Saying Goodbye to Baby


About thirty years ago my wife was left a black baby...grand piano, a Bechstein no less. It had belonged to her Grandmother and not surprisingly was held in some affection by her. It was a handsome piece of furniture apart from anything else and so we made the decision to adopt it. During that time we have moved twice, taking baby with us, at great expense, and not a little effort. It's arrival at our current house involved having a grill cut away and the windows taken out. On a previous occasion a crane had been involved!

So like most children 'baby B' was not exactly trouble free. But we loved her and she has been a joy to behold. We are moving again. This time from a four story house to a penthouse apartment and it is time for baby to fly the nest. It is time for her to make a new life for herself, just like us. It seems likely that she will end up in Asia, lucky girl! We are staying in Fulham but I'm sure we will still hear the melodious notes of our girl wherever she ends up.

Refrigerate After openning

I think I'm going to have to buy a new fridge. You know one of those huge industrial ones. And I'm not sure if even that will cope with the ever increasing number of food and drink products that display the dreaded warning, 'Refrigerate After Opening". I mean you expect to put the butter, milk, beer, meat etc in the fridge. But Jam, pickles, marmalade, deserts, I ask you.

Soon it will be tea bags, coffee, shampoo, tinned goods, toilet rolls, furniture polish all manner of strange and exotic products. And what about the traditional fridge residents, how are they going to feel towards their new fridge-mates? Will they give them the cold shoulder, attempt to freeze them out? We could be heading for a new cold war if this continues.

How, why has this happened? It's not that long ago that half the population didn't have fridges. Do the manufacturers save money by leaving out ingredients that have traditionally acted as preservatives? Or they in league with the 'Bigger and better, change your fridge more often' franchise? Whatever the answer, it gets a chilly response from me.

Moving Up


We're moving house. Well, trying to. It's not as easy as it used to be. These days even the agents seem to have agents. Search agents they're called - retained by the wealthy to take the hard work out of looking for suitable properties. Oh to be rich!

We'd been visited by eight people before the first punter showed up. We'd signed innumerable declarations, and of course, hidden all the clutter and junk in various cupboards. The house hadn't looked so good for years. Sorry, darling! The only problem was that the first three potential buyers asked to look in the cupboards!

It's funny what people do ask, one man even wanted to see the gas fire working. I mean why, if you can afford the house surely...never mind!

People were very complimentary, "Your house is lovely" etcetera, etcetera, "Would it be alright to bring the architect and the builder round. Obviously we couldn't live in it like this."
"No, of course not, I wouldn't expect you to. By the way we're leaving the carpets and curtains."
"Thank you, but we wouldn't want those."

At last after stressful negotiations the house is sold (actually 3 times) and now begins the hard work of finding all the things we hid away for the viewing! And completing on the new apartment we're moving to in three months! I don't think we'll be moving again. But then I haven't got through this one yet!

Time of year

End world
No Booking We're British

Choosing a restaurant you want to eat in is difficult enough. I mean it depends on who you're eating with, what time of the year it is, what flavour appeals, what style of cooking your taste buds are demanding. The criteria are endless. But a new breed of middle-class restaurateurs are set on making it even more difficult. I'm talking about the annoying new fashion of restaurants that do not taking bookings.

If you want their cooking, you are meant to turn up on the off chance there is a table available. And if there isn't, be prepared to wait - often on the pavement, until one becomes available. What arrogance, what a lack of understanding about food it demonstrates.

Enjoying a meal isn't just about good food, well cooked and served, it's about anticipation. It's about the occasion. It's about getting up in the morning, thinking about the menu at the restaurant of your choice and starting to decide what you might eat.

It is no good to have gone through this process only to find there is no table. And that they suggest you go to the pub next door and come back in 45 minutes. Or, of course, to another eating place. These restaurants, they probably think of themselves as establishments, are not cheap hamburger joints, they are expensive. How dare they treat us, and the eating experience, in such a cavalier manner. No booking - no customer is my suggestion. After all, its not as if there's a shortage of good places to eat in London these days.