13 Jun 2007

Ladies' Loo signage

I TEMPORARILY regained insight into the hard-drinking career of the university student last night. Having gleefully finished studies at my university, UEA, Norwich in '02 before moving onto Milton Keynes, also 'favoured-fodder' of comedians, it was unnerving to again see so many young people fervently embrace all manner of things distilled, fermented and brewed, at the University of Warwick.
On arrival, mein host, Vinopolis colleague and American Frontier History student, Edward Arthur Green (not pictured, this is Veneto winemaking colleague, Michelle) greeted four of us with the immortal line, "you're going to have to leave your Alfa Romeo in Tesco's car park overnight because I couldn't be bothered to arrange a permit." Naturally this statement, which fast proved not to be made in jest, filled me with great optimism for the future of my alloy wheels...
At Ed's hall of residence, the exterior of which resembled a 'Camphill Centre', he unkindly offered us a stomach-staple, non-vintage Californian white - 'Hollywood'. This horrific hocus-pocus, 'specially selected by Tesco', proferred insight into a barely tended musky cleaner's cupboard of a wine. For just £2.87, a deeply haunting tally of egg and cress copulated - messily - with stale Mighty White bread aromas. These wafted lethargically, followed by a sludge-like palate, with no discernible aftertaste.
Better, was Cottesbrook '04 Pinot Noir (also Tesco) from various sites within New Zealand's south island. For £6.99, it had smooth edges, a comparitively cossetting texture, and ripe strawberries with a hint of baking spices and nettle. Slightly hot in alcohol, but ultimately forgiveable for this only mildly intrusive flaw.
Other tipples sampled during 'the regression' included burning caramel and hell scented, wretched White Zinfandel on draft and jugs of 'Woo Woo' (Peach schnapps. Vodka and confected Cranberry juice).
This is the ceiling of the lift in one of nearby Leamington Spa's better venues. It also featured an open roof garden with heat lamps and dubious Ladies' Loo signage (which excited frisky Michele).
The town was a beautiful model of middle England. But it could become claustrophobic rapidly.
Overall, an interesting window into the not too distant past. Thank you, Ed.