Thursday, December 08, 2005
turning tea into wine...
This is my winter coat. Not the overcoat, the Shirley Temple and facial hair, it protects my delicate skin from the ravages of winter.
Home sweet home. I managed to get a flight back that allowed me to pick up the boys from the kennels, so we've walked and chatted about what they got up to over the last few days, "ruffle scruffle, gggggrrrrreowww" said Charlie. I've no bloody idea what it all means but he seemed pleased. The overwhelming impression I get is that they did their best to find anything that was rotting, or unusually foul smelling and roll around in it.
Apart from the general wellbeing of having a personal bum shaped dent in the sofa, and knowing how to work the shower controls the whole coming home thing was a bit lack luster . Two wet, smelly dogs, luggage, a dark landing an inordinate amount of post for just a few days. I've just found another reason to celebrate too, not only am I a zoo keeper, I'm a museum curate too.
I swore ages ago that every time I bought a new article of clothing I would throw one away. Somebody once described to me a very sensible rule, if you haven't worn it for twelve months, then it's unlikely that you will ever wear it again. It's true, but I am a hoarder. I was really hoping that those stripey nylon tank tops would come back into fashion.....but the beans certainly won't. I should have applied a similar rule to my kitchen cupboards you see. I've been a bit negligent on the shopping front, and while I remembered to pick up the bare essentials like bread and milk on the way home, I forgot that my place was in a state of victular negligence that would have shocked Old Mother Hubbard.
There was however a tin of beans in the cupboard, behind a rather tatty and ancient looking packet of Ryvita. Actually lets discuss the contents of the cupboard, just for context: Ryvita, coffee, tea, lemon tea, green tea, Lea & Perrins sauce, a torch, a can of chick peas, two tins of tuna, tomato ketchup, a roll of tin foil, a packet of soluble aspirin and some vitamin C tablets that are now welded into one very large vitamin C tablet that is too big to exit the container....and a can of baked beans. And I have bread, and butter in the fridge, and a very passable bottle of Valpolicella, in other words...the gastronomic world is my oyster.
On the first crank of the can opener the bean tin let out an audible sigh, the sigh associated with the opening of ancient sarcophagi, or perhaps Pandora's box. I bent down to take a closer look which was a huge mistake, trust me, as it brought my olfactory senses in to play as well. Try to imagine conducting a post mortem on a large animal whose staple diet is cabbage, that died three or four weeks ago, and has lain in a nice sunny spot ever since....your first incision into the gut will give you some idea of the fug that escaped the tin. The fact that I needed to use the can opener in the first place probably should have been an indicator - most tins are 'conveniently' fitted with a stiff little ring pull now that allow you to open the jugular of anyone standing behind you as the lid suddenly gives way with a flourish?
But there, on the lid was a date stamp, which ended in "93". Lummee!! twelve year old beans, Lawks a mercy!!
(Sorry I'm going to stop for a moment to laugh at Toffee, he's absolutely zonked out on their sofa, obviously chasing something in his dreams. His legs are going and his nose is twitching, and he's grumbling and hooting....so much so that he's given me a real fit of the giggles).
Anyway, to my shame, I held the offending can at arms length, not daring to breath in and opened the back door and flung it as far as I could....into the bushes around the garages at the end of the garden. If I see a fox with dysentery over the next few days I will be filled with remorse.
On an entirely different note, I think I may have decided what to do with New Year. Riga, Latvia, to be precise. Why?
A brief trip to Berlin reminded me how much I like to party. It's my party trick, as it were. And if nothing else Berlin is full of the most outlandish night clubs. There appear to be more gay people than pigeons, cross dressing and bondage is almost de rigeur, "Cabaret" really does still exist from smokey jazz bars to art decco and poetry appreciation societies sipping coffee and absinthe...something for everyone, including voyeurs and private dancers like me. (I like to dance, but I don't want to embarrass anyone else by association, so I just get on with it on my own - actually, put like that, it resembles my sex life).
Now a word to the wise. It's cold, very, very chilly, chillier than a polar bears bottom in a cold snap, icy in fact. Take a cab. Don't do what I did. Don't have a shower and then immediately walk out of the hotel into the night to look for a good time and the warm lights of the basement bars and clubs in the alleys and back streets...
...or you will arrive like I did, unable to make any facial expression other than surprise because your hair is frozen solid on your head.