I had a friend over for my famous mushroom risotto and went out to buy ruby grapefruit juice. This is my answer to those who want chadonnay. It is a surprising drink with a fruity start and a sharp aftertaste.
When I came back my sweet golden puppies had shredded my new and unread copy of the London Review of Books, a subscription gift for Christmas. I was quite upset.
‘Bad dogs!’ I said firmly as they sat adoringly in frnt of me with shreds of literary criticism dangling from their sharp little teeth. Saying ‘Bad dogs!’ in a firm voice is about as firm as I get in puppy training. I explained to them that I am culturally isolated and have to write sophisticated articles for people who have the Palladio exhibition and talks by Ian McEwan on their doorstep, while I live in a philistine wilderness and long for crumbs of cultural savvy.
‘Yip! Yip! Crumbs, yum-yum! Love, eat, sleep, prey on mice! Gobble up mommy with love! Beg for biscuits! Eat, sleep, run wild! Talk puppy babble, mommy!’
‘Huggie-wuggies for itsybitsy hottie-totties!’ I said happily, gathering the bad beasts into my arms.
A little sentimental sugar and spice works for me.
The friend came round and raved about the mushroom risotto — arborio rice, wild mushrooms sauteed lightly in butter, homemade chicken stock, grated flakes of Parmesan cheese, uninterrupted attention while ladling stock into the risotto and stirring evenly – and said she will bring her own wine in future, does not share my informed palette when it comes to ruby grapefruit juice.
Call#12 from my seafaring housemate, marooned off the West Coast. She has been looking at fish factories near Saldanha Bay all morning and now the ship is turning around and sailing back to Cape Town. Her favourite sailor is nicknamed ‘Smurf’ and he has a boyfriend with a multicoloured moustache, one side grey and the other blond with a little ginger frosting. The women go mad for him.
‘You should see them slowdance together,’ said Una. ‘Erection paradise.’
This is a quick glimpse down the whirling kaleidoscope, currently showing the wonderful, absurd and entertaining life sobriety has given me one day at a time.