Sunday

Moments of Metronome



Being absolutely useless at twiddling with twinkly bits of tinsel finery, bright shiny baubles and the tedious arrangement of the last minute plastic vulgarity that passes for festive lighting these days, I took myself off with some old friends for a few days away of uninterrupted golf. Typically enough, the monochromatic weather conditions delayed our connecting flight and forced us to seek refuge in the airport bar. All was well until the inevitable moment arrived and I was seemingly faced with the incomprehensible thought of going to the rather nice marble lavatory without having anything decent to hand by way of reading material. I'm not talking about any of the greats here, 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles', Far from the Madding Crowd', or even The Hound of the Baskervilles, for example. Somehow, the posters on the inside of the stall door invoking ideas in regard to the 101 ways to ensure that the rapidly spreading threat of infection is avoided by choosing the longer flush, then washing my hands, wasn't all that inspiring as it turned out. In fact, it was only less inspiring than the rather grey 'Columbo' box set given to me last year as a Chrissie present. In fairness to my cousin Moira, who presented me with said gift, I managed to watch nearly a full eleven minutes before I teetered on the brink of losing the will to live. One needs to stimulate the brain by logging in with interesting information, especially when one is sat in a quite presentable enclosure, busily logging out. It was at that precise moment that my phone rang with bad news. The announcement of death is always later replayed in our minds perfectly encapsulating the surroundings of which the news was initially first received. A trigger if you will. Unfortunately, it would seem, I shall now always have fond memories of my recently passed Aunt Gertrude, whenever I smell the deeply obnoxious gases of other men's bowel emissions. Mind you, she did have rather an unpleasant penchant for boiled cabbage most of her married life, so perhaps a fitting epitaph after all then?

Being in close proximity to ones friends for anything longer than a 24 hour period can of course have its drawbacks. Don't get me wrong, I am extremely fond, in a bearish, manly, non-sexual (in any way, shape or form) kind of way, to my good friend and long suffering companion, the little singing fella. He is to me what Donkey was to Shrek. The Laurel to ones own Hardy, the perfect Costello to a very weary Mr Abbot. A proverbial wart on the great buttocks of life if you like, a seemingly second hidden hump on the great Quasimodian moments of my life so far. He is however, very entertaining in an embarrassingly best friend kind of way. If you are unlucky enough to be billeted with him, one soon notices the little idiosyncratic points that will eventually drive you barking mad. It isn't so much the lumpen garish Christmas sweaters, depicting a very naughty Rudolph pulling something entirely different to the usual  festive sleigh. Neither was it the very surreal moment when he complained bitterly to a rather bemused chef that he could not find chicken on the menu... in an oyster bar. It isn't even the fact that he is very far removed from dynamism, materialism, or his continued confusion in regard to his own paralian inaccuracy. It isn't even the fact that he pees, constantly in the shower, sometimes when the water is running, other times not. Nor is it that he is equipped with garlands of strangely monkeyish Neanderthal chest hair, on his back, that isn't entirely normal, or human come to that. It could be that he constantly breaks into song at the drop of the perfunctory hat. Not always a welcome trait, the memory of him being asked to leave the church at a poignant moment during the wedding of a colleague's wife still smarts whenever I hear the chorus of 'Come on Eileen', one moment that will continue to linger rather painfully on. And for the love of all things holy, NEVER ask him to carry a drinks tray laden with the finest whisky money can ever buy.

