It was Elizabeth's birthday yesterday. Being the gentleman I am, I didn't ask her age. To celebrate we went out to Anuba, a new bar on Park End Street. Can you see what they've done there? Being the sickeningly punctual man that I am I was there for the opening at 7.30pm. Four years in this country and I still can't get the hang of continental time and give up on lifetimes anal retentitiveness. Here's a tip. If it starts at 7.30, tell me it starts at 8. Three years in the 'shire and I've never been out on Park End Street, despite that Matt and Gareth are often found spinning at Thirst bar, a mere 20m further up the road. Sad really. Anuba is managed by Rob, a Scottish born south african looking bloke. Rob goes out with Jo, who designs jewellery. Having spent a lot of time talking to them last night I thought I'd throw in a quick plug - you can peruse her creations here.
Elizabeth is into fashion. A year and a half or so ago she did a colours course, and she decided she need to practice her new found skills. So for an hour I sat in front of a mirror and studied the imperfections of my face while she draped various colours on me. The hour passed, I grew familiar with the acne that should really have passed before I hit 30 and then learnt that I was a warm and deep autumn. I enjoy throwing that fact into conversation.
Earlier this year Elizabeth put on a fair trade fashion show at part of Women's Week in Oxford. She managed to commandeer the Oxford Town Hall, as well as a bagpipe player. When it comes to bagpipe players, I believe you could murder one in front of 100 people and there would be no witnesses. Two weeks ago I heard one through the traffic in Kuala Lumpur. The bastards get everywhere. Since then she has managed to go from strength to strength. On the 8th of October she is putting on another such show. Except this time it is in Paris as part of Paris Fashion Week. This little fact just happened to creep out in conversation last night. There is a lot to admire in her humility. I was floored when she told me. You can read more about the show here.
So last night I hung out with fashion designers, jewellery makers, night club owners, models as well as the usual crowd of trainee vicars, graduated vicars, hairdressers, actresses, lazy students, and youth workers. Once DJ Gareth finished spinning his tunes (only to be hijacked at the end by DJ Matt who needed to spin Peyton's Higher Ground - which in turn was hijacked by Simon, the co-owner) we were ushered up to the VIP lounge at the Bridge. Now, I'm a pub man most of the time - give me a pint and the associated old man's decor (preferrably with pictures of dogs playing cards or snooker) and I am a content old soak - so I felt particulary smug strutting past all the plebs in the crowded non-VIP lounge into the slightly more crowded VIP lounge. But as by now I'd made some new friends, been wowed my friends achievements and (more importantly) knocked back three Moscow Mules I was in heaven. I need to get to know more bar owners...