Sunday, 14 September 2014

Tick, tick, drip, drip, drip...

With the clock ticking, I’m doing my best to drink down the cellar and eat down the freezer, with mixed success. The contents of the freezer are weird and varied and not always conducive to a coherent meal. Last night, we had a lamb shank broth made from homemade chicken stock and flavoured with old lamb rack bones paired with a gorgeous bottle of 1989 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou.

Wine-wise, we’ve been living pretty high on the hog lately, as the above probably made clear. As well as some lovely reds and whites, we’ve been using any old excuse to pop a Champagne cork. We had some friends around for lunch yesterday and enjoyed a lovely bottle of Jacquesson 736 non-vintage – a current favourite that went down more than well enough.

We had some cause for celebration anyway as we’d earlier had good news from the emergency plumber we’d had o call in. The night before last, while Sarah was having a shower, water started to leak from a light fitting on the floor below. This has happened once before, when our shower broke and water poured out and overflowed. The prospect of having the plumber dig through the bathroom floor to find the leaking pipe filled us both with dread, but luckily he spotted a split in the seal around the shower tray (yes, I know, we should have spotted that) and the problem was solved.

In between dealing with tradesmen (we also had an electrician come around to do some testing – we failed...) and entertaining guests, I spent the day cajoling friends to open their wallets and relieve me of some of my other wines. Thankfully, they’ve been more than generous and the cellar will soon be looking significantly less bloated. I’ve also got a courier coming on Tuesday to take away another 280 or so bottles, which will leave things looking positively Spartan. 

Burgundy awaiting packing

Some of them will go into storage for shipping to Australia, but there are a number of bottles that I’ll try sell on straight away – and the quote I received from the wine merchant was very encouraging. One bottle I bought for £65 is now worth more than £450! Nice.

The cases are starting to stack up

And with regard to the final element of the three-point plan, on Friday I finally got a realistic quote from a shipping company, so things are looking quite a bit brighter all round on the wine front.

Ahh, detritus

After dinner last night, Kate and I sat down with a glass of wine each and started going through a big box of the girls’ drawings, paintings and random school stuff. It proved very difficult to make decisions – in particular, there was a period that Zoe went thought where she would draw the most amazing (but often disturbing) pictures of people and other creatures. Sadly, she grew out of it, but luckily we had kept quite a few of her best works.

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