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Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
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Saturday, 18 January 2014

The winter garment of repentance

I associate gloom, if not tragedy, with the end of the year and especially Christmas. Nor am I alone. Raising the subject with others brings flashes of recognition and, quite quickly, a list of unjolly year-ends when shopping malls rang hollowly with good cheer that was hard to bear.

Heidi was much in my mind this year and it seemed inevitable she should die so close to Christmas. By then a crisis had developed in the Robinson family and – Well, why not? – it dragged into the New Year. Alas I can’t give details and anyway things are now resolved - rather happily too. With everyone gratefully reflecting on one person's altruism and professional competence.

May I leap from these solemn concerns to booze? Please! A minority of my cellar contents comes from Averys, a Bristol wine merchant who ring me from time to time to discuss my needs. They called ten days ago and, perhaps in reaction to recent events, I rejected all talk of bargains.

Send me the fine wines flyer, I said. The one without pretty pictures and evocative descriptions, for those who take drink seriously. Just listings and (Ahem!) prices. I was in a mood and the photo you see summarises what happened. When I mentioned what I had in mind, VR said, "I'll go halves on that." Chances are I’ll remember that offer with every sip I take.

WIP Second Hand
(54,477 words)
“… there are times when I’m uncertain…  Imagine I’m one of those popinjay soccer players. A striker with a knee damaged beyond repair. Yes there’s a place in the team, but only as goalie. A bit like that. Like that goalie I’d be doomed to look up the field and watch players doing things I wanted to do. More than life itself.”


  1. Bottles inside boxes! How quaint! Here in the U.S. we long ago advanced to plastic bladders for our boxed wine. Missus probably won't split it for our sort.

  2. The times when a 'go halves' offer was on my table are long gone. This year I filled my flute
    with sparkling apple cider.

  3. Both: I may have misled you. When VR talked about going halves she was offering to pay for half of the shampers. Is that what you both thought? Good. Not so? Future posts will include extracts from the Mr and Mrs Peg reader series which set me on the road to literacy at a time when learning German might have been a more solid option.

  4. Yes,I am fairly certain that's what your wife meant by "...go halves.."

  5. Well done. Even though you were talking about something ele. Avery's own label Champagne always appealed in the days when I was looking in that direction.

    How easy it is to become self-absorbed. I am glad to hear that the crisis in the Robinson family is happily resolved.

  6. Is it allowed not to like champagne (or understand it)? Or should I find another blog ... head hung in shame.

  7. Yes RR, I understood that VR offered to 'chip in' (I know how it's done but not sure how it's spelled). Whatever you had in mind must have been worth a small
    Did you serve oysters as well?

  8. Joe: An alternative, of course, to cursing the darkness. And bought in the spirit of scientific enquiry, to see if I can tell the difference between Roederer and Pol Roger. I suspect not.

    B2: Tone Deaf welcomes frankness and feels you have, thereby, only reinforced your unassailable attractions. As I'm sure you know, you are not alone; many Brits don't care for champagne. In my father's house, etc, But I should add that TD is a wine blog and the references will crop up from time to time. Last night, for instance, we polished off a bottle of pinotage, a red wine predominantly from South Africa which I have recently come to appreciate.

    In the spirit of magnanimity (and growing pomposity) let me list one or two of my antipathies: all Beaujolais together with the fortunately fairly rare reds of the Loire (the gamay grape being the culprit), virtually all cab. sauv. reds from Bordeaux costing less than £75 (ie, which means I'm off claret; can't stand the unameliorated tannins), cheap Australian syrah (can't stand the fruitiness) and a take-it-or-leave-it attitide to many sauv. blanc whtes (can't tell 'em apart).

    Should we ever meet on windswept Dartmoor I'll be the one carrying the pinot noir.

    Ellena: I just needed to check - your initial response was enigmatic. I haven't drunk the champagne yet; oysters are a possibility but Dover sole is better. Yes, a small fortune was involved but I'm 78; should I be looking for investments with a high return?