It’s happened yet again. Will I never learn? A lifetime of smug glib snidey digs and then I get bitten on the bum. Having been born and raised a devout omnivore, I have, I must confess, been one of those chaps who gathers in a certain corner of the Great Playground Of Life from time to time in order to say “Nerr” at all things vegetarian. Equipped with pithy one-liners such as “If God had meant us to be veggies, then animals wouldn’t taste of meat, would they?”, I have, until very recently, felt alternately condescending pity and then mild ire towards the plant-eating bretheren for not being able to wallow in the majesty of a bacon sandwich on white bloomer, and then invoking dank and maudlin feelings of guilt in myself for being able to partake.
I am, after all, the chap who has come up with a theory that there is actually no upper limit on the amount of lamb chops which can be eaten at a single sitting. Does anyone know anyone who has ever reached the point of having had enough? I thought not. Assuaging my carnivorous conscience that if I was ever caught for long enough in a wild and inhospitable environment I would eventually tire of berries and have enough gumption to catch a vole or similar, skin it, remove the nasties and cook it over a small fire. I figure that as well as making them taste of meat, Him Upstairs has also given me molars and fingernails- and so if push actually came to Bear Grylls shove, I could harvest a meat dinner from the countryside myself, instead of the current system which mainly involves trips to Northwood in the Volvo to pay Mr. Waitrose to do all the messy stuff for me.
It seems that for the time being, however, the meat-munching nose-thumbing era has had to come to an end. A visit to the quack last week revealed the unsavoury truth that my cholesterol levels had got a bit high, and whilst it would be unfair to say that were I to fall over and cut my knee, raw Lurpak would ooze out, the expression of concerned seriousness on Nurse Brunhilde’s face was enough to jar me into action. Research revealed that a good way of getting cholesterol down is, cleverly enough, not putting any in. Cholesterol comes from animal products, so the quick fix is to cut those out. Not only did I need to eschew the mocking grin of the omnivore bully, I had to upgrade from standard veggie class to the full-frontal hardcore lentil-griding hessian wearing world of the vegan! Once this had happened, the kicks up the backside from the Gods came thick and fast, exacting moral recompense from the years of sneering. For example, on Sunday last, I had a large band out to do rather a smashing do in the ballroom at Claridge’s. As is the way, we were billeted in an unused banqueting suite, and a nice big table had been set up for dinner. We’d needed quite a soundcheck, as the star turns for the night were not only Her Indoors, but the tight harmony male vocal sensation that are the Four Skins-
What with the crew and the rhythm section we were twelve for dinner. The big trolley of nosh is wheeled in, and lo and behold, because of my new regime, I couldn’t eat any of it! I then had to ask the waiter discreetly if I could have a meal with no meat or animal products. Now I’m all for welcoming our friends from the Former East to our green and pleasant land to travel here, join our workforce and generally muck in with all things UK plc, but in this instance, I must have had a new boy, who was clearly having a problem with my finely rounded Croydon accent, and, as unfortunate as it was predictable, I had to repeat the question a few times, getting progressively slower and, er, louder. It was only when I’d finished asking in my best International Desperanto at a reasonably high volume that I realised I had all the eyes of the table. I had become the long-mocked veggie who sends the food back at the bandroom dinner! Never say Nerr, folks. It wasn’t all bad though- my meal, when it arrived, was an incredible delicious and virtuosic concoction of fried teriyaki lettuce leaves on a cheese risotto, which being full of cheese, I couldn’t eat either. I bottled out of sending back a second dinner and ate it anyway. With probably more cholesterol because of the cheese than all the other eleven dinners put together, the come uppance was complete. It tasted good though. Even though I can’t indulge, I still think the point about God and Meat stands.
The three of you that read the Curry review kept on another page here will be pleased to know that every two weeks or so I will have a night off the strict veganism in order to keep the torrent of culinary information flowing. After the walloping success of the trip to Canon’s Park, the dart thrown at the tube map which hangs in the ground floor tranquillity suite, or downstairs lav, has landed more or less on East Putney, and so a trip to the leafy south west looms. On the home front, Her Indoors, being a game sort, has mucked in with a high level of support for Project V, with the result that the contents of the fridge now resemble a set design for Linda McCartney the Musical. A week in, I have developed a taste for Quorn. The burgers and sausages are ok, as long as I am careful to blacken them a bit-a little bit of burnt crust helps take away the feeling that you are eating mulched eraser, but I did find that the bacon was what I’d imagine a J-cloth would be like had it been used to wipe the floor at the Frazzles factory. The pepperoni is so bizarre that I have have every confidence that it could well become a cult food.
As I actually have a separate food blog, I feel that that’s probably enough from the gastric department for now. There’s not been a lot of playing over the last couple of weeks, so alas there are no great stories of harmony, hilarity and wit on from our voyage of discovery over the high seas of the music industry. The hiatus has allowed some welcome time in the plastic aeroplane department, and I hope to be publishing soon some pictures of the new work not only on the Seaplanes Of The Axis Powers diorama, but also on my new range of Classic British Jets of the 1970’s. This in turn depends on the purchase of a camera. Oh the excitement.