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Social whirl (with bonus non-etymology)

It takes two-three years for me to really feel I've settled in a new place. I've been back in the UK for two-and-a-half years now, and I had the sort of weekend which made me feel settled, the sort of social whirl which is exhausting if it happens to frequently, but ever-so-satisfying now and again.

There was easterbunny's baby shower and J.'s dinner party; there was brunch with the long-lost C., and book acquisitioning and cake-eating with rosamicula. Since, I helped celebrate nisaba's aging, and met the mythic steer. I discovered I don't know him, which was a relief; I thought I might, and had been uncertain about this for years. Alas, I began our acquaintanceship by shaking his hand over the back of a chair, a quick way of whacking someone else's hand against immovable wood while intending to be polite.

The best thing I have eaten this week was at J.'s: plantain fritters topped with a dollop of guacamole and a squeeze of lime. The apple crumble at Charlotte's Place was awfully good too.

Apropos of a conversation earlier this evening: The OED has no idea where the word "gazump" comes from - "Origin uncertain". It originally meant "to swindle" and, for all I know, may still mean that as well. I've only heard it with regards to houses in the UK, and never before here. It means that the seller of a house reneges on his/her verbal promise to sell the house to one person, and sells to someone else instead. Here are the OED's oldest two exemplars of it:
1928 Daily Express 19 Dec. 2/7 ‘Gazoomphing the sarker’ is a method of parting a rich man from his money. An article is auctioned over and over again, and the money bid each time is added to it. Ibid., I ‘gazoomphed’ a friend of mine with complete success last night. 1932 G. S. MONCRIEFF Café Bar xvii. 185 'Ere 'e is..parasitin' on people all day..and then 'e objects to a little gasumph! Ibid. 187 That's all we are, gasumphers an' researchers of tripe.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 6th, 2008 09:45 am (UTC)
You know, I heard that word a few months back on some house-buying programme and it was the first time I'd ever heard it myself (gazump, that is).

Apple crumble sounds faboo - I've not had ANY recently! Are you a custard, poured cream or ice cream girl?
Mar. 6th, 2008 09:46 am (UTC)
Cream by choice, but ice cream is pretty good too with crumble.
Mar. 6th, 2008 10:52 am (UTC)
I'm an ice cream girl - just can't get my head around the cream thing. Graham LOVES it though (and would have cream ON his ice cream if I let him, I think).

See, you're assimilating just fine ;)
Mar. 6th, 2008 11:45 am (UTC)
I'm looking for good brunch places as I really feel like having some soon. I noticed that the Curve restaurant at the Mariott at West India Quay is doing a Sunday brunch now but it's an eye-watering £37 per person. If it's fabulous with lots of good veggie things to choose from I don't mind that kind of money but if it's to be plain omelette, chips and beans then I won't be bothering.
Mar. 6th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
There are no good brunch places in all of London.

Let me revise that. My first year here, we tried to find good brunch places, where good=quality NA-style brunches - and were perennially frustrated. Hotels probably are the way to go for finding decent NA-style ones as opposed to brunch=Sunday roast which is what some places seem to believe.

Despair aside, here's an eGullet thread on the subject of finding brunch in London which may be helpful: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=112207
Mar. 6th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )