31 December, 2006

soggy, soggy, soggy

Oh, it was bound to end badly, as Alyssa would say. Or as the English say, "it ended in tears." Well, not literally, but we were wet enough.

As soon as everybody left for "Dick Whittington," John and I decided to open Jill and Joel's Christmas box and see what was inside. And there, tantalizingly, was the "Collectors' Edition" Gone With the Wind that I had begged for! It was but the work of a moment to put Disc Three in and we were deep in the world of Margaret Mitchell, casting Scarlett, George Cukor's hissy fits. So when the hour to leave for dinner arrived, I think it's safe to say that for a bet, we would both just have stayed home. But you know when it's An Event, like your anniversary, and you've made the reservations, and your child is safely in someone else's hands (forget safely, in fact, she's just somewhere else), you feel you must Go Out. So we did.

Straight into a blinding, blowing, freezing rainstorm. The corner of Wood's Mews and Park Lane was like something from the Wizard of Oz, without the music and the witch on a bicycle. No, actually there were several witches on bicycles, and they each rode perilously close to us. The little space of black tights between my skirt and boots was instantly soaked, and I wanted to go home. Plus no taxis, and it was too late to take a bus. There was nothing for it: John decided we would drive. So he spun around and elbowed me in the face, breaking the temple off glasses and dashing them to the wet sidewalk. Now, THEN, it was definitely time to stay home. But no, we were intrepid. Into the house I go, find old skanky glasses (after all, it's only my wedding anniversary, no need to look appealing, he's stuck with me), then back out to crawl into the car and be off.

I wish I could say that "dinner was all we remembered," but either we don't remember much because our experiences at Wodka were heavily steeped in vodka, or the restaurant had declined. For whatever reason, it wasn't tremendously yummy. I don't think we'd go back. Unaccountably, a small bull terrier was part of the decor, following wet patrons from the door to their tables and then looking truculent. And the menu was paper. And the food very oily, except when it was dry and shooting off the plate. Actually, a starter called "pelimeni" was quite good, a sort of meatball in a dumpling (how could it be bad?), but even the iced vodkas were not as good as the many varieties I remember John and I made when we moved back to New York the last time. We found that anything was good in vodka! Except watermelon, which watered it down. But cucumber? Fresh ginger? Chili peppers? All good.

Ah well, soon enough we were home and cozy.

This morning we headed out to the British Museum to meet up with everyone and hear all about last evening. More on that later, but right now... Happy New Year's Eve! We hope you are doing what you like best: whether that's sitting quietly on your own with a book, or partying madly with lots of sloshed friends, or getting engaged on top of the Empire State Building, or having dinner with a select group (as we did). See you in 2007!

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