Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Graziano's

Oh my goodness am I tired today. However it is due to a really good night out so can't really complain.

First though other matters. My cough and irritated lungs seem to be calming down. I woke up this morning feeling a lot less restricted in my breathing and have lost the really deep chesty cough I've had to put up with for the last two weeks. I'm hoping this means I'm finally on the mend and it is not just a 'good' day. I have developed another problem though, muscle pain and stiffness. This is a sure sign of to much steroid use so I'm going to have to start cutting back again. Always a flaming juggling act.

Work was fine though the mood is still very down and people are starting to fly off the handle at the slightest provocation. I really miss the lovely happy atmosphere we had before things got messed about. I wonder whether it will ever return.

A bit of excitement broke up an otherwise rather dull day. We had two fire alarms, both turned out to be false but it meant tramping down into the car park to stand in the rain on both occasions. Fortunately we got notification that the second one was a mistake before I'd left the room so that saved me a trip. The causes were someone trying to cook something and a wasp.

So back to last night and my first proper night out in over a year. I don't get out much due to problems with my meds, there seems little point in going to a restaurant when you have so little appetite, and my continual fatigue. I'm usually tucked up in bed by nine thirty each night. Therefore, as you can imagine, last night was a real treat.

My brother and his family are down from Edinburgh for a week to see the sights of London. They are staying in a hotel in Watford so we arranged to meet up for a meal. After checking out some of the restaurants in Watford we decided to stick with what we knew and booked a table at my favourite Italian restaurant, Graziano's in Dunstable.

As my brother has no car, they travelled down by train, we drove down to collect them. Peter and myself in my car and Andrew and Laurence in Laurence's car. As a result we were able to give them that unique experience, a traffic jam on the M1. This one was between junctions five and six and was caused by a multi car pile up that temporarily closed the road while police officers scurried about picking bits of car off the tarmac.

Once at the restaurant we were greeted by the owner, who is a natural comedian, and were soon perusing the menu. I really didn't need to look as I always have the mozzarella in carrozza, which is a deep-­‐fried mozzarella cheese sandwich, served on a hot fresh basil and tomato sauce and is absolutely delicious. Now this is a starter and before I fell ill I used to enjoy a main meal as well. On the last couple of occasions I've avoided the main but being a special occasion, and because I was starving, having not eaten since midday, I chose the gnocchi al pomodoro, potato pasta dumplings tossed with fresh basil, garlic & tomato sauce, which were also fabulous but too much for me so unfortunately after a couple of mouthfuls I had to admit defeat. Everyone else cleared their plates and all agreed it had been a really good meal.

If you are ever in or around Dunstable and fancy a really good meal in a small, intimate restaurant check out the website. www.graziano.co.uk  One word of warning though. The restaurant is situated in a basement and the only access is a steep, narrow flight of stairs. I had to be dragged up them with John pulling from the front and Laurence pushing at the rear but it was definitely worth it.

The drive back to the hotel was fast and uneventful as it was now approaching eleven. I drove as Peter had enjoyed a beer and we made it to Watford a lot quicker than we had the first time around. There was a small blip. We had to access the motorway by going through Houghton Regis because the main road through Dunstable was closed for road works. No one minded though as, having never been in this part of England before, our guests found it all very interesting. The problems occurred on the way back, well it is impossible for me to have a night out without something going wrong. Just after junction six four lanes of motorway were filtered down to one lane due to roadworks and you can imagine the chaos that caused. Even at that late hour traffic was backing up really badly. The overhead signs keep warning us of 'workforce in road' but in the miles of jam and then single lane traffic we didn't see one person working anywhere. How infuriating is it when they do that!

I finally fell into bed tired, full and happy around midnight. Fortunately I have today and tomorrow off so I was able to sleep in this morning.

So today is going to be a rest day, fortunate really because Murray is playing in the quarter finals at Wimbledon this afternoon. A perfect excuse to sit and do absolutely nothing for a couple of hours. Before that however, I have three hungry men to feed.