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You cannot be serious man!

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Back in the UK about 8 weeks now, and as Arnold says, let’s get serious.

A list of the grown-up, serious things I’m currently occupied with includes;

– trying to a job to support myself, my wife and kid, in London with a modicum of comfort (see below)

– buying a pair of serious shoes – by that I mean brown leather handmade brogues, and definitely NO MORE TRAINERS (Ed. My wife wrote that bit)

– buying a new ‘grown up’ wardrobe – by that I mean, SERIOUS shirts, SERIOUS jumpers and SERIOUSLY expensive accessories (…no more jumpers that make you look like a hip-hop wannabe from the ’90s…)

– having serious conversations like:

Wife – “when you have a minute let’s talk about what nurseries to sign Ashley up to” (Ashley is only 6mo old btw)

Me – “OK”.

Wife – “they’re frikking expensive but if we don’t sign him up now to a Montessori place, he might miss out on life’s opportunities and end up a pauper with no prospects”.

Me – “OK”.

Wife – “So, when are you going to get a job?”.

Me – “Soon” (but only once head stops spinning…)

– Tried and spectacularly failed to sign on for jobseekers allowance

To lighten the weight of all this seriousness, I have:

– bought a new pair of old-school Adidas Torsion trainers – swoon

– played a fair bit of golf

– eaten my body weight in burritos

– had conversations that go like:

Me – “would you rather have spaghetti for eye-lashes or salad for hair?”

Wife – “obvs the spaghetti because you could colour and trim it”

Me – “no you can’t trim it, or colour your spaghetti eye-lashes neither”

Wife – “OK what kind of salad?”

Me – “Frisee”

Wife – “mmm, tough one, but I’d go salad hair”

So life has very definitely got much tougher and more complex. But not on the wine front.

I am LOVING being back in London, and recently took delivery of 6 bottles from my Fine & Rare collection that has been out of reach for the past 2 years.

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Today we had Chateau de Saint Cosme’s 2007 Domaine de la Crillonne Cote du Ventoux – 100% grenache from South Rhone. In 2009 it was given a score of 89 by Robert Parker. I must have neglected to read his review saying that it should be drunk within 1 – 2 years, so we are about 5 years late according to the Master. However referring back to the Wine Society’s 2007 opening offer, the drink window was 2014 – 2016 so either Parker or the good people at the W.S are missing the mark by a country mile…..

Still let’s not be so serious about this; we ate delicious 14 day aged mutton from the fabulous Turner & George, with a ridiculously good gravy, spring greens, carrots and smashed roast waxy potatoes. The wine was DELISH.

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I think Parker had it wrong – shock horror!!!. According to his timescale he was suggesting drinking it at 2009 – 2011. Having cellared this for the past 7 years, I think this wine still has  a bit of aging potential. On the nose it is an abundance of under-ripe blackberries, a hint of spice and slightly of wet leaves. On the mouth it was bursting with firm tannins and red fruit – sour red currant – a slightly gamey flavour and an almost chili-like twang.

With the lamb it was gorgeous regardless of readiness – a perfect, serious, match.

 

You’re like a big bear

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Having been in this country now coming up to 3 months, a certain philosophical air has settled around me.

Realising, no, admitting to myself that I can suffer from some intense periods of self-doubt, is a an uncomfortable thought. Leaving your country, your home, friends and family for a life unknown should be a time to feel confident, ballsy and a bit gung-ho. But home alone for nearly 3 weeks, I have developed a new-found respect for zen Buddhists who wake everyday to undertake the simplest actions – sweeping the path, clipping the bonsai, sipping green tea – that draw them from their uncertainties towards a point of enlightenment, peace and knowing. Read the rest of this entry

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