Thursday 5 April 2012

Snow fair on my birthday

I didn't expect to see snow when I opened the curtains on my birthday but there it was, on the hills and gardens. It wasn't as bad as last year's, which at least was expected, after a long winter, but given March's mild moments I could have been treated with a bit of sunshine. Alas no. It was a cold drive to work, a full day's work and then home again. Sharon did take me out in the evening however, to the Michelin-starred Castle Terrace restaurant in, well, Castle Terrace.

It is the first one-star Michelin restaurant we've dined in, having only managed a couple of 2-star places up till now (Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles and the Piccolo Lago in Italy). The service was excellent and the food very tasty indeed. Apart from a curious bunch of Japanese youngsters making their way dully through the tasting menu at the next table, when not playing games on their mobiles and/or falling asleep, we had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. A slight downside is that I'm "aff the drink" so I didn't sample any of the wine. On the two occasions this year that I've had one bottle of cider, my gout has flared up within a couple of days. It is no coincidence, I fear, so I've been avoiding alcohol ever since. Whether this becomes permanent remains to be seen but I'm not exactly missing it.

As a birthday treat and partly because it is bonus payment time and my Audi has now tipped over the 100k mark, I've bought the Patersons' Mazda 6. It's a bit bigger that the Audi, an estate but with a diesel engine, slightly less powerful and therefore slightly cheaper to run than the Audi (I hope). It's also got 40k miles fewer on the clock and is 8 years' younger. The monkey on my back is now how I sell the Audi as paying the insurance on three cars is hefty. I think Sean is a bit young to get a provisional licence and a 2.4 litre V6 engine might be a bit too powerful for him to learn to drive on, so I'll have to sell it rather than leave it to rust on the drive for the next few years.

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