Sunday, October 15, 2006

Saturday's papers

Childhood mate of Jamie Oliver and celebrity spoof pig farmer, once broadcast “pleasuring” a boar to harvest semen (or wait a minute, wasn't that Big Brother?), Jimmy Docherty has hit the nail on the head concerning our backward attitude to food. Well, almost: “Inverted snobbery” about good food, he writes in the Times, is preventing the masses -- who, like kids who are too cool for homework, are largely responsible for the supermarket shelves being lined with processed shite and rock-bottom prices in the first place -- from improving their diet.

“People need to realise that there’s nothing posh about caring about good food,” he adds. Okay, so he doesn’t quite make the subsequent and final connection by admitting that it’s his Creative & Media crew that is making people associate class and cash with eating well, but it’s a start.

He looks like a sound enough bloke to me. And his opinions don’t come fucking close to the iatrogenesis of that snuffling sap down in Dorset, the sight of who’s smug face adorning the front page prevented me from purchasing my usual Saturday. But what is it with him and that Australian sommelier of Jamie’s at his making-poverty-history restaurant? They’re like holograms crafted from the same Jamie brand: the agricultural one, the wine & spirits one. Bright, scruffy guys in their early thirties living the dream and selling that dream to us the panicking public lost as to our purpose or goals in life.

[Which reminds me: The people, the Scottish National Trust, who recently advertised for two new families to relocate to the inner Hebridean island of Tiree (population 15) to make it habitable, have been inundated. Tens of thousands of applications from all over, mostly the south east, many from deluded folk in the States in search of their ancestors, all trying to escape the same fucking things.]

And no wonder. This morning, for example, I made a trip I had intended to make all week – a trip to the timber merchant’s to pick up a piece of sill for my FUCKING kitchen. A simple job, for sure, a 1.2m standard piece of wood, thank you very much. And I suspected the place shut at 12 so I made a point of getting there before hand. In fact, it was 8 minutes-to by the time I pulled up at the closed gates. So I left the wain in the car and let myself though to the open shop door at the other side of the forecourt.

“Oh, glad I caught you before you disappeared,” I said, relieved after having already trying last week to do this very same thing and finally standing there in a shop where I knew I was going to find what I wanted. But I was wrong.

“We’re closed, “ said a thick-looking stump of a man in his early twenties. “I’m not serving you,” he added, after I pointed out that it was before 12 in the clock directly above his head. Anyway, I then started to swear at him. I think my bullshit-free attitude at the Office of late is rubbing off. I called him a fat cunt too, and the interaction ended with me screaming “pricks” out of the passenger window as I screeched off and him raising his finger and shouting words to the effect of “fuck you”.

But why did it have to come to this, I beg of you? Who won here? And half an hour later I had a similarly detached encounter with a human-like biped in a petrol station. But my trip ended with friendly faces in the Airport Shop, for which I pad thirty five quid. In return I got a bag of cod cheeks, some smoked haddock and prawns with which to make a killer fish pie to see us through the weekend and, the best part, a hunk of tuna loin which I am going to serve up to a vegetarian friend who has just started to get back into fish, chicken and turkey. A slab of ultra-rare loin then? Perhaps slightly forceful, hence the stodgey back-up. But the fucker nearly killed me. It took two hours, while I also make a fish stock (for some reason, and a veggie stock to cook some beans that are currently saturating in water).

I am literally falling asleep as I write this. High and knackered a the same time. I cannot go on with no sleep like this for days. Children crying all night, behaving in a disturbed manner by day. Mornay sauces splitting, curdling, whatever you want to call it. And the first hint at troubles to come with the wedding catering: a wild–west drink-fuelled diatribe, perpetrated by my Sister, has ceased the flow of free highland produce.

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