Is it possible to have better heroes

As is so often the case, it has been a strange week. The Traveller left for the South of France in the early hours of Sunday morning and we had a last meal together on the Saturday evening. I did not get much sleep on the Saturday night and I dozed listlessly until about 9-30am when I decided to get up. A pretty much uneventful day followed and then I fell asleep on the couch and finally went to bed at around 11pm. I could not move in the morning and so stayed in bed until the following morning and went into the bathroom feeling exhausted and at deaths door.

I do not know if any of you have ever looked into the mirror and saw an owl staring back at you. Well I did and a pair of bright yellow eyes and a skin pallor that looked decidedly unhealthy peered nervously back at me from the mirror. I am renowned for not panicking until something goes wrong; indeed it is only when something does go wrong that I do panic. Remembering that the last time I saw someone looking like that they were dead seven days later I indulged in some serious panicking. This was compounded by the fact that my water works had literally gummed up and I was trying to pass bright yellow porridge. I panicked for England.

Bean Counter was despatched to the doctors as I was to unwell and too exhausted to go and she returned with some serious antibiotics and the instructions to contact the doctor if things do not improve within 48 hours. I drank gallons of water to try and thin things down in the waterworks department and started on the antibiotics. 48 hours later and there is a marked improvement. Sometime later this afternoon I have to attend a pre-op appointment at the local hospital and then I am going to contact the doctor with the results from my pre-op assessment and to discuss further my change from Caucasian to Chinese.

It is perhaps fitting that I should mention the passing of two of my heroes within the last week or so. The first is Keith Waterhouse whose column firstly in the Daily Mirror and then the Daily Mail I read avidly for as long as I can remember. The man was the author of some 60 books and numerous plays and a lover of champagne and it is from him that I often draw inspiration to write. I could never write a novel as I do not have the patience for all of that crap but I love writing whether it be letters, diary entries or essays and dissertations. Keith made everything he wrote humorous but with a point that made you want to continue to the end and then absorb all of the points he made with a smile. I have tried to do the same, you the reader will be the judge of whether or not I have succeeded.

The second is a man who was the ultimate inspiration for any who was ever drawn to the kitchen with a bottle of wine. It can only be Keith Floyd. I loved watching his programmes from the early day’s right up until the last. I particularly enjoyed the way he threw in a bit of this and a bit of that and perhaps a glug or two of something else. He seemed to revel in the fact that cooking was not an exact science but something to be enjoyed and to have fun with and of course no cook should enter the kitchen without a bottle or two of something. I have tried to emulate in some way or other these two characters, in fact the blog was originally intended to be a barbecue blog but as the weather is so damn unpredictable that has rather got lost along the way. Floyd made me love cooking or messing about in the kitchen as some have said and Waterhouse made me enjoy writing about it.

Sadly both characters are no more; I will miss the pair of them although I never met either. The raconteur and the bon viveur, it would be nice one day to be compared to either. Providing the Doctors sort me out and quickly then at some point in the future I will be raising a glass to Messrs Floyd and Waterhouse. It is possible to have better heroes?


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