On Saturday we are having two couples to dinner. More interestingly, from my point of view, and for reasons I might make clearer later in the post, one couple is staying the night, thus opening the portal through to Breakfast Heaven. Firstly, the small matter of the dinner menu. After a debate lasting several seconds we have landed on Beef bourguignon on the grounds that most normal people are not quite sure what it tastes like.
This opens the door to a series of ambiguous sound effects, which might or might not be complimentary: I shall give you an insight into what I mean by taking you through my first couple of mouthfuls. Load fork, wink gamefully at the other assembled sophisticates and insert into mouth . “Mmmmm. Grunt. MMMMMM. Oh yes, Yes.” Another wink. Quick slurp of the old Châteauneuf-du-Pape then reload fork. “Mmmmmm. Oh yes. grunt.Mmmmmmmmmm ” and then more nodding. Takes another slurp, think about it and then drain glass, “Not bad, not bad at all”, duck look from the ‘Behaviour in Front of Guests Department’ and refill glass to just below spilling level: and then ease wine spilling threat with emergency slurp. “Yes, that’s good. GOOOD” and nod cheerfully at your fellow diners.
Someone is talking about the threat to the environment posed by increased flying. Nod at them and then wink and say, ” I’m with you son” before realising you are addressing a lady to whom you are not related. Take fresh slurp to cover any embarrassment and see to your hosting responsibilities by opening second bottle. The evening proceeds with an increasingly pleasing lack of focus before you attempt the summit of flavour challenge posed by the apple meringue pie, but now with taste buds dulled to safe levels of incomprehension by the good old Pape stuff, “Another bottle anyone, oh just me then” and we sail to pudding heaven in a cloud of mixed metaphors before attempting to entertain the guests with a rendition of our favourite football chants.
Finally the evening slides to a halt, and you later find you have snored your way through the last third of it. Still, not to worry, two guests are staying, as I said, so there is a decent chance to restore your social standing and a firm call for sausages and bacon while you discuss the latest news from your copy of ‘The Jogging Times’. ” My obsession with personal fitness is never ending but pursued. largely, on a theoretical level only. Still, in the interests of world health, I decline the third sausage: I always lead by example.