A short word about my social life.


We have people coming over for dinner tomorrow night. For many of you out there in the Blogosphere this will not be anything of note and will be saying: “Ant, we do that nearly every weekend!” or “Yeah, so what?!?” Well the thing is that I don’t do having people round for dinner – never have done but Mrs Gruffsdad aka my ace and lovely wife Emily has met a lady called Jenny at a craft club* that she goes to on a Wednesday and they’ve have become firm friends so much so that we went to her house a couple of weeks ago for a meal and a game of Scrabble. I’d not met Jenny or her husband before that night and much to my surprise I liked them and had a lovely night – I don’t really do socialising or meeting new people – I am a very shy person** and either go way over the top and came across like a complete tool or I retreat into my shell and appear to be some unresponsive sociopath.

That night though I was a combination of the two and I think I did okay; I didn’t get any criticism on the way home from Emily, I didn’t make any rude comments about the CD and DVD collection in their house and I ate all that was put before me without even asking if there were any crisps available. Anyway we had a good evening and tomorrow night is the return match – Jenny and her husband Simon are coming over to ours for a meal and for me this equals a big deal. I started tidying the house this morning and thank God all the PS3 games are in alphabetical order on the shelf where they live so if nothing else they’ll not be able to fault us on that.

We have got the food sorted in that Gruff went into the Chinese takeaway (China Express in Dorchester on the High Street – I can’t recommend it highly enough.) on Wednesday and picked up a menu for us and we’re going for option G on the banquet section which looks really good although there is a lack of crispy duck which option H has but that is a tenner more and that unfortunately rules that choice out. I’ve not addressed with Emily whether we need a pudding but now I’ve thought about it that’s all I can think about – cake, ice cream, an ice pop, something with suet – what the hell should we do?!?!?

Then there’s the ambience. Jenny and Simon didn’t worry about background music but I feel that we should so have been thinking about it – do I go with some jazz – music that to be honest I can take or leave so why would I choose that? I’ve been enjoying Boards of Canada a lot this week and found that most relaxing or what about the new Primal Scream album that I’ve just got – okay be honest with me, I don’t need music do I? Surely the days when I wanted or indeed needed to look cool are gone aren’t they? I listen to the music that I want to these days and not what my achingly cool friend Dom thinks I should be listening to, I don’t really care what my friends listen to or get angry when they wax lyrical about the new Kenny G album:

 “Ant, he just nails that Crocodile Shoes cover – I’ll send you the MP3 of it.”

 “That would be great, thanks.”

I have but two band t-shirts these days that I got off Ebay – one is an ancient PIL one that I was wearing when Nye was born seven years ago and the other a Pop Will Eat Itself one and I do get a warm glow when people comment on them: “Oh man, I loved the Poppies!” Anyway I know that trying to be cool should be the preserve of the young and the foolish, I’m not the former but possibly the latter applies to me more often than I’d like to admit to and secretly I am hoping that I get to talk about my Beatles in Mono*** and Blur boxsets tomorrow evening.

The rather vague point of this blog post that I’m kind of getting to in a roundabout way is that over the last year I’ve changed my life considerably and this is the latest stage of that and I’m doing it because it means a lot to Emily and she means everything to me. The truth is that I’d be quite happy sitting in on a Saturday night watching crap on the telly with a Coke and some crisps and when we got invited round to Jenny and Simon’s house it went against everything that I held dear in my comfort zone to accept the invitation and go out but knowing how much it meant to Emily I surprised myself by saying yes. I surprised myself by then actually going and by having a good time and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow evening and having thought about it some more I will be going for some Purbeck ice cream for our pud. 

Hmm…reading back through all that I’m not actually sure that I made any point at all.

* You can follow Emily on Instagram and see some of the amazing things that she makes – Knit_with_Neville is her username. I am on Instagram as Gruffsdad and seem to take pictures of records I’ve bought and the cat – Emily is far more interesting than me.

** No really, I am.

*** If you want to know why The Beatles sound better in mono than stereo then either Google it or drop me a line.


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