gin-soaked memories

I go to a lot of business events and meetings that are arranged around food and drink: breakfast meetings, a catch-up over coffee, networking lunches, etc. Most of the professionals I know seem to prefer to get their business over during work hours, but there are also a few events that take place in the evening and are more social than anything else.

Of course, being social is an important part of running your own company – it’s frequently said that “people do business with people” – so these can’t be ignored, even if there’s little expectation of making a sale, closing a contract or meeting a new client.
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roaring drunk

I spent an interesting morning on a private visit to Stoneleigh Abbey in Warwickshire, where I found the beast in the photo.

white plaster lion

The young lady who showed us around told us that the word “plastered”, meaning “drunk”, derives from the habit of adding white wine to plaster to keep it malleable: the artisans who worked with the mix were exposed to the alcoholic fumes all day. What’s more, she said, they were allowed to keep and drink the wine that remained unused at the end of the day.

I’m really not convinced that a drunken artisan could produce the spectacular plasterwork of which the lordly lion was just a tiny motif. I note, though, that the decoration was in the room known as “the saloon”.

vegetarian options

Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night are long gone, Remembrance Day is here, and all the supermarket and lifestyle magazines are already looking ahead to Christmas. I am less than interested in the recipes for fish, flesh and fowl, so am glad to see that the latest Waitrose weekly is catering for the vegetarians among us:

 Four beers for Christmas lunch

“Four beers for Christmas lunch”? I can think of worse options.
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costumes and customs

Years ago (in our world before digital cameras, hence no photos) we were asked by a friend to make a costume for his son for the school carnival celebration. I don’t really know why he thought we would be good people to ask, but clearly as bar owners he and his wife had little free time for handicrafts.

He gave us a cardboard box and told us what the costume should be, but the details were up to us. Several rolls of aluminium foil later, and with the addition of such details as stick-on dollar signs, a coin slot and tray, and a dangling electric plug, we had created a rather wonderful one-armed bandit that won the prize for best costume.
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drinks invitation

'drinks bundles' menu

The festive card in the photo was on the table at a restaurant where I had lunch the other day, offering a number of ‘drinks bundles’ for diners.

I don’t know much about beer prices, but I do know that if a house wine costs £15, getting four for the price of three does make it a much better deal.

Mind you, four bottles of wine is quite a lot, which is presumably why the restaurant felt it necessary to add the rider:

Enjoy alcohol responsibly

Why they felt it appropriate to display the card on a table clearly designed for a maximum of two people, I’m not sure. Suffice it to say, I did not take them up on their offer.