Monday, October 02, 2006

Living a lie in Dorset

A shattering weekend of d i FUCKING y and children. Not sure exactly which one drives me over the edge, but to the edge I have been driven. No matter what people say about how hard kids can be before you have them, nothing prepares you for the situation whereby you need to get something finished, like fix the last couple of wall tiles to the tiny bit of wall the area of which was a far cry from what you have envisaged, and you need to pop out quickly to get another bag of adhesive and you are faced with that expression of “Right. Now, I’m not going to move an inch, instead standing here with my head cocked to one side and my eyes big and glancing upwards radiating with the enjoyment of watching you fucking disintegrate”.

But it’s not even that, nor the having to end every third situation by carrying her sideways into another room. It’s the dichotomy of standing there filled to the brim with rage for the relentless timing and pointlessness of it all, and being full of respect for and even in awe of this tiny creature before you so determined to make a stand – just for the hell of it. Willing to go without pretty much anything in exchange for her stubborn honour. It’s a wonderful madness.

So I left the Wife to tile proper while I took them in the car with the express intention of not stopping until they were flat out. It was Sunday after all, and I could sit anywhere with a modest view and read my paper in between bouts of torrential rain. That anywhere turned out to be one of the emergency entrances/exits of the runway at the airport, the very same spot in which I had a memorable moment with the eldest, a picnic and bottle of Chablis between the knees that splendid time. This time a pipe did the trick, for all of the ten minutes I got before the fucking baby started screaming again.

I had, in fact, come out here to try for some bones at the shop (tomorrow I am going to celebrate the fact that I do not work Wednesdays anymore by making the first of two great stocks). But it was closed, so tonight we ate again from the fridge for fuck-all. The chorizo had put me in the mood for a curry, not to mention the daily smell wafting from the horrific take-out place around the corner, and there’s not much better a way to use four chicken thighs (anything else might leave you in danger of tasting one). So I threw together a chilli stew, while tandem-cooking the bairn’s chicken broccoli and pesto pasta.

And the news of the weekend is that Hugh Fearnly Twitteringsville has joined the fucking Guardian, opening his weekly and presumably well remunerated column with an informal biog explaining why you shouldn’t hate him for being a professional food writer supposedly living the dream on his riverside cottage in Dorset. Not quite sure I got his thesis, but it was nevertheless interesting to have my stereotype challenged. Okay, so some of it I had got right -- the public school bit for example. The year above David Cameron at Eton, as it turns out, not that it makes much difference. He then did philosophy at Oxford, leading him naturally a jobs as a commis in the River Cafe.

I can just picture him there, the big loafing fop convinced of his own importance (what is it with that place and weird, power and cash crazy media types?) and using all his prep time to marvel obsessively at his own genius, so much so that he didn’t realise he was part of a team and that nobody gave a shit how plummy his tomatoes were. And so he was fired.

He reckons he didn’t fancy sticking it in the high-end restaurant scene, “having your head dunked in the stock-pot and being called a talentless c**t”. No, Hugh, just “c**t” I think you’ll find. And then he takes a flying trip up his own fat arse, taking off with the paragraph “I am aware that some people are now of the opinion that I have the perfect job. And I am aware that, on all the available evidence, their opinion seems well-founded.” Fucking hell. What wouldn’t you give for ten minutes in a room with him and a heavy utensil? I stopped reading. He’s a brand, and he will therefore bleed himself to death.

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