Wednesday November 29, 2006
A decent outing this morning, to the DIY store, to the pharmacy, to the cat supplies superstore and, last but not least to the supermarket for our daily provisions.
“You got a fancy on for dinner?” I asked.
“Nope. Thrill me.”
“Sorry, I’m a bit low on thrills just now. How would pasta grab you?”
“Fine. What will we have with it?”
“Oh, I shall have to grab a couple of bottles of pre-made sauce, I’m afraid. Not up to standing over saucepans and chopping boards yet.”
In the event I found two small jars of Lloyd Grossman ‘putanesca’ sauce which are perfectly ok but no more than a shadow of the real thing. As soon as Graham’s finished decorating the house and we’ve settled in I shall get him to spend a happy steamy evening in the kitchen conjuring up as large a batch of his own special putanesca as he can manage so’s I can freeze the surplus after we’ve stuffed ourselves silly fresh from the pan. I’m not really a pasta man so lots of very tasty sauce is an essential for me. And good fresh-made garlic bread, dripping with butter that’s been stuffed with more garlic than legal limits permit.
Back home I still had a little wind left in my sails so I judged the outing a complete success. Tomorrow I need the rejuvenation process to have continued or at least not slackened off again. I have to go to Taunton to shop for birthday gifts for Graham. I’ve asked him repeatedly for a list, to no avail, so I’m going to have to be as inventive and innovative as ‘Toys for Men’ permits. And I’ll pop into Marks & Spencer for a decent sweater—he can always take it back for a refund if he doesn’t like it.
I’ve issued a formal warning that I shall cancel Christmas if he doesn’t come up with at least three ideas for things he’d like. I am absolutely useless at buying gifts without some external aid. He knows it. I know it. Even Dolly the Mega-Cat knows it, and she doesn’t do Christmas.
Wasn’t it nice when you could buy a gentleman a nice scarf or a pair of decent gloves or even a small pack of proper linen handkerchieves for birthdays and Christmas and be assured of a successful gift-giving operation? Those were lovely, simple times.
No matter. I shall cook him his favourite dinner on the day, top him up with lavish quantities of his favourite wine, and come the next morning he’ll not remember what he got as a birthday gift. These may no longer be simple times but good booze and safisfying nosh can easily make them seem so.