The following Friday it was my turn to host. After speaking to Churches about how we didn't want to be angry about being single on Valentine's Day, I decided to host one at mine and invite over Churches and the Iceland crew. What better way to spend a day commercially known for love than expressing the other kind of love - friendship?
Unfortunately I made it right after work though, so I had to leave a little early in order to make it in time to cook up the vegetarian fried rice I had in mind. Vegetarian because Salads was supposed to show up (as she'd RSVPed). She never did. I've already taken note of the pattern and after she accepts an event but fails to follow up in some way (e.g. asking what she could bring, directions how to get to x place), I write her off as not coming. I'm not even disappointed anymore, just given a sense of satisfaction from correctly guessing again. The only reason I still made the vegetarian rice this time was that I simply didn't have meat or the time to go buy some. Hence, vegetarian fried rice.
The others brought things as well but admittedly it was kind of a meager meal and I felt a little bad about being such a poor hostess. By the end of the night everyone was drunk enough not to notice, so I guess it was alright. I will plan better for next time though.
Both NonSequitor and Two bought rotisserie chickens from nearby Waitrose and we mixed this with my vegetarian fried rice. Churches brought an incredible board of cheeses with grapes, biscuits, and crackers to go along with. This was definitely the biggest hit. Everyone brought booze of some kind and I also served my house alcohols as well as nibbles in the form of candied spiced nuts I'd picked up during the holidays and the chocolates I'd scored at work earlier that day:
Our head chef likes to host events sometimes and this time to celebrate Valentine's Day he made handmade chocolates, one of which was paired with a high quality tequila shot and salt. All of them were tasty and extremely creamy. And free. This man is awesome.
Anyway the rest of our night was boozing, playing Cards Against Humanity (now our standby game) and chatting about hilarious things that were going on.
It was a good reminder that love is wonderful, in all its forms. I don't think anyone noticed their singledom that day.
....or the rest of the weekend for that matter.
Two and Olive had already asked if they could stay over at my mine after the party and I of course said yes. They had had tough weeks and wanted to just relax, not worrying about going home.
So the next day (all a little hungover), we went to Cafe Oink for the normal and very delicious English breakfast and then Two and I spent the entire day doing a movie marathon from my DVD collection.
I mean a true movie marathon - I think we watched 5-6 movies from around noon until 1am or so. We were watching for so long that Olive came back from the job he had that day and joined us. And they slept over again.
The next morning (Sunday now), we decided to have breakfast elsewhere to try something new. We walked down the block (near where my hopeful-new-gym is) and stopped at The Castle Bar, a place I'd been eyeing for awhile due to its always-busy covered outdoor space. No matter if I am walking home late from Ealing Broadway or out in the morning to go somewhere else, there are always people here. Lots of people. Happy people.
So I suggested it to Two and Olive and they were more than happy to indulge me; especially as it was in the direction of Ealing Broadway, which is where they would need to get to in order to get home (my station being closed on Sundays).
I ordered the eggs Florentine:
I hadn't remembered Florentine eggs having such a citrusy cream sauce (like hollandaise but more sour?), but they were tasty nonetheless. Two had the full English and said it was comparable to the one at Oink (and similar in price as well). Olive had a bacon sandwich, as is his wont sometimes instead of the full English.
We chose the right day to get out there as well - the covered patio space was brilliant in the warm morning sunshine. Such a rare treat in London.
And that's how we ended the weekend; I went home to clean my apartment and get on with starting a new week and Two and Olive commuted home back to their place to continue with their lives.
It was a nice reminder though that good friends are so essential. Happy friends day indeed. :)