Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A chilled-out evening

I had a lovely afternoon/evening yesterday. It was a beautiful summer's day here in Wales, apparently hotter than in Miami! The cancer charity I work for ran a trip to see Miss Saigon at the new Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

Down at Cardiff Bay it was truly like walking around the Med, so chilled out with people of all ethnic minorities chatting outside cafes, yachts bobbing about on the water and just a good feeling all around. My boss, Tracey, said jokingly it would be lovely to move our office to the Bay because of the scenery and ambiance of the place, but I know that we appreciate it more because it's not something we see and do every day.

Karen, Tracey, Sharon and myself found a restaurant overlooking the Bay for a meal. We ordered the chicken in red wine with mashed potatoes and 'a selection of vegetables'. We all sat mouths wide open when the waitress brought our order. The chicken breast was plonked on top of the mash potato, swimming in red wine with sliced courgettes placed preciously like the numerals of a clock all the way around the plate. Call me old fashioned, okay, I'm old fashioned, but I prefer my food served up in little separate piles unless it's supposed to be mixed, like good old spag bol! I think some of these chefs are taking nouvelle cuisine too far, don't you.
The food was edible, but not wonderful and I think I could have easily made it myself if I had whipped up some instant Cadbury's Smash, shoved a piece of chicken on top and sloshed a bottle of red wine all over.

We ordered coffees afterwards which never arrived, so we cancelled them and didn't give a tip, to which the waitress asked politely, "Was everything all right?" "No," replied my manager, "the food wasn't what we expected and the coffees never showed up, we didn't think too much about the service either!"

Afterwards we went into a bar where we chatted to some men from Jamaica. They were colourful characters who teased the life out of us. Karen was convinced that they were in this country playing some sort of sport like basketball, in other words representing their country, until I told her that one of them had been living in Cardiff for the past 15 years.

I was very impressed with The Millennium Centre, it was a huge, classy sort of building. I was relieved at half time of Miss Saigon, that the others expressed what they had been thinking, they just didn't get it, didn't understand the plot. I told them it definitely wasn't my bag either. Someone explained the plot to us while we were drinking our wine during the interval, that made a lot of difference as I found the second half much better. I wouldn't go to see it again. I didn't understand why people were crying either, it just didn't move me at all. Now if they had put The Sopranos on stage I would have been in my element...

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