Sunday, 21 August 2011

Mixed Tape Series: Serotonin - Mystery Jets

The old familiar feeling starts to kick in

I had a rough patch of months and he used to check up on me when he sensed drama brewing. I’d rant for hours and, when I’ve gone beyond verbose about everything I could possibly complain about, he’d throw in his two cents’ worth. His words bore no judgment and enveloped me like a duvet of comfort. In my fucked up state (then!), talking to him was the string of hope I needed, the happy kick I felt I deserved. He was better than a therapist, cheaper than any drug and better for my intellect. I sensed a good kind of change and I reckon without this bloke I wouldn't have been able to get my act together.

With my newfound strength I'd like to think in a sense I kinda helped him go through his own battles, too. I don't claim to be the next Confucius, nor do I hold answers to life's questions and the world's agonies but I'm sure I've given him some stuff to think about as well. I couldn't have just been the dependent one; it was pretty much give and take. That's what friends do, right? And we were good friends... really good friends. It was a solid friendship built on real deep conversations and philosophical retrospect. I wasn't hallucinating at all, it was real and I felt myself become the person I was supposed to be as I saw him transform into a stronger version of himself.

Our closeness was blatant so it shouldn't have surprised me when I started feeling... funny. But it came like a jolt and as much as it felt good it scared the bajeezwax out of me. You see, he wasn’t really the kind of guy I dated. He felt a bit too safe, a bit too gentle, and (if I’m being honest) a bit too good for my liking. He was the kind of guy mothers adore and fathers pray for their daughters to bring home. The kind of guy girls don't really flirt with but want to have platonic relationships for the rest of their lives with. He was The One Who Makes It All Better - surely he can't be The One Who Makes Me Feel... Like This. Surely?

I didn't know whether it was just adrenaline calling but the effect was overwhelming. Started to overthink things and analyze situations and it was doing my head in. Not a good idea, maybe. But hey... it could be great! Except the whole thing might just get complicated and strange and awkward! I mean, I didn't think we could ever be too close for comfort anyway! Aaaargh! The incoherence of the situation was absolutely exhausting and I felt like I needed to take charge before it consumed me more than it already has. Fuck my life.

The kicker thought, I guess, was when I figured he may never see himself as The One Who Makes Me Feel... Like This. Not that I'm on a high horse, I'm no creme brulee. It's just that I feel like he could be The One Who Makes Others Feel... Like This but when it comes to me, I've got doubts. I don't think he would want to because... well, because uh... maybe I don't make him feel that way. And as a good friend put it... if he actually did, he's had heaps of chances so surely he'd've grabbed the opportunities then? There's a will and a way. So they say.

And that final question there, my friends, sent me crashing from the high of the hit. What a glorious high it was. What a shit ass crash this is. Detox should really start now.

Now I'm coming up so hard

Monday, 15 August 2011

Mixed Tape Series: Rolling In The Deep - Adele

There's a fire starting in my heart.

I don't think either of us knew what it was, to be honest, but I couldn't stop wondering about it and something makes me think that was the same for you. Even so, it gave me a happy kind of feeling and I was intrigued. Excited. Interested. But... maybe a little bit confused. Undeniably, there were sparks and I was slightly scared (something tells me you were, too). Sparks trigger fire, and I didn't want to be so destructive.

That probably explains all the precaution. We played with our fail-safe weapons of nervous laughter and sensible banter, in an allusion to the big fat elephant in the room. I wonder if we ever cared enough to know how much it wanted to come out. Or if we wanted it to come out.

I'd like to think it was what we both needed at the time. But I wonder if we still need it now.

We could've had it all.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

La Luna: where the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie...

Clammy, comfort food.

I rarely get excited about Italian restaurants because of the following reasons:
  • I'm not a huge fan of pasta (which I can cook) and pizza (which I'd rather eat at home).
  • The menu does not excite me.
  • It's difficult to find genuinely good Italian, unless you're in an Italian person's kitchen.
Two weeks ago, I went out for dinner with M and insisted on using my Taste card because I've not been using it as much as I really should. We decided to stay south of the river and the closest we saw was Italian restaurant La Luna. I wasn't really moved by the pictures on the Taste website and by the location (Camberwell?! Really?!) but the reviews seemed pretty enthusiastic and we were really hungry. At least it's an independent Italian - no mass produced dough balls in sight. PLUS. It's been there for about 18 years. That should say something, right?

We got in the restaurant and were greeted by a cheery Italian dude who set our complimentary olives and breadsticks. Reviewed the menu beforehand and I knew I was in the mood for mushroom trifolati and the bisteca bocaiola (sirloin with mushroom, red wine & onion sauce), but my eyes darted off to the grilled fish platter and decided to change my order instead. M played it safe with prosciutto & melon for starter (and I ate his melon!) and linguine alla vongole (pictured above) for mains.

Roll call: Salmon, mussells, clams, swordfish, sardines, calamari, roast potatoes and veg!

Tiramisu for two
I loved our choices, particularly M's pasta. The linguine was cooked properly al dente and the white wine sauce was a perfect balance of salty-clammy-chili. It was so good I was still thinking about it the next day - it's possibly the reason why I wanted to go back ASAP! My platter didn't visually look stunning but everything was seasoned perfectly and cooked well. Yum! Servings were so generous we both got full and didn't finish our plates. However, we did get dessert and what better way to end an Italian dinner with tiramisu, aye? Unforch, we found it a bit too creamy and too... for lack of better word, commercial. But it was still a sweet ending and the staff were very very nice to us. We knew we were defo coming back.

Garlic breath!
We just didn't realise we were going to be back so soon. Two days later, same guy greeted us w/ a very cheery 'Ciao, Honey!' (good memory!) We were back for the linguine. BUT. I couldn't resist the sound of linguine al frutti de mare so I chose that instead. Pasta was well cooked again but I was slightly underwhelmed with the sauce itself. It was flavourful, but not as rich as I expected it to be. M got the tagliatelle 'La Luna' with prawns, clams and mushrooms. Again, I liked his plate better. We had prosciutto again and garlic bread, too. Unlike shop-bought bread, this one had real pieces of garlic on hand stretched, stonebaked, fresh pizza dough with no frills like butter/margarine etc. Delicious!

Seafood pasta galore: linguine al frutti de mare & tagliatelle 'La Luna'

A week later, we went back again and went straight into the mains. For someone who doesn't like pasta, I surely craved a lot of it that week. M ordered a classic penne al arrabbiata. The sauce was perfectly rich with the right hint of chili. I, finally, got my linguine alla vongole which was everything I wished, dreamed and craved for. So happy.

A really good serving of penne al arrabbiata
Cheery Italian dude was very grateful about the review I've written on the Taste site. I told him it was my pleasure - we should all give credit where it's due. I may have found a new liking to pasta because of this. No offense, but La Luna really was a surprisingly good find in Camberwell (whodvethunk?!). It's not the poshest, swankiest Italian restaurant out there but there's a warm sense of comfort you get in the food and in the kitchen. It's almost as if you're eating in a family home - which is what Italian dining should be.

La Luna Restaurant & Pizzeria
380 Walworth Road
London, SE17 2NG

0207 2771991
Average pp: £35 for a three-course meal with wine from the a la carte menu.
Tastecard holders get 50% off.

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