I have been a bit lazy with my Blog lately; mostly because I’ve been finishing another book. I won’t go into that again, but it really is the reason my posts have been fewer and farther in between.
Anyway, last Saturday, I had a good excuse to take a break. I had received an invitation from Carrie to her Burns Night party, and so couldn’t resist that. I had been to the one last year, and been really impressed by the convivial atmosphere and nice people and, because it was only local in Highgate, I just had to go again.
It was a cold night, but I didn’t let that put me off, or the steep slope that served as a short cut to the house thus avoiding a fairly long detour. A few years ago I would not have given the ‘slope’ a second thought, but I have to be a bit more careful now due to a back injury I sustained in 2002. But I just ignored that and turned up more-or-less intact around 8.30. I met Gareth in the road outside who’d just come off the tube. Carrie answered the door and there were already quite a few people there.
We piled our coats on top of the others and went through to the conservatory at the back with some wine. There were quite a few people who I recognised, and yet more in the crowded front room which we had yet to enter.
One person I recognised immediately was a girl called Christine; an attractive lady with sleek black hair and a lovely smile; I had been in contact with her previously but never met her in person. She found a place for Gareth and myself at a large pine table and we both sat down to enjoy some wine. It was a much needed seat. My foot hadn’t taken kindly to the steep slope but sitting down absolved it of any weight.
Eventually, we all made our way to the large front room after collecting plates of hot haggis served with mashed potato and buttered carrots. There was also a vegetarian substitute which pleased people like Gareth. It was a tasty meal, and had been well prepared. I am not a vegetarian and try to avoid meat, but I would certainly eat haggis again; that is, if ever a plate was put before me!
Several more people had arrived by this time; including Andrew Gough and his new companion Layla. Andrew runs the Arcadia Website and, together with Layla, has been involved in a lot of film work recently.
After dinner, everybody settled down in the front room to see who would win a prise (a bottle of whisky) for telling the best ‘haggis’ story; or rather, how they succeeded in tracking down and slaying these ‘ferocious beasties’. The stories were varied and amusing – especially Andrew Gough’s (to me anyway) who announced that it wasn’t a vampire that really haunted Highgate Cemetery, but a fully grown ‘Haggi’ that had petrified Satanists using the place and caused David Farrant to give up his quest to find the Highgate vampire – or something like that!
Midnight passed, last buses with it. But Andrew and Layla offered to let me share their taxi, which was much appreciated.