Friday I took the afternoon off and got on a train up to Mirfield, where I was met by my dad and whisked off for dinner before dashing out again into Leeds for a comedy club. It's in a basement bar which I remember going to years back when they had a rather mellow jazz night on. They've completely redone it in the meantime though. The music before the comedy started and during the interval was rather too loud to hold a conversation over very easily, which led to a lot of shouting - not great on a cold. And part way through the first act I suddenly realised what a bad idea it was taking me to a comedy night when I have a cold - but somehow I managed to succeed in neither laughing nor coughing myself sick, with the aid of mum's strepsils and copious quantities of red wine. The comedy was pretty good stuff anyway - with some excellent heckling from my mum :-) We were slightly dangerously close to the stage, but I got away with just a comment on my hair colour and a compliment for knowing the French for a bat. An excellent evening out anyway. And starting early it meant we were home at a fairly reasonable hour - which mean time for cocktails before bed! Mmmm Harvey Wallbangers are good.
I slept in pretty late on Saturday morning, and then did a bit of geeking on my mum's behalf. Bought her a domain for her birthday party invitation webpage :-) Still need to sort out the details but I'm working on it. Decided I was too ill to spend the afternoon wandering around the fair in the cold, so mostly spent a quiet afternoon, with a bit of shopping in Huddersfield with mum and dad. Turns out it was the right answer: the others got to the fair and discovered that while it's normally open from 1pm there's a small notice on the gate saying "except match days" when it doesn't open til 6. Apparently they spent the afternoon in the pub instead.
Still, mum and dad and I eventually piled ourselves on the train into town to meet them for a drink in a bar called Sandinista's which does pretty mean cocktails, and there was much amusement as Steph and Dave's friends all arrived and presents and cards were opened. Then 17 of us headed round the corner to Fairuz - a rather improbable lebanese restaurant. It's had favourable review in the Grauniad, and the food is lovely, but it's in the bottom of a rather grotty tower block in a very dodgy looking bit of town. 70s grime and concrete, very incongruous. But the chef's mezze for 17 was great fun: lots of dips and things with pitta to start with, which had us almost stuffed, followed by chicken and kofte with interesting rice and couscous, and assorted small cakes and pastries for afters: with a candle stuck in one of them which Steph and Dave carefully blew out simultaneously on the count of three. All washed down with lots of red wine and some rather nice prosecco (italian bubbly) which was Alastair's birthday present to the two of them - v generous! It was a lovely evening anyway: I was sitting next to Kathryn who I've known since we used to live next door to each other when I was 7, and she's great and it's always nice to talk to her - and she's got a rather lovely new bloke too - bit of a toy boy! And me and dad got to talk tech for a bit with Dave and George, much to mum's amusement. Poor Dave seems to be taking turning 30 very badly, which really cracks me up, but he was graceful enough to make a speech, despite claiming not to be drunk enough. And I'm sure he'll get used to it in time. Emily was being Des for the night and kindly drove us home for a cuppa before bed at 1am.
Sunday morning I actually set my alarm - for 10:45, which meant I was up in plenty of time for an 11:30 brunch. Fruit and yogurt and juice, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toasted muffins, then danish pastries and pain au chocolat and nice coffee. Yum. Then we sat and talked and watched Steph and Dave open the rest of their presents til it was time for me to go get my 3pm train home, tired but happy. And home with just enough time for a quick nap before I had to head out again for the night's gig. Of which more anon. A great weekend.