Sunday, October 22, 2006

Let Them Eat Cake


You’d wonder sometimes at the amount of things that can go wrong in one day. Saturday started off well enough but little did I know what was in store for me. It was a pleasant enough morning, pissing with rain, but with the promise of a better afternoon to come. I had asked Hannah, Jamie and their friend Tom to join us for supper and I had all day to prepare for it. I settled myself down with coffee, toast and marmalade and a novel. As I bit into my toast I heard the familiar snap of two teeth breaking off my denture. Bloody hell! That’s the fifth time that has happened. I’d been to the dentist on Wednesday and had an appointment to get the thing properly sorted December. And please to set aside £250 for the privilege. So it was out with the Loctite and another amateur repair, except I couldn’t get it to bond and while I was worrying at it a lens from my glasses fell at my feet. I tried to laugh it all off and ended up sobbing with despair and rage at my ill-fortune and decrepitude. I said to Bert, “All my prosthetics are falling apart. If I had implants they’d be exploding and if I had a wooden leg it would be dosed with woodworm.”

It got sort-of fixed. The front fang was sitting well below the rest and any food chewier than penada was to be avoided.

I decided to go shopping for chillies and things. But first fill the car with diesel. You know what’s going to happen next, don’t you? I parked, handed my keys to the attendant and went inside to buy a paper. That completed I return to the car and drive into the village. I get as far as the greengrocers. You don’t drive a diesel car too far when it’s just been filled with petrol. Of course I had no phone with me and of course Bert was out for an afternoon ramble with his chum and had no phone with him so all I could do was get out and walk. I was rescued by Rod, then Ploppy Pants was phoned re damage limitation then there was nothing else to be done until Bert returned to tow the car to Ploppy's place.

Well eventually that all came to pass and I got a ride back to Cully to complete my shopping. By now it was 6.30pm.

After shopping I decided to walk back home to clear my head. Just as I was setting off I saw a commotion ahead. Two large and very dirty dogs, a German shepherd and a labrador, were ambling up the middle of the road causing traffic chaos. As the sole pedestrian at the scene I think some of those drivers were under the impression that I was with the dogs. One driver even yelled at me, “Get your dogs off the road!”

The dog story ended with me being joined by Hannah, Bert et al and between us we managed to capture the German Shepherd but, unfortunately, not the lab as it took to the fields. So now we’ve got a very sad and lonely dog in the back shed and if we don’t find out today where it’s from we’ll be handing it over to the Council Dog Warden tomorrow.

By now supper is running late and I’ve a vegetable curry to put together. The onions are sauted and the cauliflower, peppers, carrots etc. are chopped and ready. The chillies and garlic and spices need to go in and the spuds peeled. Let me stop here and tell you that I’m only a beginner at this curry lark and I don’t really know my chillies. It was a mixed pack and I chose the pale one (Habanero) on the assumption that it would be fairly mild. I chopped it up, kept the seeds in, crushed garlic and shredded fresh ginger and into some hot oil it all went. Within seconds the kitchen filled with hot, acrid, lung-braising fumes. That fume could have been (and probably has been) used as a chemical weapon. Hopeful and undeterred I threw everything else in as well in the (futile) expectation that the rest of the ingredients would tone it down.

Swisser arrived with an organic apple pie. I had already made an unorganic chocolate cake. I told her about the Nuclear Stew we were having for dinner and my fears that it would be inedible. You’ll know what she said.

Despite this advice I threw together a quick cheese, onion and spinach tart, and Bert dashed to the shops with 15 minutes to spare and returned with 6 pots of natural yogurt and a cucumber. He made a raita and the whole thing turned out OK. Only Hannah couldn’t cope with the Nuclear Stew but the rest of us had a good go at it. Swisser even had seconds but I think she was showing off.

Then we ate cake.


Sandra said...

It all sounds very tasty (apart from the Loctite), and, may I say, that's a damned fine looking tart.

Nelly said...

Yes. Swisser is indeed a fine looking tart. No. Wait a minute, let me rephrase that....