6:45 and as the teams cleared the grid for the Japanese Grand Prix I placed the last of the dishes in the dishwasher, pored the espresso and settled down for an early morning television experience. Not that I was entirely idle, I used the time to convert old newspapers into little logs for the fire.
Several cups of coffee later the race finished allowing me to head for a good breakfast. Would it be a full Irish? Should I practice the 200 types of omelette that we are due to cook this week? Sensible muesli and yoghurt? Well, utilising years of trade union training I struck a compromise deal with myself - and ate a pot of yoghurt whilst I whipped up a couple of rounds of bacon sandwiches. Not just bacon sarnies but dry cured oak smoked bacon on buttered toast with YR sauce – it’s like HP but better.
Preparation for tomorrow’s cooking took a while and produced yet another mountain of filing and the usual dilemmas, Where does Clarified Butter get filed? Dairy? Sauces and Stocks? Accompaniments and garnishes? To put it under C clarified or B butter is far too simple for my system which I am in negotiations to licence to the British and Bodlian Libraries (file under 623 sociological and psychological impacts of filing systems). In the end it went under Other.
Still all tidy and noon had yet to cross the horizon but the auspicious moment of 10.10.10. 10. 10 had well passed. How to fill the day without vegetating on the couch in front of the limited number of cable channels that we can receive?
Fortunately Ballymaloe has an answer for everything and a schedule that leaves no moment idle. Some of our younger colleagues must wonder whether they have actually left school or whether this is some kind of cosmic detention with recipes replacing lines. I must cook a fluffy omelet, I must cook etc.
So how does our day get filled? With a very good cause and some mild exercise, a 5k walk for the Pakistan Flood Victims. A circular walk starting on Ballycotton Cliffs and ending up at the Blackbird pub. Not a great walker myself I took the easy way out and paid two people to do it for me. Hmmm that sounds a bit elitist amend that sentence to I sponsored a couple of colleagues.
Anyway the crew met at 2pm and headed off for their 5k walk. Actually no one mentioned that it was 5k each way!
I, of course, had already salved my conscience by sponsoring three walkers so felt no compulsion to do anything other than stroll back into the village for a light lunch and to await their arrival at the pub. Lunch was a good bowl of vegetable soup - not as good as yesterday's chowder - but a very nice and sustaining bowl of soup.
Then a short stroll across the road to the pub.
Gradually the walkers returned telling tales of the walk becoming a foraging expedition in which sloes were loaded into pockets and rucksacks and wild garlic gathered. Clearly for wild garlic to be in flower in October something must be different about the climate this year. However this is not necessarily a sign of man made global warming it may be a coincidence of 'terroire'. ( The combination of location, soil type, micro climate etc)
With a refreshing drink inside them many of the walkers decided that the pub would be a good idea again this evening.