Saturday, February 12, 2005


Friday night in Nicolas winebar in the Wharf knocking back Fischers with the boys from the Sunday paper. They've had a good week as it involved a big bash to celebrate their recent rise in circulation - thrown in part, they confided, to give the birdy to their colleagues at the daily, whose numbers are travelling in the opposite direction.

The plates being tucked into all around me all looked very tasty, but I had already eaten.

Fish had a copy of Decanter with him. He's planning a wine raid on Germany quite soon. In preparation for the spoils he recently took the tub out of his bathroom with a view to replacing it with both a shower and a wine cupboard, but when the shower was delivered and installed it didn't fit and has had to be taken out again. His bathroom is a bit Ian Schrager sized.

Towards the back of the magazine there were some ads for neat but expensive looking "Wine Storage Solutions". In my field of expertise the term solution is often deployed as a handy euphemism for remedy for difficulty you didn't know you had (and possibly don't actually have). "We're not the sort of people for whom wine storage is the biggest problem we face in life" chipped in T with more than a hint of acidity.

"Why, when you have found a bottle of wine that you absolutely love would you ever drink anything else?" asked J. Now you do need a beautiful woman like Maya in Sideways to answer questions like that. All that stuff about how it evolves in the bottle and how the experience of drinking it will be different at any moment on any given day. "Yeah drinking the third bottle can be like snorting the third line." someone helpfully suggested.

From my own experience I think it can be like listening to a song on the radio that has tickled your fancy. You hear it again and again until you no longer feel that ticklish when it plays. Anyway it's as good example as any of how we can never really be fully and lastingly satisfied, not even by a product with undeniably more depth and complexity than a Rachel Stevens track.

And so to a weekend in the country, away from all this. And my second visit to Paddington in a week. Raj said that arriving there makes you feel like you're in a Harry Potter novel. So much for the outmoded furry dude.

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