“Familiarity breeds contempt,” I said to Guido on my way through the café kitchen this morning. I wasn’t referring to him of course. I was pointing to the ham he was liberally smearing honey over.
“Quit busting my chops,” he said. “I mean how could someone have contempt for something so beautiful as a ham joint?”
I was merely trying to reinforce an important point I made earlier over a hot toast breakfast. Today I told Guido that, just for a change, I was going to be making small but significant alterations to my day – and I thought he should too. Why bake a ham with honey when you could use maple and mustard? Hello? It’s a no brainer.
“My life feels like a horrible groundhog day. Each one is beginning to merge together. I’m stuck in a routine rut. I get up, I go to work, I source an avant garde candelabra made from re-cycled bicycle parts for a Russian oligarch, and then I come home again and eat cold honey baked ham for dinner.”
“I can see why you must be bored rigid,” said Guido.
When I walk to work each day I always exit the café doors, turn right, and then head down Bermondsey High Street. My route never differs. If it did, my ying would simply not yang. But this morning, I turned left. I have to tell you it felt like I was walking back to front. Unfortunately about a hundred yards down the street I managed to get my foot stuck down a drain vent. Pulling it out I ripped the sole of my boot just below the toe. So thirty minutes later than usual, and with one very cold and damp left foot, I hopped into my office. Goodness, wasn’t doing things differently a cinch.
“You are almost thirty minutes late,” said my assistant Toby. If you read this blog you might remember Toby has OCD. He dislikes it when I am late. Sometimes it feels like he is employing me rather than the other way around. “I was tracking the erratic movements emanating for your mobile phone and noticed that rather than turning right when you departed home this morning you turned left. Can we please discuss this worrying anomaly after we have had our coffee?” That was when I broke it to him we would be doing things differently today and rather than both having coffee we would both be having green tea. Toby had to immediately lie down with his feet raised slightly above his head to recover from the initial shock of this change to our refreshment schedule.
Later at the deli I boldly picked a tuna wrap rather than my safe and usual option – a cream cheese bagel. But I think the tuna was off. So I sucked on one of those hard boiled sweets and then I crunched. Then I realised I’d chipped a hole in a molar. It would probably cost about £125 to have my tooth filled but hey, at least I had eaten something different for lunch. At night over dinner I updated Guido on my amazingly different day.
“A ripped boot, a catatonic assistant, a stinky lunch, and a big dental bill. I have to hand it to you, it sounds like the best day you’ve ever had,” said Guido.
Thankfully the cold ham cuts we always eat on a Monday night tasted exactly the same.