Dinner at the Stonemasons Arms with Simon Jacobs, 14 April 2016

I hadn’t seen Simon Jacobs for more years than either of us care/dare to recall. A combination of Facebook group postings/chats and some of my sample Ogblog activity got us e-chatting. We e-agreed that W2, W3 and W6 should not exactly be geographically challenging distances.

So we decided on the Stonemasons Arms in Hammersmith – Simon’s patch. As it turned out, I needed to go into the City that day. Commuting to Hammersmith rather than home is not much further. But it did mean that I was suited, booted and hatted, whereas Simon was wearing normal clothes.

We ordered a crispy squid starter to share, followed by, in my case, a roasted belly pork with mash dish that would make Janie envious as hell, while Simon ordered a posh burger dish. We also ordered some broccoli with almonds to share, to make the meal seem more healthy and perhaps subconsciously to stick two fingers up at George H Bush and his famous hatred of the stuff. We also ordered a rather tasty bottle of Primativo, as well recommended by the waiter.

Simon and I started our catch up chat. We considered talking for a minute each on the subject “what I have been up to since last we met” without hesitation, repetition, deviation or repetition. But we decided to go for a more free-form approach to the chat.

Surprisingly soon, our food arrived. Except it wasn’t our starter of crispy squid; it was our mains. Simon enquired after the squid and the waiter was hugely apologetic, offering even to bring the squid as a side order for us at no charge, but we declined that offer and agreed that it didn’t matter.

I considered making a joke about the squid not being well enough, so we’ve saved sick squid, but decided that the joke didn’t work well enough orally, let alone in writing. Simon quietly remarked that some waiters write things down and we both agreed that we’ve reached the age and stage that we need to write things down, if indeed we ever were at an age and stage when we didn’t need to do so. For example, Simon remembered little about the Princess Margaret skit from Keele in 1980, but did recognise his own handwriting, so he could deny nothing.

We then continued our interesting chat over the very tasty meal before us. A few elements of the reminiscence and chat hit on items that I have written up on Ogblog. In each of those cases I said that I would send Simon a link when I got home but…

…I didn’t write any of those items down. It’s OK, I’ll wing it and send Simon a few vaguely suitable Ogblog links. I don’t suppose he’ll remember which ones I actually promised, so I’m sure I’ll get away with it, as long as no-one grasses on me to Simon on this point.

It really was a very pleasant evening; I was surprised when I looked at my watch to realise that three hours had sailed by.

I hope we don’t leave it quite so long until next we meet; we really will both be old gits by then.

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