almostwitty: (monkey)

Father’s Day is around the corner, which means the same lovely but predictable parade of gifts including photo frames, neck ties, and I’m sure, somewhere, a photo frame made of discarded neckties. It’s not that we don’t love our glitter glue and macaroni art gifts or wacky golf tees in a commemorative box; on the contrary, I’ll treasure each one lovingly handed to me by The Kid. It’s just that in an era where technology means we’re more likely to FaceTime our children then actually spend time with them face to face, moments of creating and teaching can get lost.

So fantastically, Pizza Express invited the Geek Family to their new swanky restaurant off Gloucester Road (converted from a ye olde bank) near the Natural History Museum, to learn about the mystical (well, mystical to me) art of making pizzas, getting just a little messy together and making some cool memories.

The jovial host showed us to our pizza making station – which was covered in flour and dough – and showed everyone how to knead the dough and flip it about, which is much easier and more fun to do when you have lots of wide space (instead of a tiny galley of a kitchen) and you don’t need to mop up yourself afterwards!

After the kids (including the father-aged ones) had rolled, kneaded and flipped the dough to a round shape (or a square shape if you’re a Dad who wants to show off and be all distinctive), it was time for the kids to choose their own ingredients. Our kid was a bit Gwyneth Paltrow minimalist in his choice of ingredients, and opted for tomato sauce – this is in itself a bit of an innovation, since he usually prefers his pizza plainer than Antarctica. Sadly for the kid, he was not given the option of adding gummi worms to his pizza. Myself, on the other hand, chose EVERY INGREDIENT AVAILABLE. So thus the kid’s minimalist pizza and Dad’s square pepperoni-ham-mushroom-olives-artichockes-cheesy feast pizza both went into the oven.

Fifteen minutes later, piping hot and lovely pizzas emerged from the oven and this is where I learnt why square pizzas are not the world’s best idea (they tend to burn at the edges). Nevertheless, we all tucked in with gusto and The Kid ate a whole pizza by himself, which hardly ever happens.

We all had a fun time, had some great memories and made some new friends – hello to fellow Dad, blogger, Twitterer and Whovian Lee Carey!

Thanks to Pizza Express for inviting us, and they have a special Father’s Day offer on – Give Dad The Gift Of Pizza’ – where any starter and a main can be purchased from £11.95 this Father’s Day weekend.

Mirrored from Family v2.1.

almostwitty: (Default)

Happy New Year in Saigon

Originally uploaded by almost witty

I’m fairly sure that in the past, I've had a few interesting New Years.

1999: There was Millennium Eve in Edinburgh, where my party and I walked up and down Princess Street watching four Turkish guys try in vain to get kisses off girls, and saw a heavily pregnant woman beg her way past the crowds and guard barriers, only to reveal her ‘baby’ to be a six-pack once the police had moved on.

2000: A couple of friends and I decided to join a river boat party on the Thames. Which sounds like a great idea until you realise that you’re stuck on the boat for four hours. It was moored off Big Ben just in time for the chimes of midnight. This sounds great until at the stroke of midnight, all the revellers standing on Westminster Bridge throw their beer bottles into the river - and of course onto the boat which you are standing on. Cue the sounds of broken glass smashed onto the boat roof while everyone huddles inside for safety.

2004: Possibly the best New Year I ever spent, though, was in 2004 when I stayed in to avoid being confronted about an anti-Cardiff quote from this very blog. Fortunately, Channel 4 came to the rescue with a huge supply of final episodes from various TV series I’d yet to catch up with.

2005: There was also New Years’ Eve 2005 in Saigon, Vietnam, though that was more due to a relation’s wedding. The streets were thronged with party-goers who just assembled in the middle of the square, and then disappeared once the countdown had finished.

2006: Actually went to a proper gor-blimey New Year's Eve party in [ profile] pinkgemma's Manchester flat, where the obligatory booby redhead Doctor-Who-loving lesbian that I fancied was "keen" for a woman, and as the party got drunker with the charades and other games, ended up miming all sorts of positions with her legs spread wide open. While a friend's eight-year-old son looked on, frankly astonished. He’ll be in therapy for years.

This year, there definitely seems to be a lack of New Year spirit - or maybe that’s just the circles I move in. During the rush of work-related Christmas parties (ie both of them), in a lull in conversation, I asked the group what they were doing for New Years. The answers were so depressing, maudlin and dismissive that our table promptly broke up and we made our way home. As far as I can tell, nobody I know is actually going out to have a good time. Some colleagues are spending it at their boyfriends’ house, and some people are spending it alone.

Despite there being the now-traditional New Year fireworks across the Thames, my parents and I will be watching it from the warmth of my flat, since it’ll be -2 Celsius out there, and just a bit too cold for my parents.

Although we ought to be grateful for that - my first year in London, we went to Trafalgar Square to join in the celebrations with everyone else, only to find a massive crowd of people in a square with nothing in it. The fountains had been closed off, there were no TV screens and only rudimentary lighting. At some point, someone yelled “Happy New Year!”, and then we all went home. And can someone tell me what’s so fab about watching a silver ball drop from Times Square?

Are you doing anything?

Originally published at almost witty. You can comment here or there.


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