My body is a temple. Well, actually it tends to fluctuate between small tabernacle chapel and Gothic cathedral, if you must know. And at this moment in time it's still in "flying buttress" mode. Regardless, I've always been very keen on the different fuels I use to keep this place of worship going.
I've got more keen on this in recent years, under the influence of Katie. She is a quite remarkable cook and enjoys putting together all sorts of ingredients to keep things varied. As the official washer-upper I sometimes remark upon the fact that she also likes using all sorts of utensils, pans and cooking wares even for the smallest meals. I'm then told to shut up. She makes a good point.
We're both off work for the rest of this week, so today we went to the BBC Good Food Show at the NEC. We've been doing this every year for some time now. At the time of our first visit I wasn't too sure - the whole idea of walking around an exhibition hall looking at things that didn't have shiny bodywork or flashing LEDs was not something that filled me with enthusiasm. But after a few minutes I'd realised that this was, in fact, an adventure for grown-ups.
Every year, Katie sees the show as yet another retail opportunity whilst I manfully take up the challenge to eat and drink from each of the continents, pretty much for free. There are people who want you to buy their stuff. And it's a food show. Do you see where this is going?
For the first half hour or so, I tend to politely decline many of the offers. "I've not long had my breakfast, " you say to stallholders. Then the "Sod it" circuit kicks in and I lose all semblance of inhibitions. Some of your lovely olives? Why, thank you. A hunk of Red Leicester cheese? You're too kind. Wild boar and apple sausages? It'd be churlish of me to refuse.
The thing is, this show is actually about food and drink. There's a sign asking visitors to drink responsibly. So I acted responsibly by agreeing with Katie that she would drive. As a signed up member of CAMRA (no, I'm not bearded), I'll never miss an opportunity to sample new and interesting ales. There were some great dark winter ales from the Isle of Man and from Wells & Young (the Satanic Mills was particularly spectacular) and I stocked up on these. And for the other end of the evening, a 17-year old single malt whisky from Bruichladdich on Islay. Haunting.
Katie was keeping up her end on the heavy-duty purchasing side of the deal. A flurry of products made their way into the coolbag/trolley affair that has now become a necessity. Stuff for us, stuff for presents - the items kept coming. Tonight, we dine like kings.
Just when I thought we'd made it through the day with only moderate financial damage, she caught sight of this and went all doe-eyed at me:
Although I've since had enough coffee to keep me awake until Armageddon, at least I've satisfied my cravings for shiny bodywork and flashing LEDs.