Jan. 19th, 2017

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It's been quite a busy week of socialising really, with an event on Tuesday and a further one this evening.

Tuesday we headed over to York to see Oracle. He usually heads over to Leeds but we had kept meaning to try the new BrewDog bar in the Minster city so we decided to head over there for a change. We arrived about half an hour earlier than we had expected, meaning we had to spend a bit of time killing time eating pork pies at the railway station but Oracle turned up just before 7pm and we ambled over to Micklegate to get some food. We went to Jinnah, a curry place I had frequented a few times and one with a great diversity of cuisine. I tried a spicy version of a korma along with a luscious garlic naan and while my curry lacked quite a lot of meat and the large vine leaves got in the way somewhat, it was still quite delicious. After this, we headed over to BrewDog, a cosy but rather large bar with a range of 14 beers on tap. The names are hung up on clipboards which was rather a nice touch, and upon arrival we were greeted by two of our barmen friends from Leeds, what with the York crew being off on their belated Christmas party. We grabbed a sample tray - in this case containing three out of four BrewDog beers, a rarity as we had never tried them - and chatted in one of the corners, being put off slightly by a smoochy couple who were snogging every five minutes on the table next to us. This soon started to grate and I kept saying 'Phil Collins' in an annoying voice in an attempt to put them off, but alas to no avail. After Theresa May's devastating Brexit speech on Tuesday, and the turmoil that this now presents for me personally and professionally, it was good getting out for a few hours and it was certainly calming catching up with a good friend.

Today was Adia's birthday so we joined her and Soma, as well as Taneli, at Stockdales steak restaurant in Leeds city centre. The last time we had gone here was my birthday in 2015, 14 months ago, and we had the same waiter again, someone we both recognized upon being shown to our seats. This time I had the wagyu sirloin steak with dripping chips and gravy, along with a shared bottle of excellent Italian red, and it was delectable, if slightly expensive. Still, you get what you pay for, and it was certainly worth it, but the cheeseboard afterwards was the real highlight with a range of seven local cheeses and artisinal crackers. The waiter gave us a free glass of wine once we had finished our bottle and we ordered another one after that such was it's cherry and blackcurrent fruitiness, while it was a fundamentally delicious meal with great company. Last time I went, I was a little drunk so it was great experiencing it in pure sobriety and although it was sad that everyone left early, after three quarters of a bottle of wine, it was probably for the best. We tried to go to Ham and Friends, the new wine bar run by the Friends of Ham people but for some reason it was closed, even though I had seen people in there before and we were told it would be a December opening. Anyway, one for next time, so we just headed home, getting back to the house before 10pm after a great evening. The only other thing to note was my brief trip to Shuffledog beforehand to write Adia's card, which included one of the finest poems I have ever written. Perhaps she will tell you one day.

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