Where'd everybody go?

Second Tuesday of the month yesterday, so it was meetup night. Once again, it was just me, MrPloppy, lytteltonwitch, awhina and meerkitten. We used to get a really good turn out to meetups, but for most of this year it seems to have been just the same few people. Not that there’s anything wrong with lytteltonwitch or awhina (or the kitten, for that matter!) – they’re both nice people (but then I have to say that, because I know lytteltonwitch reads this diary ;-)), and we always have fun when we get together – but sometimes it seems silly organising a regular Bookcrossing meetup when it’s just us, and we could get together any time. I think the basic problem is that some of the old crowd have drifted on to other things, and we haven’t been making the effort to attract newbies. I really should start going through the member lists for Christchurch again and inviting new members to the meetups (that’s what Mothercat used to do, and it worked really well – it’s what got me coming to meetups!), but I just haven’t had the time this year. Plus of course, there’s always the worry we’ll inadvertantly invite a certain troublemaking local member who’s been known to set herself up new Bookcrossing accounts on a regular basis… I’d really prefer not to get into correspondence with her again (or even worse, for her to turn up to a meetup!)

The venue was a bit of a disappointment, too. We went back to The Coffee House (which was purely my fault, because I’m the one who’s supposed to post the details of each month’s meetup on our Yahoo group, and I completely forgot this month, so it defaulted to last month’s venue) and the service was even worse than last time. MrPloppy and I arrived and found lytteltonwitch already there. She’d ordered a drink, and the waitress brought it as we were sitting down, but didn’t bother to check if we wanted to order a drink too, and didn’t come back for about 15 minutes. When she did come back it was to bring a jug of water, at which point we managed to point out that we were still waiting to order drinks. When awhina and the kitten arrived they were similarly ignored. Eventually a different waiter arrived and took our food order (and a drinks order for awhina and the kitten). The kitten wasn’t keen on anything on the menu and said she just wanted bread, so awhina ordered an entree of a breads and dips platter for her, and the rest of us ordered mains. And then we waited, and waited, and waited… After a while, the first waitress reappeared and asked awhina if the bread had been delivered to our table yet. When she was told it hadn’t been, she bustled off as if she was going to bring it straight back… and disappeared. There were still no signs of awhina and the kitten’s drinks yet, either. Another 20 or so minutes passed before they finally brought the bread, by which time the kitten was getting very hungry and very agitated (she’s only 10, and not used to eating so late). Then finally the rest of the food and drinks arrived.

I worked out it took about an hour between awhina and the kitten arriving and the food being served – it’s a good thing we hadn’t ordered several courses! And even then they hadn’t got it right – they missed the sauce off lytteltonwitch’s chicken, and tried to claim that’s what she ordered, and left the avocado out of awhina’s bagel (to which the waitress said “oh, I didn’t think there was supposed to be any in there” until we pointed out the description in the menu – she then brought a plate with three thin slivers of rather brown avocado on it). I must say in The Coffee House’s defence that the food was really good (once we actually got what we ordered). It’s just a pity that the service is so terrible. They tried to excuse themselves by saying it was a new menu and they weren’t used to it, but I’ve been there three times now, and each time the service was erratic at best. Anyway, if you’ve got plenty of time, and even more patience, I can recommend the food at The Coffee House. Otherwise, avoid it like the plague!

Needless to say, we’ll be eating somewhere else next month.

Of course, here was the usual book swapping in among the waiting for food – I gave Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach to awhina (and finally returned the last of the Artemis Fowl books I’d borrowed from meerkitten), and picked up what look like a couple of good trashy reads: Gravity by Tess Gerritsen and Beware the Dwarfs by Terri Paddock. As exam time approaches I’ll be in need of a few books that don’t take a lot of brain power to read 🙂

A book that started off in my hands, Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby, has been having some exciting adventures lately. After passing through a few controlled releases, it was wild released by linguistkris in an Australian backpackers. From there it’s passed through a couple of other backpackers, and now looks like it’s heading back to New Zealand.

Currently reading: Coming of Age in Samoa by Margaret Mead

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  1. RYC: Pico De Gallo has the following ingredients:

    Jalapeno peppers




    Mix together then add a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar (with a pinch of sugar added), enough to cover the mixture. Add salt, pepper, and garlic to taste. Marinade overnight then you can pour off the liquid portion if you wish, otherwise just leave it.

    I see no reason you couldn’t use a milder pepper such as banana or poblano.

    I used orange and yellow tomatoes in that batch to offset the color of the red japs. Normally I use green japs and red tomatoes.

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