• neil

Day 43 (29 April): Give the man a drink

More wining

I learn from yesterday’s that Europe runs the risk of drowning in surplus wine unless funding is allocated for the distillation of over a billion bottles into industrial ethanol. How you make ethanol out of glass beats me. I digress.

Restaurant closures have resulted in decreased demand for wine and exports outside the EU are drying up. Winegrowers warn that without emergency help their cellars will be too full to store wine from this year's harvest.

In conformity with the laws of supply and demand we can expect strong falls in wine prices.

You are way ahead of me here. You have already realised that duty calls and you have gone to find a corkscrew. I salute you.

Apparently it is the most expensive wines such as champagne which are the hardest hit during the pandemic. So we jumped the gun. Put the corkscrew down and get your sabre out. It’s where you left it.

We need to make a collective effort above, beyond and underneath those barrels.

My drone fleet informs me that for the most part you are doing your duty with the Burgundy, Bordeaux and Côtes du Rhône every evening. Which is good.

But it is not a reason to neglect the vast array of breakfast wines.

If you are unsure of yourself in this domain stick with Champagne. You often hear its the one wine that can accompany every dish. What the oenophiles do not make clear is that this includes your dishes of Shredded Wheat and Captain Crunchy.

The alternative hardly bears thinking about. French Socialist MEP Éric Andrieu has floated the idea of using the distilled ethanol from wine to create hand sanitizer. Surely, such extreme measures are unecessary.

We should place our trust in a combination of DT’s sound advice and our own well-trained livers to sanitise ourselves from the inside out.

Vin de Ttol. Cheers!

Rubber Ducks and Ragnor

My collection of rubber ducks has me worried. I have mentioned this before on Facebook but the subject is important and I make no excuses for banging on about it until somebody finds a solution.

Rubber ducks harbour entire populations of nasty germs in the old bath water sloshing around inside them.

Lying in my bath earlier, after a wet and muddy run, I spent a considerable time contemplating my sad and grounded ducks. I thought perhaps a couple of minutes in the microwave might solve the hygiene problem.

To establish that it is safe to microwave a rubber duck I could begin with one duck and gradually increase the microwave time and strength to two minutes at 800 watts. But which duck? This is an ethical issue. Rubber ducks are mute and have no way of either volunteering for such a mission or categorically refusing to participate. I could go on the web and see what others have done in this field. But that wouldn’t absolve me from the responsibility for molten duck if molten duck there be.

What are the ethical limits to the decisions I can take on behalf of my ducks? Is leaving them on the side of the bath, as I now do, not in itself cruel and unusual punishment for a duck?

Bloody bath water went cold...

On getting dressed I decided, as a result of intensifying boredom, to wear my plastic viking helmet throughout the rest of the day.

This singular item was purchased in the Cité de Carcassonne, in the very first shop you pass on arrival in the old fortifications.

I did casually mention to the manager that the Vikings never occupied Carcassonne but he didn't seem unduly worried. Anyway, should somebody ring the bell I shall answer the door dressed like this with a rubber duck on each shoulder. That should get me through until WineTime.

Lock up your granny!

And hug each other....



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