January 4, 2013

Tolkien’s Birthday


. . . and our wedding anniversary.  Twenty one years today. *

We went out for dinner.  The western world closes down, the week after New Year’s.  We were going to try The Other Really Nice Restaurant in Mauncester but it’s closed—for the week after New Year’s.  And even with the only other local Really Nice Restaurant closed, Maison de Chocolat et Champagne** was still only about half full.


Sixty-year-old woman seen wearing miniskirt in public. Film at eleven. Call the cops.***


Now of course I know I’m well preserved or I wouldn’t either be wearing a miniskirt in public† or hanging photos on the internet of my failure of propriety.  But—you others of my vintage correct me if I’m wrong—I don’t think that when we were the right age to wear miniskirts any woman of our age now would have done so?††  I was slightly behind the crest of the baby boomers as well as therefore slightly behind the great fashion revelation of the miniskirt, but while old women have always got up to things the younger generations feel are inappropriate to their age and gravitas††† I think it’s those of us who grew up with miniskirts who are just going on wearing them?‡  I like to think I belong to a generation that is breaking important new cultural ground.

Serious chocolate pudding. When you stick a fork in it the middle runs out in great gloopy swirls.


So yes, thank you, the evening was a delectable success.

* * *

* Tolkien would be 120.

** Que faut-il?^

^ No, I don’t speak French.+

+ However I do acknowledge a few more basic food groups than chocolate and champagne.  Broccoli, for example.  Peter and I share a necessity for olives however and—also speaking of the western world closing down after New Year’s—our Olive Man has gone on holiday.  Our Olive Man at best is a flaky schmuck, but unfortunately he sells olives to die for so we keep abjectly crawling back to him when he reappears  So, we’re in another whimpering, cold-turkey phase of having to find ALTERNATIVES till he frelling returns from his safari in Tanzania or whatever.  Peter found a bottle of olives in the back of a cupboard which we looked at dubiously—bottled is never satisfactory when you’re used to fresh—but these are surprisingly good.  The only thing wrong with them is that their texture is a little mushy.  Peter finally thought to look at the use-by date:  2004.  Ah.   That might explain the mushy. . . .

*** I know that even as my unfortunate photographic standards go this is pretty skanky.  But the photo was a festering ratbag to get at all.  The electrics at the mews are infested with demons and bulbs blow before you get them poked into their sockets.  The bulb over the mirror has blown—again—and these dratted spot-style lights are also festering ratbags to change.  You can’t use a fixed flash on a mirror. So I’ve dragged half the lamps in the sitting room as close as their flexes will let them and added the taking-the-puppy-out torch to the curtain rail and . . .

† Although recollect it’s after dark, the lighting in the restaurant is low and romantic^, and I’m wearing black tights.  I didn’t think I was going to like these tights—geometric patterns on irregularly shaped limbs like human legs often don’t work very well—but I really like these.  What?  Because they were on sale.  I am a hopeless sucker for sales.  And then you get the thing home and you do like it, and you’ve just been brainwashed for the next sale.

^ Did I ever point out to all you flatterers after I posted those photos of our dinner out on my sixtieth birthday that the lighting in women’s loos in fancy restaurants tends to be aggressively well-disposed?  I wasn’t just wearing an adorable pink sequinned cashmere shrug, I was bathed in fuzzy pink light.

†† At least not without surgical enhancement.

††† Hey! You’re old! You’re not supposed to have fun!

‡ I’ve been saying, okay, this is the last time, for about ten years now.


Please join the discussion at Robin McKinley's Web Forum.