Saturday, 29 December 2007

Italian Rugger Buggers


On the late afternoon of Christmas Day I went to Mrs Combo's cousins, a house in the country where they still kill things to eat. The house is falling down but they have spent thousands on the outside cooking area which is lavish even by South Florida barbecue installation standards and can easily accommodate hundreds of family members. This is the fill-in bit between Christmas lunch and Christmas dinner. The dish on offer (cooked outside) was bagna cauda, a vicious local sauce made with garlic and anchovies into which are dipped raw vegetables of choice for general munching. It was bitterly cold (everything takes place outside) and all the better for that. There was some serious drinking. The main players were the former stars of the local rugby club, now defunct. Because I am English they all take the piss out of me. I can't imagine why. After this playful interlude I managed two other functions. The ever-patient Mrs Combo drove me home at around one o'clock on Boxing Day morning. Surfacing much later, I found that I had brought the bottle in the accompanying photograph home with me, which is the hard-to-get-hold-of house wine for said (extinct) rugby club. Gosh! Could I now be accepted? I have a horrible feeling 'though that I nicked it.

9 comments:

Peter Ashley said...

I love the blue tablecloth. Puts me in mind of the now sadly defunct Coronation Cafe at Guyhirne near Wisbech. Anyway, a quarter of a round of Colston Bassett Stilton is calling me from the kitchen, a ghostly hand also pointing to an unopened (oddly) bottle of Dow's Trademark Port.I'll see if I can sort it all out before The Antiques Roadshow.

Diplomat said...

Definitely stolen, nobody would dare make a gift of such an awful looking bottle of plonk and I very much doubt you bought it ! Pleased to hear Peter's still trying to keep up but I don't think the port'll do him any good. Toodle pip.

cindy incidentally said...

serve those Rugger Bugering types right. Cheers, Ron.
I agree with Diplomat, Peter, Port is a bad sin, a bd sign.

Peter Ashley said...

It was only a little glass full to go with the Stilton. I soon got stuck into the Stolychnya to watch Heartbeat.

cindy incidentally said...

well, i see no one has surfaced yet, not least our erstwhile friend, Ron. May i be the first to wish everybody a healthy,happy and prosperous 2008.

Peter Ashley said...

Thankyou Cindy, and the same warmest greetings to you. Spoke to Ron a couple of days ago, he had a bottle of Prosecco on the go, I think, and seemed a bit glum. Maybe because it was a 2005 vintage as opposed to an '01, you can never tell. I've just come back from ex-missus No.1 full of Fitou, so good start to the New Year.

cindy incidentally said...

Peter, exactly how many ex missuses are there?
Ron will be glum because he's facing a long lonely January sans the bottle.The glumness is one thing but the accompanying smugness is just too much.
Having said that January is like a very long monday don't you think?
ooh, Brian Prothero is on radio, 'Pinball' what a great song.

Peter Ashley said...

Prothero is our local Volkswagen dealer. Cindy, between you and me there has only been one actual Mrs. Ashley, followed by the Duchess of Kent (Ron's nickname) for nine years followed by the redoubtable Ms Raven-Hill for eleven years. I'm now in exile trying to get the Lithuanian barmaid at my local to come round for a mug of cocoa so that I can read selected extracts to her from my new book Railway Rhymes.

Peter Ashley said...

Actually that's horribly pretentious, sorry Cindy. However, as Ron's on the wagon for the next month I suggest we just carry on using his blog for meaningful dialogue.