“It’s Luke’s surprise birthday drinks, will you come?”
The Hula Bar, off Stevenson Square, is a hidden gem. Tucked away down some stairs is a cocktail menu worth much wider exposure. Rum, rum and more rum is on the menu – they have ninety-odd varieties – and it’s mixed in some wonderful ways. We had a Mai Tai, a Mojito and a pair of Zombies, each of which was exquisite. And I got to meet some of Laura’s colleagues.
“Winnie*,” asked one of them, Helen, “do you have any plans over the Easter weekend?”
“No,” said Laura, “I don’t think so.”
“Would you mind looking after my cat?”
That’s pretty fucking cheeky, I thought, Helen asked Laura about Easter as if she was going to invite her to a party, not as if she was going to try to palm off her bloody moggy on her for the weekend. How backhanded! I fumed inside. How dare she exploit Laura’s good nature like that!
We tried the African Emporium, but yet again it wasn’t open for food. We got inside, and met the man, but the refurb meant that there was no chance of us eating goat that night. Gutted. We headed for a backstreet curry joint instead, and ate chicken saag, spicy chickpeas and chapattis with our fingers.
*Most people know Laura as Winnie. We weren't introduced that way, so to me she's Laura.