I am not fond of 'lavatory' humour. Nor do I like slapstick, feeling uncomfortable about clowns. I distrust a surfeit of cheap wine though the snob in me, never far from the surface, can take an excess of good alcohol. Whilst being an avid and, I hope, comprehending reader I am incapable of reading a recipe and following it. All this came together on Saturday night. I have recently been the guest of an eminent wine and restaurant critic at a Loire Valley wine tasting and gourmet meal. Flushed by my new-found knowledge I am serving Ackerman brut rose confident that though half the price of a cheap champagne it will be twice as good. Stirring a goodly quantity of paprika into a meat dish - the Delia recipe says a teaspoon so I am reckoning if one teaspoon is good then five will be even better - it suddenly hits me that I have lost my diary. Since mine is not a house in which anything is allowed to be lost I rethink my day and know exactly where it must be. Checking that my guests are tucking into the second bottle and scoffing home-made cheese straws - Mr Brain has said if there are any left over we could make an extension to the house, them being big and solid - I excuse myself and dash to the car. Fleeing to Nailsworth I ponder the matter of what is in the diary. My life. Its value to a blackmailer lies not in what is there but what is not. Where are the appointments to the dental hygienist, so long over-due? I am shocked by my total reliance, not on modern technology, but this little book which rules my life. It is there, safely held by Hobbs Bakery, and I clutch it to my breast. I am tempted to stay since on Saturday night they have a bistro which is giving off delicious smells and seductive warmth. I have lost confidence in Delia's meatballs. But I dash home to my unconcerned guests who watch as I open and consume a bottle of champagne. I had asked the wine expert, in my self-absorbed way, if I were a wine which would it be. Flattering, he said a Blanc de Noir champagne from Michel Drappier from Urvill in the Aube. It is delicious. He also told me to try Aldi Rioja reserve which comes in at under six pounds but I don't identify with that so readily. Meanwhile a guest is expounding the virtues of one of his companies that sells environmental bidets. He claims they save the forest. I drink to that.
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