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Thursday, 25 March 2010

Cheese, David Crystal and Red Thai Curry - A Busy Week!

The fact that I've been out every evening this week has absolutely nothing to do with the boxes of coursework currently awaiting grades on my dining room table, I promise. Pure coincidence. In fact, for a long time it looked as if I wouldn't be able to attend Tuesday's Cheese Tasting at Silver Apples, due to an unfortunately placed Parents Evening. But then the God of Cheese did smile, and He did say "I shall postpone that parents evening so that you may go forth and eat cheese."

So I did. Five cheeses, to be precise, in the company of a similarly cheese minded friend. Obviously we embarrassed ourselves by eating all our bread by about 7.45, and therefore found that some of our cheeses lacked the recommended "vehicle" (yes, I know, their word not mine - I prefer to imagine a lump of cheddar perched jauntily atop a tractor, or perhaps a small car) but this was a minor flaw in an otherwise triumphant evening. Well - almost. We were brutally robbed on the Cheese Quiz, and all my cheesy revision came to nothing. These nights are amazing value at £7.50 for all your cheese, a glass of wine and a rigged quiz, and I shall certainly be looking forward to the next one.

Then last night was the big one. The Lord of the English Language in all his beardy, grandfatherly glory. David Crystal's talk at Salford University on "The Future of Englishes" was a giddy and glorious parcel of loveliness; I sat eagerly making notes in my specially-purchased notepad, pretending to be a brilliant yet popular twenty year old undergraduate, and then quaffed free wine at the drinks reception afterwards, all the while lingering casually behind his beardiness. Of course, it would have been better if I hadn't had 20 students in tow, but you can't have everything.

This evening I have just got back from a work do to mark the two weeks of Easter freedom on the horizon, at The Buddha Lounge in Whitefield. I haven't been here before, and felt a little trepidatious entering a venue with such darkly smoked front windows - all sleek and seedy, a little like an unexpectedly placed brothel. The food was good, although portion sizes were a bit hefty even for me - the chicken satay starter would have fed many hungry teachers rather than just the one, and I couldn't get through all of my duck curry, good though it was. I can't be completely positive however, as they stitched us up on the the noodles and rice - they brought 8 portions of rice and three portions of noodles for eight people, and then tried to charge £34 for this unwanted carbohydrate mountain. Pah.

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