One of the best things about getting older is that you really do know what you are doing.
In today’s ‘wrinkle free, let’s pretend we haven’t lived for years in case we look a day older than 28’ culture we actually deny all experience. We’re turning into denuded rats without a grain of pain on our smooth uplifted faces.
I admit that I am one of the lucky ones. I don’t have many lines although I do have the down turned mouth which afflicts so many of us old peasant women. It makes me look sullen and miserable even if I am hysterical on the inside.
If I catch myself in the window of ‘Top Shop’, I grin – yes, inanely – or if I feel the scowl, I try and smile, even if it is only passing bus drivers who notice. Indeed, I do get that inner glow when the sewage truck comes to empty the cess-pit in the garden. I know the geezer with the pipe (his son used to learn cello with my daughter) so we always have a chat as he empties last month’s waste. He says I don’t look a day older. The reason I mention this is because today’s programme bore testimony to the good old, and I mean that – the GOOD OLD.
We had Jimmy Hill (Oh, behave!) on the show (he of the footballing pedigree) with his delightful wife Bryony. She talked about her gardening book, her painting, jam making, her breasts and her husband’s long career. It was quite a chinwag, which is exactly what she was. Probably one of the first ever WAGS there was, if ever the WAGS there is. But the point is that we all chatted so easily because we are old.
Now, I am not saying that Simon Rimmer is old, but he is completely bald, and in my mind unless you are Duncan Goodhew or Gale Porter, being bald means you are buying tickets for the knackers yard. Everybody knows that Rimmer shaves his head, but if you look real close, you can see the outline of where his hair should be. He is merely an ancient mariner in trainers.
Which leads me very nicely onto his marine meal. He cooked a cod so convincingly that the old man of the SeaBE, Brian Turner, fairly quaffed it in one. It was caught in Whitby, was the cod, so there were no sustainability issues, and while Mr. Rimmer complimented it with Thai herbs, we just complimented it.
When it was Mr Turner’s turn, he made a ridiculous pie of sausage meat with quail breasts served up with a rich buttery sauce. Let me tell you the age in that dish: Brian + Me + Rimmer + six dead quails + a bottle of aged Madeira. Easily 348 years. Do you see my point? It could not have been done by a young whipper snapper in plastic clogs with his own kitchenware range. Not that I am knocking the young. Stuart Payne the biscuit man is very young, but he has an old head on his shoulders. You see how we use the old as a metaphor for the good, wise, and experienced?
Stuart and Mary Berry made biscuits, and we discussed ‘Wagon Wheels’ – are they smaller now or is it just that we are bigger? We nibbled on Chocolate Bath Olivers, which John Lennon asked to be paid in when he appeared on the old Grey Whistle test, and had a good hefty suck on Tim Tams, Australia’s answer to our Penguins. By the time the clock struck 2.00, my blood sugar level had gone through the roof and I arrived back at the flat in double quick time.
It appears that everybody enjoyed the show, although you can never tell. It’s all about staying right inside the moment. You win some and lose some. Today we were right Jammie Dodgers (see what I’m doing there!). I love this show. Don’t miss Friday’s – there’s more of the same. Cu2morrer.