|The object in Ian's hand is related to|
peafowls and is intended as a
Christmas tree decoration. Neither
fact is important, only that he
disapproves of the spheroid as his
face characteristically shows
This post far exceeds my self-imposed limit of 300 words. I considered splitting it into three sections but resisted. What follows is a more complete portrait.
● VR marinaded dried fruit in rum to create a delicious dessert, but failed to christen it. Ian calls it: rumtana.
● Meat sold in supermarkets comes on a polystyrene tray and lies on an absorbent sheet. Ian: meat nappy (US: diaper).
● If someone even mentions celery Ian has to leave the room.
● On visits to our home to cook (superbly) for us Ian passes his leisure time frowning at his smartphone and sipping from a pint glass of tap water. Gets through several in a day.
● Ian Rule: One may not have gravy with a white sauce (savoury) pie.
● Ian Rule: A pie must have bottom and top crust. No bottom crust and it’s not a pie.
● PB once cooked a Quorn pie for vegan Daniel (Ysabelle’s partner). Ian called it The Pie of Lies.
● Shopping bags may not be hung on the hook of a supermarket trolley: they bang against Ian’s knees. Ian is 6ft 5 in. tall.
● When others of our family are touring the city on foot and feel they must visit the lav. Ian disapproves.
● Ian Rule: Ian disapproves of those who prefer an inevitably mediocre meal at one of the chain restaurants rather than risk a possible bad meal at an indie restaurant. Ian sub-rule: One must explore.
● On returning home after a day out (even as early as 4.30 pm) Ian changes into his PJs which are black.
● All Ian’s clothes are black.
● Ian is very, very quiet about the house.
● Ian dislikes dogs but loves cats.
● Ian insists on lumpwood charcoal when doing a barbecue.
● Ian hates puns. In particular a clock face which incorporates a moustache with the slogan: “I moustache you the time.”
● Ian suffers (unfashionably) from chilblains.
● Ian likes mangas.
● Before going to the corner shop for a single chilli Ian showers or has a bath; sometimes also shaves his head.
● Ian hates Beko, the freezer manufacturer. Hopes “they will die”.
● Our washing machine plays a tune when done; Ian denounces this as “too jolly”. Ian’s washing machine is designated Piddy (because of its “piddying” noise).
● Ian’s arrivals home are unobtrusive and idiosyncratic. On opening the door (or making a phone call) he says “Herro.” in a vaguely stereotypical Chinese accent. His Mum is required to respond: “Is it me you’re looking for?”
● When music festivals were comparatively unpopular with youth Ian supported them. Now their popularity is enormous, he doesn’t. Believes many attend such events for reasons other than musical.
● When asked a question he cannot answer Ian says, “Ermm... peas.” This is according to Ysabelle, his cousin. No one else has confirmed this.
● Ian can cut vegetables into tiny cubes “like a machine”.
● Ian insists fish and chips aren’t a takeaway.
● Our other daughter, OS, who also cooks for us, likes our kitchen. Ian responds: “I like the budget”.
● Ian is pro-offal.
● Ian can’t bear the (admittedly uncongenial) texture of newly acquired wooden spoons. Feels they should be “broken in” first (ie, by somebody else).
● In winter Ian skis with a group of young men assembled online from all over the country. He cooks for them and they pay part of his ski-ing expenses. Or, it is believed, used to.
● Ian is very attentive to VR.
● Ian attends the Borderline Film Festival with us. He prefers “difficult” movies, especially from Japan.
● Ian always enables sub-titles when watching TV. Yet he is not deaf.
● Ian’s Mum’s boiler started roaring; she reported to Ian the plumber had visited. Ian commented: “Did he use a chair and a whip?”
● Ian has electrical skills but is eccentrically lousy at washing up. Like me, however, he dislikes dish-washers.
● Ian hates hamburgers made with brioche. (“Brioche is a cake”.)
● Ian never wastes leftovers.
● Ian rarely shows enthusiasm but becomes ecstatic when given a free-hand by us to choose purchases at the butcher.
● Ian cannot sing.
● Occasionally his Mum’s friends ask if Ian will cook them something. Ian does so with the proviso that they don’t pay. Although not visibly sociable Ian is almost universally beloved by his Mum’s friends.
● Ian hates the Apple ethos.
● When I received an attempted email blackmail, Ian was a great help.
● Ian never takes local buses, prefers to walk.
● Ian occasionally disapproves of my menu choices in “caffs”. Sternly discouraged my desire to find out whether four eggs was the limit when ordering egg-and-chips.
● Ian answers the phone sepulchrally, as if suffering from a rare disease.
● Ian is horribly sun-sensitive. Uses a very powerful lotion which he refers to as “Burkah in a bottle”.
● Ian took to opera comparatively late in life. Was ravished by Madame Butterfly.
● I offered to buy Ian a kitchen knife. This took ages. He dislikes the “jutting-out bits” on the handles of many knives.