There were plans for Monday night – food plans. The reduction of a small amount of Sunday’s chicken stock, with the addition of a couple of things, including fresh orange juice and zest, and tarragon, which would act as a dressing for some of the cold chicken.
That was going to be served with new potatoes (possibly roasted and crushed with oodles of garlic) and some fine beans that I found on Broadway Market on Saturday – the first English ones of the year.
But it came to pass that, only a short while before my scheduled departure from the office, the word want out that our presence was required in the bar at 5.15pm.
Now, this was, to say the least, unusual, since the staff social club’s bar only opens on Tuesdays to Fridays. What was going on?
You may recall that the bar, in its current incarnation, is nearly at an end, as we ready ourselves to move into a new building, where a café bar will be run in the early evenings, not by volunteer bar staff, but by the same people who run the staff ‘deli’.
Tomorrow night is the final, FINAL hurrah, but since several of the regulars are, even now, en route to a brief sojourn in Sicily (hopefully not to run into any dodgy Godfather types), Monday provided the sole remaining opportunity for a final get together – on the pretext of making presentations to Sam and Ben, the club treasurer and chief bar steward.
That the book club were also meeting to discuss their reading for the past month, while assorted national executive committee members also popped in over the course of the evening ensured it was a lively affair.
But by the time we got home, I was hardly much inclined to much in the way of food prep – buttering two slices of bread, slapping a load of cold chicken in between them and sprinkling with salt (chicken sandwiches absolutely require additional salting) was the height of culinary endeavour.
Tonight, because this is the first of two planned final bashes, I have no concrete plans. We shall just have to see.
But in the meantime, if any of you are curious enough, here is a little pictoral homage to the almost-closed-for-the-last-time bar, as appeared this afternoon on the blog of our club icon, Colin.
It may explain why Cloud Nine will be missed. Or then again, it may not!