Posts Tagged ‘Oldest Friend’

Unfeasibly Attractive Girlfriend and I were at Oldest Friend’s birthday party a couple of days ago. Great venue and great people, as ever with her, but there was one guy in particular whom we both thought was a little bit special.

The early signs weren’t good: he was drinking Blackcurrant and Soda – but we got past that, and I’m so glad that we did, because this paid off with one of the best stories I have ever heard.

As the evening wore on, and those of us who weren’t limited to soft drinks really got to grips with alcohol, Oldest Friend’s natural ebullience and loving nature were further strengthened with a dash of good old clichéd “You’re wonderful, you’re my best friend” interaction. As it became obvious that we were all going to get a little bit of this treatment, Blackcurrant and Soda assumed a bit of a rictus grin. With good cause…

“Oh! And Blackcurrant and Soda! Blackcurrant and Soda is SO amazing, everyone. Do you know why? Because not ONLY is he the most amazing man and father, but he has completely kicked everything, apart from smoking. He doesn’t drink and he doesn’t do drugs any more, do you Blackcurrant and Soda?”

I thought I’d try to pull focus, so that at least “One man’s battle with addiction” could be limited to a private conversation, and not enacted in front of the whole room (and it was very apparent that Oldest Friend was certainly up for an extensive gloss on the topic), so I turned to him and said:

“That must have been tough.” (I know: the combined corpses of Dorothy Parker, George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde are spinning in their graves, furious that the throne of  Greatest Wit Who Ever Lived was now occupied by another.)

“Not really: I just had one of those moments when you realise that this has got to stop. I woke up in Archway nick, wearing a panda suit, covered in blood – and thought “Enough’s enough”.”

It turns out that the panda suit was a by-product of his (own) company’s Christmas Party, and (after leaving the party, and having decided that he wanted to gain access to his office, somewhat the worse for drink and drug wear) he was standing at the Reception of his office, furiously trying to key in an access code whilst still wearing his panda paws. This ineffectual stabbing brought three members of his Security team running towards him, ready to fight off this unknown assailant in a Panda suit.

He decked them all, covering himself in blood in the process, and getting arrested – and was (it turns out) so out of it when he came round in the police station, that he had no memory of what he’d done, that he just thought – in his own phrase – that he’d “got in a ruck”. It was when he got a call from his business partner that he realised what had happened:

“What the FUCK were you up to last night? I’m looking at the CCTV footage with the police from last night, and it’s like something from “When Pandas Go Bad”.”

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Saturday, 25th August 2007

Saw Oldest Friend on Tuesday night: and as ever, it was lovely to see her. She is a TV producer, doing an eight-week project with Tiger Aspect, and has been working flat out: not so hard, unfortunately that she hasn’t had time to eat a lot of cake. A couple of bakeries’ worth, in fact.

She is an exceptionally pretty girl – and I think therein lies half the problem. Had the encroaching fat ruined her looks, I think she’d have done something about it sooner. As it is, I think she suffers from Dawn French Syndrome: a face so pretty that your weight is almost irrelevant.

However, there is a point when if a friend who IS overweight is saying “Do you think I ought to lose some weight?”, your reply shouldn’t be the face-saving “No! You’re gorgeous!”, but “Yes, I do. About four stone.” Which is what I said.

It remains to be seen if she can actually do it. It is a pretty miserable, long-term slog. But I hope that she does: the rewards would be enormous. A large eclair, probably.

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Saturday, 25th August 2007

Another evening with Oldest Friend. This seems to be the pattern with her (as with many of my friends): no contact for ages and then an absolute glut – which is lovely and testament to a good friendship that endures, I think.

This time, she brought her mother with her: still the life and soul of the party – huge energy and could talk for the Olympics – she’s over in London from her home in Ireland, before she goes to Portugal to see friends for a few days.

It’s always great to see her, but she does tend to be the Authoress of Mysterious and Crack-Pot Schemes: specifically the solution to Oldest Friend’s weight issue:

“We’re going to send her to a boot camp in Thailand. Yoga, massages and a STRICT DIET REGIME.”

(I couldn’t help but think that a freelance TV producer, who works about half the year has got no business flying off round the world to the Third World’s answer to Champney’s, but said nothing). 

“And then we’re going to get a whole new wardrobe and have a party at The Hurlingham.”

Or, I thought to myself, she could stop eating whenever she’s awake, stop drinking and do some exercise. Call me simplistic, but maybe that would work just as well as the Ashtangi Boot Camp For People Who Like Pies. And it wouldn’t cost a small fortune.

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Saturday, 22nd March 2008

Good Friday saw my parents, Father-in-Law and Old Friend in TV join us for lunch – which was really enjoyable, the essential fish baked beautifully by Wife with wine and fennel and marjoram, and followed by a Pavlova with raspberries. The children were in a state of heightened excitement as Eldest Son’s Godmother and Daughter’s Godmother had also come over to deliver their Easter presents, and Old Friend in TV (another of Eldest Son’s Godmothers) had conducted an Easter Egg hunt in the garden (the prizes being Lindt bunnies with bells around their necks).

As a result, when I woke up this morning, not only had Wife risen and gone downstairs, the children were also awake (and not coming into the bedroom to impart urgent information about their lavatorial needs or the apparent fissures in the justice system that governs the distribution of toys) and were sitting around the dining table, cutting up white and yellow fake fur to make Easter bunnies, chicks and eggs that were destined to become slathered with glue and hoisted onto cards. 

Stumbling on this scene, it might perhaps be understood why I was convinced that I had entered a suspended place between “The Truman Show”, a Norman Rockwell painting and a Kellogg’s commercial…

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