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 February 2011


Another funeral. Dear Ivy, quick-witted wife of quick-witted Dennis, both born in London, in their eighties, running conversational rings round lumbering Herefordians. And for that matter West Riding Tykes.

As I remove my funeral shirt, a button pops off. Mrs BB offers to sew it on but I stay her hand. She uses single thread whereas I use double, a practice adopted in the RAF where security was the watchword. We differ in other ways.

SEQUENCE Since 1966 (ie, in the USA) Saturday dinner has nearly always consisted of a hamburger with a baked potato. An unspoken celebration of a different era though toast has now replaced the bun. Mrs BB eats the burger first then spoons out the spud’s guts. I knife-and-fork the potato, skin and all, then treatfully eat the burger.

THIRST A sandy “guzzard” (courtesy Elder Daughter) at 3 am? Mrs BB slakes it from a glass on the bedside table. I stumble downstairs and swig from chilled fizz in the fridge.

MUSSELS Done marinière Mrs BB could eat a stone (ie, 14 lb). I like them but six is enough. The ratio’s the same for rollmops.

RED/WHITE Unaccompanied, Mrs BB would default to red wine all the time. I’m more AC/DC. Stealthy opening of expensive white Burgundy by me is turning the tide.

IN FRANCE I rush into impromptu conversation with natives. Mrs BB would rather open her veins.

SOCIAL PESTS Mrs BB simply lies. I lurch into embarrassingly constructed half-truths and am punished afterwards by Mrs BB.

LIBRARY The fiction shelves are her oyster as, once, they were mine. Now it’s non-fiction if at all; I prefer to buy.

DENTIST Mrs BB’s ante-chamber to hell. I chat.

TRANSPORT Given her “druthers” (Courtesy Pittsburgh mates) she prefers the bus. The car for me.