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All posts for the month August, 2010

THE RETURN OF THE GEORDIE

Published August 13, 2010 by jean cohen

Wow!  Do I have some exciting news! 

 

But first the ordinary stuff.

 

I met friends for drinkies at the Jolly Farmer as a final celebration of this year’s birthday.  We were sitting in the garden chatting amicably as not one, not two, but five different people stopped to say ‘Hi’.  To me.  Starting with Brian, the hunkalicious preacher guy from St. James, the Anglican Church.  And may I say, purely in the interests of unbiased reporting, he looks damned fine in those little bicycle shorts (the tight, stretchy kind).

 

“How do you know him?” Hester inquired suspiciously.  She knows I play on another team.  “Dunno” I answered after I thought about it.  “I think we’re on some Save the Universe or whatever committee together.”

 

Then it was Leechy, whom I’ve not seen for ages, since I don’t go to the Grotto anymore, now that it’s a pub for Chelsea supporters

(‘white trash’ in American).  Fortunately he was practically sober and didn’t embarrass me too much.  I saw one of the famous pub slags from the Volly; maybe she’s moved up in quality of pubs.  But I just waved hello to her.  I don’t do pub slags.   I saw some other acquaintances I knew from the old days at the Grotto, too.  I got a tiny bit nostalgic for the good old days, and nights, there.

 

Coming home, I popped into the brand new Sainsbury’s Market, where the wine shop used to be, for some coffee filters.  The Sainsbury’s is open until the bewitching hour of 11:00 pm, a really big deal in Weybridge.  You’ll never believe who was manning the till.  Trevor of the Fifty Hands.  No kidding.  Maybe he lost his license again and can’t drive the cab.  I didn’t ask; I just paid for my coffee filters and left.

 

One of the things I almost never do here is go to the movies, except for Film Club at shul.  I don’t really know why.  I mean, I like movies.  I guess I’m always doing something else.  Well, I went to the movies, twice, with friends.  Different ones.  I saw ‘The Girl on the Train’, Andre Techine’s brilliant cautionary tale about ‘crying wolf’ at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford with Adriana, and ‘The Concert’, Romanian Radu Mihaileanu’s charming comedy about the Bolshoi Orchestra in Walton with Estelle.  I loved both films.

 

I had dinner at Hazel’s, dinner at Adriana’s, tea at Allison’s, and had five ladies to luncheon at mine (yes, I cooked).  In between, I did my shifts, did a car boot sale, spent a day in Chiswick with JDavid (some of it was work; honest), and took a few meetings.  Whew!  I’m tired just blogging about it.

 

At shul, Cousin Bernie was the gabbai and he charmed me into reading a prayer.  But not the Queen one.  That one feeds into my identity crisis issues.  I thought it went fine.  Until the Oneg after services.

 

Someone had visitors from the States and the lady came up to me to say ‘Mazel tov!’ because I read so eloquently.  What she actually said was “What part of the Midwest are you from?”

 

Of course I was bloody insulted!

 

I looked at her like she was crazy.  “Are you meshuggah?  I’m not from the Midwest.  Did I say anything about ‘elephant’s eyes’ or ‘corn’ or the ‘State Fair’?  I’m from the Right Coast, Philadelphia to be specific.  And, no, they don’t make cream cheese there.” (She probably already knew that; I just find myself saying it every time I say ‘Philadelphia’).

 

You won’t believe this, but she replied “Oh?  We’re from Pittsburgh.  Your accent is a little peculiar.”

 

There is nothing wrong with my accent.   It’s a lovely one.  Of course, what can you expect from people from Pittsburgh?  It’s practically in Ohio, and all that Ohio-ness must waft across the state line on the Jet Stream.  Midwest, indeed!

 

Smack came over to visit this week, with her daughter.  She also returned my camera, which I’d left at her house, after she left her jacket at mine at the Festa di Independenza barbecue.  Sadly, the convo meandered onto The Turd, who’s still hanging around Smack being turdy.

 

I mentioned that The Turd is Tom’s hero.  When Tom was here on Wednesday, he brought up the famous Boxing Day Trifecta.  He was impressed that The Turd could do it, and well, three times in one day.  After driving up and down England to get to all three places.

 

Tom had caught up on the blog.

 

Oh yeah.  Did I mention that gorgeous Tom is back in Surrey?    

 

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SONO OFFICIO

Published August 6, 2010 by jean cohen

Well, I said I would blog about it, so here goes.  The Witches of Meadway met up on Friday night.  A scintillating evening was enjoyed by all.

 

Smack broke her foot and is in the Mother of All Casts to her knee, so we agreed to do it at her house.  DM, my new name for Diane, picked me up and we headed out Camberley way to Farnham.  EtcK was meeting us there.  We loaded her car with noshes and vino, excited about the evening ahead.

 

DM was planning to leave her car at Smack’s and get picked up by her guy; I was planning on being too pissed to go anywhere and sleeping over.

 

Purely by coincidence, the Turd himself got out of Dodge City on Friday, mumbling about ‘going to visit Adam’ at uni when Smack told him the witches were coming over and challenged him to confront us.  He declined.

 

There was a certain element of weirdness at first- obviously.  We all got screwed by the Turd, literally and figuratively.  Until the wine kicked in.  Then it was no holds barred.

 

We played a fun game.  DM started reading some of Turd’s 428 sexy late night texts and paused. Then we guessed what he said next.   “Right!”  “Right!”  “Exactly!” “Close enough!”

