For breakfast this morning we enjoyed fresh sage eggs with smoked salmon, purple onion, capers and cream cheese on a date and oat muffin. The beverage was of course a rather smooth African roast bean coffee we found in a charming wee village in Rockingham. It's Siobhan's favourite, but tends to be limited to special occasions or when I find myself in the dog house. Today however, wasn't a special occasion... say no more, eh? At the end of his rather expensive feng shui tour of our home he had finally concluded and was in the process of returning his incense sticks, divining rods, magnetic compasses and wax paper equations back to the rather neat little velvet lined case laying open on my table. As I escorted him through to the hallway I clasped him firmly by the hand and pumped it professionally until I could hear the bones crack in his greedy huckster fingers.
His pain was most probably profuse, but the real damage was done in the cold unsmiling stare I gave him as my eyes informed him that the surname etched upon the name plate at the front entrance to my gates wasn't just similar to the man he had at some point read about in the newspapers. I walked him courteously to his rented Mercedes parked outside on the gravel of my driveway. He hadn't even bothered to remove the tiny giveaway red dot sticker at the top of the windscreen that signified that the true owner of his rather flash chariot was in fact AVIS rather than Confucius. A small detail, but one that was to cost him not only his fee, but also the ability to fasten his tie or button his jacket with such easy dexterity for at least the next couple of months. His neatly written individual invoice was photocopied with just a blank space for his 'most valued client' name to be inserted at the top for his services.
I gifted him with a dozen of my best hens eggs and discreetly whispered into his rather oddly shaped oriental ear that if he ever contacted my wife again in my absence it would most definitely be done by way of a séance. It was a tough choice, but if pushed I would have to say that he evacuated his bowels a hairs breadth ahead of him clearing the two stone pillars that stand either side of my gateway. For a rental car it was surprisingly pokey.
I smiled graciously up at my wife as she gazed down at me through the first floor window. The warmth in her own smile beamed back at me at the way in which her husband had so warmly accepted this latest stranger into our home without quibble. Since her early retirement from her career wearing a black gown and an extremely expensive array of horse hair wigs, she has embarked upon a journey trying to fill the time enriched void which had appeared suddenly upon her horizon.
A feast of amateur theatre liaisons with the local women's guild had failed to satisfy her need for direction. Too young and far too sensible for arranging Gods flowers in the village church had seen the weekly pastime go to her older, rather tweedy, acquaintance of Mrs McFadden from her chosen charity group. Well, Siobhan calls it her charity group, me, let's just say that the witches of Eastwick are still alive and relocated to the west coast of Scotland in my own humble opinion. Charity begins at home with the distribution of love and maternal instincts to those who need a helping hand in life. Not saving spotted leopards in fly ridden jungles half way around the globe so that some Nigerian prince can wear real animal skinned shoes upon his dirty feet as he spends the hard-conned cash from vulnerable people in Europe. My biggest problem? I voice my opinions sometimes when it would be wiser just to think!
Top tips when dealing with the dark side that is known as faux feng shui, make sure your house has a toilet. This can be placed wherever the feng shui approved plumber says is best. If you're lucky you may already find one in the smaller room of your house. This is good for Chi in the lower intestine and colon. In China they squat over a hole in the dirt, but that's for enlightened people only. Best start slow eh? Tip number two, a bed is good for sleeping in. Chi is strongest in the midnight hours so a bed is essential! A bed can also be used for reading, intimate relations and arguing with your spouse in. Interestingly enough, feng shui in Scottish Gaelic actually translates to: Put your wife's unused hobby crap in the garage. We start the clear out tomorrow after breakfast, shortly before the little singing fella will call me and tell me that my presence is required and that I must leave immediately. If all goes well, Siobhan should be finished in time to cook my dinner...
Chefs Apology Breakfast
4 large brown hens eggs
4 large brown hens egg whites
1 pinch of ground black pepper
4 scallions, tops only, thinly sliced
1 purple onion
Philly cheese in a tub
2 thick slices of breaded ham
2 ounces quality thinly sliced Scottish smoked salmon (please... not the cheap supermarket stuff, it is not authentic. Ask for salmon taken from the waters of Loch Fyne, no where else.)
- 1 ounce ounce smoked salmon, thinly sliced
Combine eggs, egg whites and pepper in a small bowl. Stir briskly with a fork until well blended. Heat oil in a non stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add scallions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 30 seconds. Pour the eggs into the pan and cook until they just begin to set, about 10 seconds; stir in salmon. Cook, stirring gently from time to time, until the eggs have thickened into soft, creamy curds, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately onto oven warmed date and oat muffins with crisp, cool purple onion, a slice of ham and a splosh of Philly cheese.