minch in a random manner. It's because they're used to shore up piers and sometimes break off. Jeez, don't you know anything?) Anyway, the vessel goes down sharpish he and his mate get into the liferaft and fire off flares, one of which goes straight up and straight back down again, threatening to hole the liferaft in one. The rest of the story consists of being rescued and transferred from one boat to another to another etc in a heavy swell, sub zero temperatures, and nearly drowning. Ended well, and more drink was taken (then, and last night)
Funnily enough, Belsize Park didn't seem quite as cold when we left.