 

We shared pictures of his bits.  DM had a really good one; his bits are quite photogenic.  Too bad that the organ being discussed was attached to the Turd.  We took turns read our Turd emails out loud to whoops and catcalls.

 

Everybody keeps telling me there’s a book in the Story of Turd.  DM, who’s an actor, wrote a play about him.  We need to find some more witches for some more dirt.  It would be helpful to get some clarification of why the Turd is a …  well … turd.  Is one born a turd or do you have to grow into it?  Maybe his mother liked his brothers better?  (He’s a middle child; they always have issues.)

 

I stayed over at Smack’s, intending to catch an early train back to Weybridge.  I had to be at shul; I had a part in the service for my birthday.  That didn’t happen.  I got up with an aching head and needed much coffee to feel even vaguely human.  I made it to Syn with three minutes to spare. I took a cab from the train station.

 

Anthony, who was the gabbai, was waiting to pounce.  “I thought you weren’t coming!  What do you want to do this morning?  How about reading the Haftorah?”

 

Me:  Under my breath: “What I want to do is go back to bed.“ Out loud: “Urg!  Are there long, hard words in the Haftorah this week?  Strange biblical sounding names? Maybe I can do something else?”

 

Anthony: “How about the blessing before a Torah reading?  Undressing the Torah?”

 

“Nope.  I can’t form complicated words in a foreign language this morning.  And I can’t undress the Torah.  It takes two hands and I’m handicapped.”  (I find that a convenient excuse at times.)

 

He looked a tad exasperated.  “Fine.  You can read the ‘Blessing for Our Sovereign Queen.” 

 

I knew that was gonna happen one of these days. It was non-negotiable.  So I prayed for the Queen.  But I didn’t really mean it.  Honestly.  I thought about Silvio, who’s kind of hot, while I was saying it so I wasn’t really disloyal.

 

I needed the teensy cup of wine by the Oneg; sort of ‘hair of the dog’.  And I only flinched a tiny bit when the congregation sang happy birthday really, really loud and presented me with a cake.

 

Being somewhat of a masochist, I went out to lunch after services with friends, instead of home for a nap. 

 

I had a big evening on tap.  BooBoo and Cheese Boy were taking me to dinner in Claygate at an authentic Greek restaurant.  Part of the authenticness was that they throw a lot of dishes at people at the Grape Vine.  In fact, I got hit by flying crockery, sliced open my arm and bled all over the place.  The restaurant possesses the biggest first aid kit I ever saw.

 

It was fun, however.  The food was delicious, the music was loud and everybody danced.  I ended up at a table with a bunch of girls on a Hen Night.  They were my newest, bestest friends.  At least for a few hours.

 

One of my pressies from El Cheese-o was a cheese cake.  Another one was some Philadelphia Cream Cheese.  Ha!Ha, Boy.  I love cheese cake and cream cheese.  The big one was a gorgeous leather satchel for carrying all my papers when I’m dashing to meetings and dos with JDavid.

 

I got home in the wee hours of the morning, but had to be up and coherent for 6:00 AM to do a car boot sale with Carol.  And no, I have no idea where the hell it was.  Maybe Scotland.  We drove forever.

 

Monday was just the start of another ordinary week.  Meetings, appointments, work for David and more birthday Dos.  Birthdays last a really long time in England.  It’s quite fun.

 

I did have to pop up to London to see the Italians.  And that’s what I did.  I took the train to Waterloo, hopped on the underground, and walked to the Consulate.  Then I did it backwards and came home.  I was in the city about two hours.  When I told Boo about it, even I was shocked.  Going into London is so ho hum that I didn’t even shop or get excited passing Big Ben or whatever.  It was so routine. 

 

The reason for visiting my paisons was that  after a year and a half, they finally got around to issuing my Carta D’Identita, or Identity Card.  IDs make traveling in EU countries for us Europeans much easier; we don’t need to use our passaportis. 

 

I got a phone call from some officious clerk.  Even after listening to the message fifty times I still didn’t understand it as they always insist on speaking in very fast Italian.  Fortunately they emailed too.  Maddone!  Mille grazie for Google Translator.  “We were bored last Tuesday.  We issued your ID card.  You can pick it up between 2:00 and 2:05 P.M. on alternate Wednesdays in months with no ‘R’.” 

 

Okay, maybe that was a little harsh. 

 

So, I spent the evening before practicing conversational Italian when dealing with bureaucrats.  Don’t try this at home; it doesn’t work.  I guess it would if they said what you expected them to say.  Unfortunately, I have no idea what he actually did say.  So my sparkling repartee about the weather and the World Cup probably sounded a bit stupid.  At one point, it crossed my mind that grinning like an idiot and saying ‘Si! Si!” might be the wrong answer if the question was, like, “Are you here to bomb the Consulate?”

 

But I got my Carta D’Identita.  Then he really confused me by starting to talk about my passaporti.  “Oh shit!” I freaked.  “They decided I can’t be an Italian after all and they want it back.  Probably because I can’t f*cking speak Italian.”

 

I think, I am not sure, that what he said is that when it’s time to renew my passaporti I need to get fingerprinted too.  Maybe he said I’m on Interpol’s Most Wanted List.  I don’t know.   I thought maybe I shouldn’t mention that UK Immigration has a set of my fingerprints from that time they locked me up at Heathrow for seventeen hours.  The Italians can get over-excited over the littlest things.

 

I have really got to get off the schneid and learn to talk the Italiano talk.