I hate to cook. No, really I do. Fortunately for me I co-habit with someone who can. And most importantly, doesn’t mind doing it. Living with a cook feels like all of your Christmas’ have arrived at once. You get to eat well but at the same time are taught to have a healthy respect for grease proof paper.
When Guido and I originally hooked up we were in that silly first flush of foolish love when we thought anything was possible. Guido had this misguided belief that one day I’d figure out how to operate a four flame gas hob. Ha! We ploughed on regardless. I agreed to take a turn to cook on alternate nights. When Guido cooked we’d be dining on something sumptuous like a big bowl of chorizo and shellfish. The clams would be waving cheerfully to us from a broth of white wine and parsley. Then the next night I’d take us to the dark side. It was like going from all the joys of Summer to a cold harsh Winter in twenty-four hours. I found out pretty quickly that there are only so many baked beans you can expect the man you love to eat without having to invest in Alpine scented air freshener. I’m telling you no one cooked tinned beans on toast like I did, nor apparently with such regularity.
To compensate for this imbalance we now have a house rule that whoever cooks the dinner, never has to do the washing up later. As arrangements go I have absolutely no complaints. In fact I think I may include this agreement in our wedding vows. I’ll love him, honour him, cherish him, and promise to scrub Guido’s sticky pan on a regular basis.
It’s a well known fact that some people find quiet contemplation by reading prose, or listening to their favourite tracks of classical music. Other people lose themselves in the glue that is stamp collecting or by swishing rods and fly fishing. Well, I get a kick out of washing dishes. For me it’s a state of mind. Nirvana. It’s thinking time to ponder the complexities of life and how to put them right. Light the joss sticks, cross your legs, and chant hum on a scatter cushion with me. If you’ve never considered washing up as a hobby, trust me it can be incredibly therapeutic. It probably has something to do with all that warm water, soapy bubbles and the occasional waft of a hot hand towel. Honestly, throw in a couple of scented candles and a Dead Sea mud facial and it’s better than a night at Champney’s.
Guido’s never one to look a gift horse in the mouth. To indulge my passion he’s fitted an industrial sized tap to the loft sink. It looks like a cross between a cattle prod and something you’d use to hose down a nuclear plant employee who’s accidentally been exposed to plutonium. These days there’s nothing I enjoy more than whizzing off some encrusted lasagne from a tray bake with it. Need crumble from a pie tin blitzed? You got it!
Anyway last night I had some serious thinking time over an egg crisped omelette pan. Let me tell you it paid off because afterwards I logged on-line and had a terrific conversation with a guy who told me he’s a tailor from Kuala Lumpur. I’ve ordered a pink suit.