Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Saturday, 19 December 2009

What did they do in pleasuredomes?

Sonnet – Harmless and invisible
With women I’m cut off the photograph,
Out of my depth, an awkward northern crotte,
Both bold and shy with nervous coughing laugh
A landscape made cohesive by a blot.
But here within this guarded crystal sphere,
Face hidden, body masked, words free to roam,
Why, I can act the flannelled boulevardier
Provide an entrance to the pleasuredome.
Unseen, I chat to women who, outside,
Would pass with nostrils widened in disdain
Would toss a coin while lengthening their stride
Would look for interest in a nearby drain
Articulate, I tell this sagging face
I have an answer to this lack of grace.

(1) Copy this and paste under D for doggerel.
(2) First four lines are, nevertheless, true. I left
the north unable to talk to, never mind impress, its ladies.
(3) Boulevardier pronounced English way (bool-var-deer)
not French (bool-uh-VAR-di-ay).

(4) Lines equivalent to whistling in the wind.

Distance adds charms

Can you eat and drink vicariously? For a decade Mrs BB and younger daughter have visited continental Christmas markets (Cologne, Aachen, Brussels, Valkenberg, Coblenz, Rudesheim, Bruges, Dusseldorf, Stuttgart) for which I supply some cash and search out a restaurant online. I refuse to accompany them. Why? Because there's more fun in listening to their adventures afterwards than being in charge.

In Prague there was the attraction of meeting Julia under the Christmas tree, drinking gluhwein and telling stories "about the missing person at the table". Julia also emails: "I recognised Mrs BB straghtaway from her poem picture". Since this is a photo taken in 1959 which accompanies a sonnet written for the blog two months ago, Mrs BB's reaction (you can see why we married) was: "I think that's very unlikely".

Dinner was at La Dégustation, a seven-course tasting menu with four amuse bouche interpolations. I'd seen the wine list online so compensated for my absence by financing two bottles of burgundy: Corton-Bessandres, Grand Cru 2005, Dom: Edmund Cornu and, rather more showily, Vosnes-Romanée, Les Chaumes 2006 (the 2005 had run out). The sommelier began explaining their provenance then, becoming aware of my virtual presence at the table, stopped and said, "But then you know about them". I then vicariously sipped the Vosnes ("absolutely luscious") and the Corton ("somewhat more austere") - both judgements courtesy Mrs BB.

Just in case this is becoming too hard to take, let me add I do give to charity. "Too much" to Amnesty International, according a friend of mine with left-wing tendencies.

Came the choice of pudding wine the sommelier offered two: one Czech and one (he started laughing) a sauterne. A no-brainer.

Novel progress 19/12/09. None so far. During the feat at La Dégustation I ate two fried-egg sandwiches.