Happy New Year!
The spectacle not captured on film.
I had planned to treat you to a recording of the highlight of the year-the annual New Years Eve fireworks display,but despite holding me phone up in the air for several minutes and providing a gushing commentary,I failed miserably..Lets just draw an alcohol soaked veil over that particular incident

In keeping with the usual January get fit drive and to combat the excesses of the Christmas holiday,the first *insert pub name*(if you know the name of the pub this works much better) Fat Club met last Sunday.With members all estimating their weight prior to the weigh in and all(bar one) being accurate to within a couple of pounds,the mood was optimistic. Unfortunately the rank outsider failed to come within 2 stones of his actual bodyweight despite frantically moving the scales around in a desperate attempt to identify a more sympathetic floor surface and removing as much surplus clothing as was acceptable in a public place.

A couple of days later the members re convened to discuss tactics.Helpfully The Accountant had compiled some useful spreadsheets detailing SMART objectives for each contestant with weight,targets weights,monthly weight loss target and weigh in dates meticulously catalogued.Against each profile was the percentage body weight each competitor was tasked to lose, these varied mainly from 9 to around 14 per cent.The 'loser' ultimately to be awarded the 'Jabba The Hut Trophy For Effort' and the pleasure of footing the bill for the rest of the group to dine out on curries at the local Indians at the end of the designated time period. Pleasingly,against Chefs name was noted the very realistic and achievable '11 percent'.
Not so the poor bugger who has the unenviable task of losing a crushingly unrealistic 25% of his own bodyweight.
'I think you need to compile him a Pie Chart' quipped Chef..
Following the meeting this particular individual took Chef to one side and implored him 'please speak to the girls and tell them they're not allowed to sell me any of the bar snacks'.
 'No of course I won't,its their job to sell you bar snacks,its up to you not to buy them.You need to exercise some self control mate' said Chef,supportively.
Come on mate-show some discipline..
The following day was our first proper day off since before Christmas,I was looking forward to a leisurely lie in but annoyingly was awoken at 6.15am with the revelation that Chef had just won the X Factor.This was astonishing on three counts:
a.he can't sing(well not in tune,though in actual fact that may have no bearing on his ability to win..)
b.he's never watched the X factor so has no idea of the gist of the competition 
and most importantly,
c.unbeknownst to him the title was already claimed prior to Christmas

Later that morning and much earlier than I had planned due to the unexpected dawn reveille,I walked the Chap the three miles down to the golf course to meet Chef following his early morning game.

The Chap
We thought we'd reward our good behaviour with a spot of lunch at a local hostelry.
We sat contentedly supping our pints and crunching discreetly on our Kettle Chips(note no Chilli nuts nor peanuts-Chef is taking the Fat Club very seriously) awaiting our sarnies.
A couple entered the bar.
Now this particular place offers quite an extensive sandwich range some not for the feint hearted,including under a sub heading 'gourmet sandwiches' the likes of 'Egg and anchovy'.
We earwigged the couple say to the host:
'Can we have a sausage sandwich and also a crab one'
I frowned at Chef-I hadn't noticed these options.As expected,they weren't even on the menu.
Chef wondered why anyone would presume there was crab available on the first Monday after the Christmas break in an outlet 30 miles from the coast when it wasn't even offered on the menu.
'Maybe they expect tinned' I say.
It was encouraging to note though,that customers exhibit the same outrageous expectations wherever you go.
Returning to the car I recalled the dawn chorus.
'By the way,why did you wake me up to tell me you'd won the X Factor?'
'Well' said Chef in a matter of fact manner 'the prize money was 4 million and I was going to split it 50/50 with you'
Which of course would have made perfect sense had there been a cash prize at the end.
On the way home I noticed several bulging A4 size brown envelopes lying on the back seat of the car.
Chef pulled in at the post box.'Stick those in there for me would you?'
I later learned the carefully written packages contained a generous range of bar snacks designed to break the will of even the most determined of New Year dieters and are thoughtfully winging their way to members of the Fat Club as we speak.
Later that evening in a hybrid version of Knocky Nine Doors a random pint of Fosters inexplicably appeared on the doorstep of a targeted member of the Fat Club. 
'I wonder if he'd be tempted if I arranged a Pizza Delivery...' said Chef as he peered through the undergrowth..
'Don't you think thats going a bit far?' I say..
'As far as Im concerned,second place is first loser' said Chef..

