Everybody Knows a Ben


As we know, I have a tendency to lose/break/destroy pretty much every phone I have. The frequency has diminished slightly since my streak of 6 phones in one year, but more often than not you’ll find me with a smashed and not fully functioning phone in hand, or else a shit nokia (which I secretly love for its week-long charge and ultra useful torch). So when I discovered my Samsung S3 could go on no longer with its battered case and broken charging socket, I wasn’t as surprised as some may be. It does get to the point after a few phone mishaps that you learn to take it on the chin and not fret over lack of communication for long periods of time. However, this phone situation I had landed myself in proved to be particularly problematic when trying to organise a rendezvous with two rather commonly named Bens.

It occurred to me that I’d been working in Bristol for 3 weeks and had been so wrapped up in the stress of sorting my life out and striving to stick to something vaguely resembling a routine that there were a number of people I hadn’t made the effort to see. So around the time of my phone palava I was attempting to organise reunions with a few people, two of these people called Ben. It got to Sunday night and I had transferred all my numbers over to the shitbrick (or so I thought..) so my actual phone could be sent off to the insurance (they MUST be bored of me by now). In all this confusion of phone swapping I had on the nokia a text message I believed to be from a certain Ben inviting me for dinner the next day, so after a sweaty hip-hop dance session and a walk in the rain I headed over to this Bens house (looking sufficiently dinner ready, as you can imagine). He invited me in, offered me tea, and as we were chatting I had a phone call and then a text from Ben. Yet here Ben was standing in front of me, most definitely not calling or texting me.

My brain generally doesn’t work all that fast so it took me a while to click, but it finally hit home that I was supposed to be in a very different location about 15 minutes previously. The Ben whose house I was currently sitting in found this quite hilarious and wondered aloud how strange it was that I thought I had been invited to dinner (he’s a nice boy). I came to the conclusion that it was probably better not to confess and to just pretend I was running late, so I downed my tea and headed out into the rain to storm it up to other Ben’s house. Another slight downside of the shit phone – it has no form of satellite navigation. I had a vague idea of where I was heading to but ended up going rather a long way round which didn’t help with the stress, and frankly, didn’t help with my drowned rat appearance.

So almost an hour late, I finally track down the correct house where I am welcomed by Ben and James, their housemates, and a spectacular-looking dinner which due to my tardiness had a slightly neglected appearance. I’d made some cookies for whomevers house I ended up dining at but as a result of my adventure across the whole of Bristol they were looking a little bit sad (still tasted good though, nothing can stand in the way of my cookie-making skills). Once I had recovered from the speedy walk (there was way too much exercise involved in this evening) I settled down to enjoy a beautifully prepared meal of bolognese. There was even a special alteration to this classic meal, in the way of an exciting pasta slash rice kind of thing which I believe was called orzo. A debate about the naming of this specialty occurred during the meal, but I’m going to stick firmly with orzo. As dinner progressed a much needed catch up ensued, involving a great deal of hilarity and a fair amount of banter aimed in my direction (always to be expected).

In the end I had a lovely evening and enjoyed some fabulous food (applauding the cooking skills of dear Ben and James here) which made the hassle of my useless communication methods worthwhile. I very much appreciated my little dinner stop, even if this Ben’s location did not seem favourable when I had the walk ahead of me! (Although this was obviously mainly due to my terrible sense of direction – you’d think a geographer would have a slightly more reasoned approach to a journey but apparently not). From now on I’ll be sure to arrange only meetings at my house so that even if someone unexpected turns up I can cover up my surprise by acting overenthusiastic and offering them cookies in the hope that they will never suspect a thing.

P.S. plug for my ‘namespiration’ – absolute fave band and very fitting name: The Austin Francis Connection – Everybody Knows Dave 


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