10.05.15 (Day 504 / 62)
It’s been a quiet weekend here at the pub, for me at least. What a lot of people sometimes can’t grasp is that, despite my often extrovert nature, I’m naturally a solitary person. When I’m in company, for whatever reason, it’s normally me that’s centre of attention, providing the entertainment and doing all that I do. When I’m alone though, it’s not that I get to spend time with myself so much as me wanting to do solitary things, like reading the weekend newspapers and writing.
Now that my life is settling down to a degree, I do sometimes wish that I had someone to share it with but that’s not my focus for a number of reasons. Someone who struggles to understand themselves is not likely to be understood by anyone else, so any special person sharing my life would have to be really quite special indeed. They would need to understand though that sometimes I need my own space, despite being with them. Only one person has managed that in the past but ironically it was my own insecurity and wondering constantly how I’d managed to be with someone so wonderful which destroyed the partnership. She used to say that it was because, quite simply, I was me. Well, it was me that fucked up the love of my once upon a time.
This place isn’t big enough for anyone else really. Certainly not someone with lots of personal belongings, because there’s barely enough room in this crooked place to accommodate me.
Having said that it’s been a quiet weekend at the pub, it hasn’t been quiet in any part of the building other than the little space which I occupy. Often there are more people in the private parts of the building than there are in the bar and the people upstairs can be very noisy. With the landlord being of a particular nature, it’s sometimes like living aboard an overcrowded prison ship of refugees. With a multi-megawatt sound system below decks. But I do love it. It’s crooked, has very few luxuries and costs too much. The story of my housing benefit not covering my rent and me having to make up the rent from my ESA, rendering me unable to see my kids next weekend is already documented. But the place has a certain edge; a sort of danger. It’s like the scene where Clarence first visits Drexl in True Romance, or the house party in Night of The Demons: it’s cool; it’s me. And all I need is somewhere to do what I do: write. This place is the perfect writer’s pad, given all of the ideas it throws up.
Maybe I should be down there in the bar and I would socialise, were it not for the lack of funds preventing me from doing so. I’d like to have a game of pool and see my friends but I have plenty to occupy me up here: writing, reading, books, CDs, DVDs… A recent addition to the latter collection is Prometheus, which is actually on TV tonight. Just like good books though, I like to have DVDs as well as CDs on my shelves. That way, I can watch good films over and over and not have to worry about schedules and commercials. And I have a good supplier. Wait until a movie has its network premier and you can buy a used – but pristine – copy for a couple of quid: that’s the same price as my book. Maybe one day an agent may recognise the potential of that for a film. After all, one of my short stories had already been made into a short film, albeit for a school media studies project. But we all have to start somewhere.
People worry about me spending so much time upstairs but think about it: an alcoholic living above a pub. As I’ve said before, my drinking is under control and that extends to the bar downstairs but friends are concerned that I’m wasting away up here or getting into another agoraphobic positive rut. I’m not: I’m fine. That’s difficult to appreciate by those who don’t see me while I’m shut away up here, by choice, but one of my closest current friends is someone who lives here. She knows and will tell others that I am okay, because she’s seen me and we’ve had one of our occasional hug chats. This is the girl who I had to be careful to not address as the word which was on my mind. I need fear no longer for we have had that conversation and she knows. We have a mutual understanding I believe.
So, a few people who are out of reach aside, who would want to live in a place like this? With me? I rest my case and am resigned to getting on with life and indulging myself in writing.
I’m in talks with a potential agent on the writing front. More news on that as it becomes apparent; no news if it doesn’t.
People worry that I’m not eating. Well, tonight I had this:
And here’s what it was like.
This was Lidl’s chicken korma, under the Chef Select label at £1.59.
Six minutes in the microwave and turned out onto a plate, it looked like it does in the picture.
There were ten large bite-sized pieces of chicken breast, neither too dry nor moist and which tasted of chicken: an obvious statement and one often applied to things which aren’t in fact chicken; even things of indeterminate origin. But the chicken in this korma tasted as though it had been char grilled prior to cooking as a curry. A quick check of the packaging revealed that the chicken is in fact marinated.
The pilau rice was very yellow but another quick look at the packaging revealed that there are no artificial colourings in this dish at all. The colouring comes from turmeric. The taste of cumin was very apparent in the rice, as was at least one whole cumin seed: more encouraging than distracting.
The sauce was plentiful, as would be expected of a ready meal and especially at this price. The consistency was good though, with the sauce clinging to the chicken and providing a vehicle for the rice. I’ve had better kormas but for a lot more money. I’ve also had many worse. This one was creamy, with a coconut flavour, as evidenced by the ingredients on the packaging. I’d have preferred more cream and coconut flavour but those are premium ingredients which one shouldn’t expect to be in abundance in a budget meal. What was pleasantly surprising though was the gentle, spicy warmth from the marinated chicken pieces coming through the sauce, which can sometimes be simply a barrier.
Overall, a good result: certainly a 3. And with a naan bread, this could easily be a 4. So, 3+.
This lone diner would have preferred a greater chicken over rice ratio but economics dictate at this level.
Perhaps some company as well one day, to improve the whole thing.