On the work front,thankfully things have calmed down a bit.I was randomly reading an on line article from a well known guide which picked out their choices of ten best private dining rooms.As I scrolled down the article which featured some pretty opulent places,my eyes nearly fell out onto the keyboard when I realised WE were featured.
'Bloody hell' said Chef 'whats gannin' on there like? Thats a bit NewYork,London,Paris,*small market town* isn't it???'
Well it makes a pleasant change when you google your own name and come up with something other than another defamatory Tripadvisor report.Far be it for me to be as bored or narcissistic as to do anything as vain as that though.
The customers have been generally well behaved though we've noticed with increasing regularity that people are demanding to sit at specified tables.Some even going as far as to say if I cant sit at 'that' table I'm not coming.I find this all a bit petulant and OCD.These requests are particularly difficult to accommodate if a party of 6 for example wish to sit at a table which accommodates only 2.
Last night this is exactly what happened.
A party of seven arrived and were directed to their table which was in an alcove next to the main bar.
The woman was fuming.She went on and on about having been told she could sit in the main bar.
Eventually I had to leave the kitchen and explain to her for the umpteenth time that the largest table in the bar only accommodates six people.In fact there was no way anyone would have told her they could sit in the bar because quite simply there wasn't a table big enough.Its fair to say her face would have easily felled the entire field of runners at the 2.45 at Aintree.Once someone is this disgruntled its very difficult to get them out of that mindset.She came up with a catalogue of grouches,finally deciding she was freezing so we plugged in a portable heater which remained next to the table all night and resulted in some appealingly rosy cheeked faces.
Eventually I withdrew from the table to a safe distance to see if she would settle.
'Oh look' said the Cynical One 'theres a chip on the floor next to her foot..I wonder how long thats been there?'
'Not long' I say in an audible aside..'its just fallen from her shoulder..'
As if to underline the presence of the food waste on the floor the woman then declared in a very loud voice that she felt like she was sitting in a childs play room.
All of which was reported back to Chef who reliably took the whole thing VERY seriously indeed :
'Au contraire madam...I'll have you know you're seated in one of the ten very best private dining rooms in the country!'


As I get older I am increasingly of the view that some people go out looking for gruntlement . . . The dictionary defines "gruntle" as - Can be used for swine, meaning "to make a little grunt. 'nuff said!
Expat mum said…
I'm still laughing my head off at "Knocky Nine Doors."
Julia Johnston said…
Worra laff! Nice work, Northern Snippet. As it 'appens, on one of my very few blog posts, I was on about 'Knocky Nine Doors'. Dead funny - de whole ting.
Julia Johnston
Nicky said…
Such a sense of entitlement nowadays. Did you see the Reviewer's Card thing on twitter? These people should be herded and locked away for their own good.
Yes Nicky I saw the reviewers card.Makes me soo angry.The thing is as a business you want all of your customers to get equally good service.The holder of a reviewers card is making the assumption that they are entitled to 'better' service,which actually might result in other customers getting worse service as staff are bullied into spending more time on the reviewer than other equally as important paying customers.Its a disgrace.Its a similar thing with Tripadvisor the threat of an adverse review is quite simply blackmail and a lever to obtain discount or gratis meals.I saw the other day that TA are to introduce a blackmail reporting tool,though like the site itself I fail to see how this could be moderated.You are far more likely to discover balanced reviews within blogs etc than from a site which is in many cases a public forum to vent unreasonable frustrations and inaccurate accounts of restaurant/hotel visits.
*rant over*
PS In the middle of winter with snow on the ground would you expect to sit in a sleeveless dress in your own home and not feel a slight chill?Never mind in a public place where despite having the heating on full blast and TWO fires blazing you cant avoid people opening and closing the door to enter and depart thus creating draughts?
Wally Bell said…
What a hoot. Here's wishing you a weight worry free year. Pass the pork scratchings!!

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