Monday, September 18, 2006


I feel as if I have been beaten up. I have been worked hard. My hands are cut to ribbons and the areas that aren’t feel like sandpaper. I can barely move without aching pains, my lower knees red and bruised from kneeling on concrete. My quadriceps can only just power stance. But there is progress to show for it: a beautifully tiled floor. And a meal of yesterday’s roast beef.
I knew I would look like an idiot before my hard-grafting plasterer uncle if I started to piddle around preparing a full meal on the little work surface we had in the little time allowed. But all I had to do was slice a few tatties and throw them into a tray with some garlic, rosemary, oil, salt and pepper. Forty minutes later and out came the warming sight of caramelized edges and soft squidgey centres, thrown out on the table with a plateful of thinly sliced cold roast beef and a big bowl of salad dressed with the Dijon gloop I’d prepared yesterday. It was an appropriate and pleasant celebration of the day’s efforts. And then I handed over - with difficulty - a litre of my favourite and now redundant dram, thanked them for the pain, and waved goodbye.

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