Modern mid-life man has dreams. He has fantasies. For some it is still the perfect car but for an increasing number it’s the perfect porker – they lust over Readers’ Piglets rather than Meno-Porsche Monthly. My other half, Foodie, is a confirmed porco-phile and shows absolutely no enthusiasm for cars until we move from central London to deep Dorset at which point he develops a sudden, late-entry need to motor.
Dark days dishes. The time has come round again. The West-country word ‘dimpse’ is so onomatopoeically apt at this time of year, when the light leaks away so early, so abruptly, and all we can do to counter light-lustrelessness is cook hearty, gutsy, bright, light citrussy dishes and pretend. Pretend that we are in the scented orange grove that fills the kitchen when we make Seville orange marmalade or a steamed pudding dripping with an ointment of lemon, orange or lime-curd. And pretend good intention after the excesses and overkill of Christmas despite the fact that we tend to fail resolutions well before we admit we are defeated, that we have cheated.
I won’t eat puddings in January, I’ll give up drink, I won’t eat cream.
Reader, I’m marrying him. Since moving to Dorset we have home-grown a free range ring-bearer each plus one bridesmaid. In the first year of our thirteen together without a drama, crisis or major distraction, we are sailing away with them, our mums and two old friends to the land where the Bong-tree grows for a wedding-moon.
Big things come in small packages, an aphorism as true for gifts as it is for the diminutive Polish Delicatessen in Weymouth. Located opposite the train station, the Tardis-like shop sells thousands of Polish foods and drinks in an area the size of a large living room, and though a visit to the shop may not be the same as going to Poland, it is certainly the next best thing.