For many, stress is an inescapable affliction. Regardless of circumstance - a good job, a decent wage, a clean bill of health - worry is ever present and manifests through things which really are of no consequence. Do these shoes match my shirt? Did I buy the right sofa? Why is that windowsill dirty? Is this milk fresh?
The horror. The horror.
These are the worries of a spoilt generation, of which I'm a poster child. Some stresses do seem legitimate though. Success and health are no guarantee of a stable relationship, for example. And then there's paying for a meal, of course, when you are 'oh so used' to getting them paid for you. What's that piece of paper? A bill?! Christ on a tricycle! Surely that's not for me?
But I soldier on. I'm a fighter. I don't let these things get me down. It's all a positive mental attitude. Sure, today I had to grit my teeth and pay my share. Tomorrow is another day though and there's always a free dinner waiting around the corner. Chin up, head high.
Sticks'N'Sushi helped. The professional staff and cool, calming interior did well to sooth this troubled soul (what a segue from ramble to review. Seamless). The waiters patiently waited, as their title suggests, while we poured through the two menus, ogling the pictures of sushi and meat sticks, before settling on a half-metre mixed sushi plate and accompanying skewers.
The plate was a sushi lovers dream. Fish, rice, and roe, organised in matching regiments with Japanese precision. Delicious. All of it. Well, perhaps not the sweet, sticky tofu parcel. It was like a rice pudding, wrapped in a thin soggy crust of batter. Not for me. The meat was far better. Tender beef falling off the skewer and making a mess of the chic black Scandinavian table. I blame the chef for the crumbs. The chicken, with charred, caramelised leeks, wasn't quite as good, but it's chicken - it can't play ball with beef.
For once, I was full. No room for a pudding, even though a tray of four tasters sat on our table, tantalisingly close to my spoon hand. Instead, a black coffee, sipped while the staff attempt to froth up a matcha tea for the second time. Professional and persistent. They managed it in the end - a ritual I've never seen before and I'm not sure if entirely worth the effort. Unlike visiting Sticks'N'Sushi, worth the effort completely, even if you have to open your own wallet and pay. Wow. Another seamless segue. I'm on fire.