Yesterday heralded date night with the Geordie, which used to be a weekly event but has recently dwindled to every now and again, but is a much-needed catch up and never fails to make me feel sick with laughter. In light of the fact that we are both skint, with her saving to prove to the boyfriend she is responsible enough to have a kitten for Christmas, we normally have dinner at mine. Never at hers. She lives in that London, and is therefore TOO FAR AWAY.
But last night, due to unforeseen shoe related circumstances (circumstances being that the shoes were potentially going to be returned, so I needed to be as far from the house as possible) we decided to go out. How novel. It’s almost like we are both under twenty-five and in the prime of our lives. And I haven’t got much longer before I fall out of this category, so I was feeling like i should make the effort to get out in the fresh air, and eat something other than dairylea triangles.
The Harvester was the choice, on the merits that its cheap and cheerful, and that the salad cart is legendary. It’s funny how you remember something fondly, like pulling off a scab or going to visit a distant relative, when actually you can’t think of anything you’d rather do less, isn’t it?! It suited a rubbish Tuesday, which didn’t justify an occasion to go somewhere expensive, and was agreed.
We arrived, and politely stood at the service station, while the lady who was milling about completely ignored us. Cue jokes about being invisible (the Geordie and I are the first and third funniest people in the world, or so we think) until the lady behind us, who was quite middle class and unimpressed, commented that the woman “had no class”. This only fuelled the jokes, and we all laughed along together, content in our offended amusement.
Time ticked. And suddenly, out popped one enraged, really quite hungry Geordie.
Grabbing the menus from the side of the little station, she marched me to the nearest table she could find. Good old Northerner, picked the one right by the radiator without a turn off button, and plonked us down, deciding that this was the table of choice. Its November, I am a cold-blooded mammal and therefore I felt like a polar bear in the Sahara.
Server man, whose area we had clearly crashed, was unimpressed.
“You can’t sit there, there is no cutlery” he informed us, although we couldn’t tell which way he was looking as his eyes were clearly having an argument.
April: “We can wait for cutlery, if we waited much longer at the thing and everyone ignored us….” trails off to a Geordie mumble.
Him: “Well you’ll be waiting a long time”
And we were. For she had upset the staff. We waited. And waited.
After about fifteen minutes, I decided to do the salad bar run. AND THERE WERE NO ONION BITS. To give some background, i am a massive salad dodger, and therefore my ‘salad’ there is potato and onion bits. So part of what I was so excited about was missing, and this did not please me. Suddenly, up popped lady-who-was-waiting again, with her husband. He asked her if she wanted a roll and her response was “no dear, they have probably been there for a hundred years” oh god, kindred spirit. And someone had flicked sweet corn into the coleslaw; a heinous crime. I got back to the table, and realised, since the waiter was still angry with us, we had no cutlery. So I sunk to a new low and pinched cutlery off another table, in the Harvester. WOW. April and I shared the one knife and one fork to eat our salad, and twenty-five minutes after her brief chat with the waiter, he came back, safe in the knowledge that he had defeated us.
By that time, we had consumed far too much salad, and couldn’t eat our main courses. Standard. We also felt pretty sick, and wanted to go home and lay down. So I got the bill. Fourteen English pounds for the whole thing.
And that’s why I like the Harvester. The food is rubbish, the staff are rude. The radiators are broken and the tables are sticky. But you can’t expect more really, can you?