Before the Grand Interviews with Munchkin Grumps and family about their mega-brunch-athon, I had been keeping a long-awaited date with Dogophile Vegan Nurse and her super-posh dress. DVN and I were basically out of touch for about ten years between the ages of 17 and 27, but it's been a lot of fun finding out that we have an amazing array of random stuff in common after all this time. It's not guinea-pigs, love of Sean Hughes, and biology homework any more, but we've found that we both carry random food staples around with us, aim to spend as much time as possible in pyjamas, and will never pass up an opportunity to do some baking. This weekend was our chance to put as many of these things into practice as possible.
We started off with a big chat and some home-made soup on Saturday lunchtime (me having uncharacteristically managed to find my destination without getting lost). Then some dog walking - the first time I had met Leah and Ned (who are lovely, though DVN MADE me say who was my favourite when I left! I'm not saying who I chose, though the state of my coat indicates who I spent more time with). Leah likes to stay close to her mum on her walks, but Ned gambolled all over the place, playing with all the other dogs he could find, and wandering absent-mindedly off on errands of his own.
Back from the park, we settled down to plan our evening. Our only unshakable requirement was that our dresses get an outing, and we seriously considered just wearing them to Sainsbury's to buy things to cook for supper. In the end we decided to go out to a bar to eat, and then come back to make dessert at home in our PJs. Suitably poshed up, we sashayed out (though that really doesn't accurately describe how DVN walked in her new shoes - hobbled, teetered or tottered would be closer to the mark, all accompanied with a look of complete disgust at what her footwear was making her do). The bar we went to - Seven, in Chapel Allerton, in Leeds - suited us perfectly. We wanted nice and relaxed, not posh, and it was bright and spacious, with very accommodating staff who actually knew something about the food. We both had herby tagliatelle with tomato sauce, which turned out to consist of softly cooked pieces of actual tomato rather than a sauce, and very nice indeed, and shared some pitta and houmous. The portions were sensibly sized rather than huge, which still filled both of us to the brim. I hope that we exuded style and panache, with hints of many more posh plans for the evening. Little did the other diners know that they consisted of a date with the ice-cream maker and two pairs of pyjamas.
DVN had churned the ice cream in the afternoon in her ice-cream maker, and had also made some vanilla shortbread (I hung around pestering her with questions and blithering on happily about cupcakes and cookies). We ate it with hot drinks, perched on kitchen stools in our nightwear. Ah, to be comfortable enough with yourself to be happy wearing a designer frock (DVN's - mine was from Matalan, as you can see from the hanger!) over some simple pasta, and shunning a night on the town for some home-made dessert and some quality time with dogs. Maybe that's why we're friends again after all this time.
Ned and Leah chilling out after their walk