A rather awkward moment is to occur during this years Christmas dinner event. Sitting in close proximity to both my good lady and myself will be a friend and colleague of Siobhan, a doctor no less. Not only is she a doctor, but also a specialist in a certain field. Proctology. Yes, you already know where this is leading. Down a very dark hole indeed. Since my retirement, I have taken advice from Siobhan and had numerous health checks in order to ensure that I live out the remainder of our time together, without wondering at every ache, pain and strain am I going to pop my clogs prematurely. Admittedly the news wasn't all good, however by then I shall be happy dribbling down my bib and colouring in the pretty wallpaper flowers that decorate my bed in the sectioned wing. Only time will tell. Visiting a proctologist is always an uncomfortable position for a man to be in. Not just the fact that my knees were tucked underneath my chin in a rather awkward foetal position, but also with clothes removed. My back end exposed, peeking through the gaping minuscule cloth that they seemingly describe as an 'observation robe'. Our first meeting, as patient and doctor, did not fare well. Something to do with the squeaky sound of rubber gloves being applied, before the ominous squelch of lubrication being applied to said rubber gloves. Our conversation was somewhat stilted. "Brace yourself Mr Files", is not normally a line that most women would use with me. However, her next line was slightly more disconcerting. "I'm going to bring in a student doctor to observe the examination, Mr Files". In comes what I can only describe as a very attractive young lady of perfect proportions. Probably the best way to explain what happened to my body next is if I ask you to picture a tiny button mushroom in your mind. Enough said. I have since discovered, to my horror, that the good doctor and Siobhan are old friends, hence the Christmas luncheon invite. At least the ice will be broken, none of those awkward silences or wide cracks wise cracks from my good self. However, with that being said, avoiding all eye contact when I begin to excavate the glorious chestnut stuffing from our perfectly roasted table turkey friend will probably be best for all concerned.

Chefs Christmas Appetisers 

Buffalo mozzarella, torn roughly into bite size measures
Crostinis, fresh
Red chili, de-seeded and washed
Fresh basil
Extra virgin olive oil
Cracked black pepper

Tear the mozzarella, spread onto the olive oil drizzled toasted crostini. Sprinkle the chili, add the basil and pepper. Serve with chilled white wine, preferably as a starter.

49 comments:

  1. *biting my lip to keep from spitting out a very lovely wine* sweet mary sunshine, sweet pea, but i should know better than to read y'all whilst having a sip! xoxoxoxo

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    1. The spilling of such a wonderful nectar must not be repeated too often my dear Savannah. Far better to enjoy one without the other whenever possible.

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  2. Yer a funny man Séamus.

    Pint?

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    1. You have to ask, young man? Tis the Friday, all appears as it should be at this end, so it would be rude not to accept your offer.

      Shall we say the Lovat for the back of seven?

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    2. I've the thirst the night, better warn the lads!

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    3. Will do, the first round will be on me (as fecking usual)

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    4. Better than having it all over the floor! What's keepin' ya?

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  3. Which only proves you can entertain and not to so by singing. :)

    Wow, think I'd have to switch dinner seats with someone else!

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    1. Switching seats my dear woman, is fast becoming not an option.

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  4. Who has aspirations to heal the sick, spends half their life in medical school and graduates thinking proctology is the place to go? We need them, but why would you want to be one?

    Did they at least buy you a drink beforehand? Maybe you could have skipped the recipe this time.

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    1. Proctology, Mr Banishment... the rare profession in which the M.D. starts out at the bottom and stays there.

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  5. Replies
    1. ...only if I serve button mushroom as a pre-dinner starter my dear.

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  6. you should offer the doctor the opportunity to excavate the stuffing - as she probably has more experience. be sure to offer her a gallon of antibacterial soap, and a nail brush, just as she starts to dig in...

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    1. My dear Daisy, I believe on this occasion I shall skip the polite handshake and go straight for a more European peck on each cheek.

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  7. I wonder why people go into proctology? I almost think it's a made-up word but I know it isn't and anyway I've been wrong on this blog like with suppositions like that about words before.

    About the meeting with the attractive doctoress, I think you should stare her in the eyes while you excavate the creature's innards. Throw her look back to her. Then wink, or dip your head slightly. Flirting over giblets. That's what I'd do anyway, but following any advice of mine is as likely to lead to embarrassment and disaster as scintillating success.

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    1. Flirting over giblets may go down well in Kosovo my friend, however, in Glasgow it just would not be deemed as suitable. Staring her in the eyes will also not be an option. I intend to remain in the sanctuary of the kitchen until I can at least get a bottle of brandy inside of her first.

      Don't even go there with a rapacious comment sir!

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  8. I gotta meet Maurcheen in the flesh cheffie, he sounds a bit of a card. As for your latest guest I would make sure she washes her hands before she handles the tear and share bread!

