Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The cook, the lover, the rainbow and the fire

It was a very good day.  I went here to listen to lectures given by him about him and him.  Sorry for the linkiness, I don't like a lot of links either, but it really won't help people who innocently google any of those names - simply because I write pretty well every day, it puts me higher up Google searches than I would be otherwise, so I avoid it when I can.

Anyway, Ian was brilliant, very good speaker and a most engaging man.  To start with, he'd brought along little choux pastry swans filled with Crème Chantilly (most delicious, deffo go on the list for the next bloggers' party) and then he airily cooked while he delivered his lecture.  Talking about his three most recent books, he said that his wife had said, by the time he'd finished his book about Carême, the chef, his cooking had improved by leaps and bounds, after his book about Beau Brummell, he'd become a snappy dresser.  She hadn't mentioned the Casanova book, he said...

Regarding his research for that book, it took him to St Petersburg.  He doesn't speak much Russian, so had an interpreter.  He also had a Russian guide to take him round the archives.  As he was looking at everything, he realised that the guide was in fits of giggles.  He asked the interpreter, who was a bit embarrassed.  "She is amused at the thought of an Englishman writing about Casanova, the great lover," he explained.  And then added, "especially a ginger one..."

I arrived early, to help show people around on arrival.  There were 280 people who'd booked and I was fairly busy, guiding them to the lecture theatre and then back again for coffee.  I chatted to those I vaguely know - as I'm the Area secretary, quite a lot of people know me but I only know them by sight - a few asked to be reminded of my name, but no one volunteered their own, so if I didn't remember it, I was stuck.  Oh well.

It had been a brilliantly sunny day, but ten minutes into my journey home, I realised that the sky to my right was deep bluey grey and that heavy rain was brewing.  First I saw the double rainbow, then the downpour started.  In front of me, the sky was quite light, and the first rainbow was the starting point of the dark cloud.  It was very dark in the space between them, slightly lighter the other side.  I also noticed, and I'm not sure whether I knew this or not, that the two rainbows were mirror images of each other, not the same.

Then it cleared up, a few minutes later it started again.  I rounded a bend and there was another double rainbow.

The Sage had some good news about a potential bidder for the sale on Friday when I got home.  I checked emails and so on, and cooked dinner.  Finally, I went into the drawing room.  There was a fire burning in the grate.  He and Jamie swept the chimney this afternoon and didn't tell me, so that it would be a lovely surprise.

12 comments:

Rog said...

Did you see me drive past with my Mum?

Z said...

No, you should have come in for lunch. There was lots, and it was quality!

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Z:
What an absolutely splendid time you so obviously had at Culford Hall and, whilst we are not, as you most likely realise, cooks, we should have found the day, as we are sure that all 280 did, informative, entertaining and instructive. What more could be wanted?

Alas, we have to confess to being terrible at names something which, in our experience, the Americans are so very good at. Possibly they use them more in conversation than the British.

Your second comment on our recent post touched us so much; we have replied to you there.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Z. Ann says she once attended a lecture at Culford by Delia Smith, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Z said...

Not cooks, perhaps, but gourmets I think. It was all three, as you suggest.

I used to be really bad, both with names and faces, which is a big disadvantage socially! I have really tried hard to improve and now am far better than I was - but when I'm at a meeting, I face 60 people, so they all remember me but I don't have much opportunity to learn who each of them is. I make a point of using a name if I remember it though, as that helps reinforce it.

You are lovely people and I'm glad to know you.

It's a wonderful setting and beautifully maintained, inside the school and throughout the grounds. And I do recommend the speaker, if you have a chance to hear him ever.

allotmentqueen said...

Are those the choux pastry swans there's a picture of on his website? They look lush. Did he bring 280 of them???

I saw lots of rainbows this afternoon too. Absolutely dazzling sunshine and then all of a sudden rain from nowhere.

So nice to have a surprise fire. Very autumnal.

Macy said...

But Z! The title of your blog reminds me of one of the worst films I've ever seen....
How can you eat choux pastry after that?

Z said...

At least 280 of them, yes. And then he demonstrated how it was done on stage.

What? Oh, Macy, the thought never crossed my mind. But anyway, I have a strong stomach.

georgie said...

The national news here had a photo of the double rainbow over London. Never heard of the chef before. Did the host write a book about him?

Roses said...

Sounds like a lovely day.

It's funny since joining the Supper Club, I'm far more aware of the quality of food now.

Sadly, that has not been reflected in me cooking it.

haricot said...

Hello, Z,
I came here for the first time and I'm amazed that you've written your post every day, quite openly and with affection.

Thank you for visiting my plog.
From Japan,

Z said...

Really, Georgie? Must have been a quiet news day then! Or a spectacular rainbow, perhaps. Yes he did, it's out of print here at present, I think it's going in to paperback. I've ordered it online from the US!

I had a friend, she's moved away now, but she and I, when out together, had a policy of always ordering dishes we hadn't tried before. We were slightly over-analytical, perhaps!

Haricot, I think your blog is lovely and I will certainly visit again. Thank you for calling and leaving a comment.