Thursday, though he didn't get off work as early as he'd hoped, American Boy did still take me to dinner in Chinatown. He did not like sending me home past midnight in the bus, and always pays the taxi fare.
So there I was yesterday thinking we'd meet at around 7 for dinner on Friday. However, mid afternoon he called to ask if I'd be ok getting off work at 5 or 5.30. I was fine with that. At 4.30 I got a text saying to meet him now! So, at 4.35, I walked out of the office - that was clever, giving me a double fare yesterday in anticipation of today. He was already at the restaurant - Tuttons, where we had been last week at the opera. When I asked how he had managed to get out of the office so early, he said he'd "just up and left". We sat at the bar with drinks and olives until our 5.30 table reservation came up with a nice view over the square. He doesn't really like olives and fed them to me, so when I said he should have mentioned that when the barman gave me a choice of munchies, he said it was alright because if I'm happy he's happy. How cute is that?
When we got our table, he ordered wine and a plat de charcuterie; I guess his German side rules there. W & his wife O were nearly an hour late, so I was already nicely mellow by then. R said they were lovely, and they were; very sweet, slightly shy, with an air of innocence (though R says W has a raunchy sense of humour - well, don't all military boys when they are together?); a nice couple. I had ricotta and sweet potato tortellini, R had rare tuna steak, O had grilled sea bass, and W had pork loin. They enjoyed the food and O filled out a comments card. When it came to dessert, only we girls ordered, which is the wrong way round, isn't it? I had a brownie with ice cream and she had a sticky toffee pudding and licked the plate clean, whereas I, having had a head start on the eating with the charcuterie plate, halted halfway through and remained full for hours afterwards.
Covent Garden was unusually dead for a Friday night, and that was definitely not because a few thousand people had gone off to Glastonbury...and surely not because there was a bit of rain. Where were the tourists? We were at a loss as to what to do - W was sure he would fall asleep if he sat down at a show or the cinema, so we stopped in a very pretty pub with high ceilings and amazing plaster friezes along the ceilings. O and I sat on a very high, slippery banquette and the only thing keeping us on it was the fact that we were leaning on the table. At first when we sat, a group of 3 guys oohed and aahed at us until W and R came back with their beers.
As we walked up the road with the boys holding the umbrellas, I backchatted R, and we got into a scuffle in which he lifted me up and I whacked him with my jacket. O and W, walking behind, threatened to report domestic violence. :)
Then we parted ways and R took me to a casino, the wicked boy. A nice one with no tourists, and a jazz singer. It was the first time I've ever used my Texas drivers license as ID in this country. What would I have used otherwise???
Anyway, we ordered G&Ts and found a blackjack table for about an hour and won a bit. When W called to say that Glastonbury was live on TV, R actually made me answer the phone which discombobulated both W and me for a couple of seconds! I rarely answer other people's phones. I was somewhat out of it for about an hour or so also, because I really had eaten too much and was unpleasantly stuffed and slightly queasy.
After blackjack we moved to poker. I have played blackjack before in the past at a spring formal but with no money: we were given an allotted number of free chips and I won an imaginary $40,000. By the time we got to the poker table, I was coming back to myself, but have never been able to grasp the concept of poker. So R tried to teach me with utmost patience because although I began to get it after a while, sort of, I think I am a hopeless case. He was impressed that I kept us going for a couple of hours though. It's nice winning on someone else's money. He cashed in the chips and gave me a cut, and forced me to admit that I found it "vaguely interesting" because he noticed the point at which I got this look of concentration on my face...
Good lord have mercy, the boy is just a bundle of mischief and really keeps me on my rusty old toes. And he wants to know why he gets so many dark looks shot his way?!
So anyway, I have won £50. What should I do with it???
P.S. I have a headache.