Sunday, February 11, 2007

Really, colours and wine-tasting.

Comments: First, thanks for all the kind comments and emails about the Courier article and the 1,000th post. Much appreciated -- it's good to hear from lurkers as well as regulars! Cheers everyone.

Second, I have switched off the character recognition doojab (
here's one reason why, and the other reason was that one sad email saying: 'I wanted to comment, but the random characters wouldn't appear' is one too many). I have switched on anonymous comments. And I have switched on comment moderation, so your comments will not appear until I've seen them.

1. Conversation overheard on the train between small boy with new comic and his dad:
Dad: It comes with a free video. I'll look after it.
Small boy: A video?
Dad: Yes.
Small boy: Is it really a video, Dad?
Dad: Yes.
Small boy: That we can watch?
Dad: Yes.
Small boy: That goes in the telly?
Dad: Yes.
Small boy: A video that we can watch on the telly?

2. At the National Portrait gallery, a mother talking passionately and loudly about 16th century painting to her tiny daughter: 'I like these because of the blues and the greens and look at the colours and it's not just what the paintings actually about but the figures, they're actually people look at the faces and the animals and the little scenes in the background.' The small girl looked slightly surprised and a bit mystified. But I'm pretty sure she'll come to love 14th century art eventually.

3. We celebrated Fenella's birthday in the traditional manner -- getting pissed under the guise of self-improvement. We toured Vinopolis tasting wines and learning about viticulture. My notebook contains gems of literary expression such as: 'smells of wee' and 'thin and dirty red' and 'too gulpable for the price' and 'much improved by swirling'.


  1. One of my favourite piece of wine writing comes from some notes quoted in a wine list as follows: "Nuits St George. Deep colour and big shaggy nose. Rather a jumbly, untidy sort of wine, with fruitiness shooting off one way, firmness another and body pushing about underneath...." That is an actual piece of wine- writing, and is not far removed from the way wine-writers still note their experiences. It is difficult when you think about it to find words to describe something as elusive and subjective as taste. "Cat's piss incidently, is a widely used way of descibing the smell of some Sauvignon Blanc wines. Nothing, however, beats the caption to James Thurber's New Yorker cartoon. "It's a naive domestic Burgundy, without any breeding, but I think you'll be amused by its presumption".


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