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    1. Maurcheen is an acquired taste, Anthony. Akin to drinking vinegar laced with icing sugar. However, you may well hit it off together as you sip Vimto and throw stones at each others windows. I am sure he would enjoy your company.

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    2. I'm sure I would, soon as he gets a round in.... now where did I put that tray? :-P

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    3. All I can say for sure, in the clumsiness stakes, both of you would appear to have been separated at birth.

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  9. I'm afraid that the patient's dignity is not negotiable at the proctologist, Chef. One can only hope to be examined quickly!
    ((Don't worry about the mushroom thing. Life happens. It's the evidence that it works!)) ;)

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    1. My dear Ms Yaya, considering the circumference of the area to be inspected, it might have been justifiable for me to have sent it in via the post!

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  10. What would Mr. Cheen would do without you, Chef? Keep him moving in the right direction. Start worrying if he sings Barry Manilow or Céline Dion. ;)

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    1. Mr Cheen would continue to drink himself into a corner and care not a jot about his one-time drinking partner from across the road. As for him singing like Celine Dion, I worry little. However, dressing like Celine Dion, now that does give me many sleepless nights.

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    2. You were the one who suggested the costumes.... Oh Amsterdam...how quickly they forget!

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    3. How many times do I have to tell you? She wasn't wearing a monkey outfit, she was merely very hirsute! As was her sister... her mother... her mothers sister.. need I go on?

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  11. The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God. When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple.

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    1. I have no idea at all as to what your comment is in regard to. Do you?

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    2. 'the land where bars closed upon me forever"??? OH DEAR GHOD!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    3. I fear that Mr Pew has indeed stumbled upon the mythical elixir of life. I wonder, what size bottle does it come in?

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  12. Just saw the pic from your blog header on another site. Mugshot, eh? You happen to know the story of the fella in the chair?

    http://www.thephoblographer.com/2013/08/19/mugshots-from-the-1920s-are-significantly-cooler-than-mugshots-from-today/

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    1. The fella in the chair shares his bloodline with my own father. I could enlighten you sir, but it might be easier on my one typing finger if we were to continue a verbal conversation over a bottle of something rather strong.

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    2. Did someone say 'bottle'? :)

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    3. Aspirin bottle only for you my lad.

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  13. I suspect Siobhan has a wicked sense of humour. My kind of gal.

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    1. Your suspicions, Patricia, would indeed be quite correct. I sincerely believe you both have very much in common.

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  14. Yes, hearing a certain song with my name in the title, accompanied by the guffaws of those terribly impressed with their originality in playing it for my benefit is the trigger for me to exit stage left. After stabbing them in the eye. With a pencil.

    No disrespect to Maurcheen.

    Loved the logging out reference.


    xxx

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    1. May I take the opportunity to recommend a fine point HB3 pencil for such an occasion my dear? Never fails...

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    2. Just seen the mugshot pictures care of Mr Earl, fascinating.

      My father is a photographer / journalist, his favourite being black & white, which lends itself to such dramatic imagery. Could stare at them for hours.

      And no I wasn't trying to steal from you, but it still makes me feel like a naughty child;-)

      xxx

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    3. It is in fact one of the songs I downright refuse to sing.

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    4. Fear not Eileen, there are those that I choose to turn a blind eye towards. But then again, there are those that I do not.

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    5. Maurcheen.... refusing? Naw.

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  15. Have you fallen asleep on the porcelain again biggun?

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  16. Duntocher Brian8:18 a.m. GMT+5

    Taxi for JB!!!!

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    1. Ha.... it doesn't happen very often son, but on this occasion I will concede.

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  17. Having had NHS experience, (as an employee I helped lay doped men on the table for similar exams), I was able to laugh out loud at the last para! That done me a lot of good, you too I note.

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  18. My dear Adullamite, I am somewhat dismayed to find that an option to be tranquilised during such a traumatic event was so obviously negated from the original consultation discussion. The fact that you laughed out loud supports my theory that the NHS exists purely to amuse those who wish to prod, stick and bleed the innocent amongst us. Good for you, I admire your style. You must be of Scottish blood.

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Thank you, the chef is currently preparing an answer for you in the kitchen. Do help yourself to more bread.