He’s got to have it

Last night Guido and I were laying naked in bed. Regular readers will know this is not in any way an unusual occurrence.

Let’s just say there’s a certain order to life which must be followed. The sun goes around the moon. The ocean tide rolls out and then it comes back in again. Spaghetti is boiled in salted water. Then it’s got to be tossed into a seafood sauce and served with garlicky bread. Of course, over here it’s eaten by the two of us in bed. Like I say, it’s the natural order of the universe, so taking all our clothes off is obligatory.

The phone rang. I balanced my spoon momentarily onto Guido’s hairy thigh.

It was Gary. Ted had whisked him off to Paris for the weekend. They were in a suite at The Hotel Sans Regis and wanted room service.

“So what in the hell are you calling me for in Denmark Hill? Press 9,” I said.

“I figured you and Guido eat a lot in bed and then straight after you have sex,” he said, “I consider you experts in your field.”

Familiarity breeds contempt, I thought.

“So, Ted figured you’d know what might stir up some excitement, whilst simultaneously avoiding any effects of long term indigestion,” said Gary.

Worryingly, this discussion was going down the perfect sense route.

“Hmm, well ok,” I said, “and if I happened to be laying between 1000 thread Egyptian cotton sheets right now instead of our old knitted blanket – what are my options if feeling completely insatiable?” I asked.

I picked up my spoon. I played with my prawn. I thought about being in Paris drinking champagne and staring at a neo classically hand painted deluxe room ceiling.

“I was thinking about the parmigiana? It’s roasted in the chefs own tomato sauce, can be easily shared – but just guessing we could possibly stain the pillows,” said Gary.

“Hold on,” I said. I held the receiver to my chest. “Have we ever had sex which involved an aubergine?” I asked Guido.

He sucked a clam shell. He frowned.

“Are you talking to your Mother?” asked Guido.

“Ted wants to know,” I said.

He thought for a moment. I can always tell when he’s thinking because it takes all of his powers of concentration and he blinks a lot.

“Well, in that case, yeah we have, but tell Gary to proceed with extreme caution,” he said blinking.

I picked up the phone again.

“Personally Gary, I’d pass,” I said.

I really couldn’t remember an aubergine but I could definitely recall fond memories of a stuffed zucchini.

“How about the house Risotto Parmesan?” asked Gary. He sounded hungry and as if time was of the essence. I was guessing Ted was impatient to get the party started.

“Can be interesting, if a little filling,” I said and that was the Gods own truth.

I poked my calamari.

“They have oysters but it doesn’t say anything about Worcestershire Sauce,” said Gary.

“Well Casanova used to eat them for breakfast and we all know what he was capable of.”

Gary hung up. I picked up my spoon.

“Gary called us experts at eating in bed just before having sex,” I said.

“And justifiably so!” said Guido matter of factly.

That’s the thing about this blog. It’s become a public service.

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Relatively speaking

It never ceases to amaze who you can end up sitting opposite at a lunch table these days. Yesterday, in our cafe, I was innocently discussing the pros and cons of a toasted bagel with a shaggy haired and friendly young guy, and, guess what? He turns out to be a well known and published English quantum physicist.

Dominic lives in Denmark Hill. In between slices of smoked salmon and cream cheese he explained the theory of relativity. And as I’m a complete dummy he didn’t find that particularly easy, but he was a very patient man. As was I, because my minestrone soup ended up stone cold.

“The whole piece of time is a landscape,” he said, “and, although you might not always realise it, we’re all shifting through it constantly.”

I nodded enthusiastically. Who needs food when you’ve got gravitational time dilation?

“It must be really tedious dreaming up entertaining ways to explain the rules of elementary particles,” I said, “without sounding pedantic.”

I stirred some Parmesan cheese into my minestrone and watched it quickly melt. There was definitely a scientific analogy in that bowl, but unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough or smart enough to explain it to Dominic.

“Most of us experience relative motion every day,” he said chewing his bagel. Against my better judgment it was untoasted.

“Oh absolutely,” I said, “in fact I was saying that just last week to my husband as I nudged him back over to his side of the bed in the middle of the night.”

I could tell Dominic was impressed by my grasp of force fields.

“So, imagine you’re sitting on a bus and I’m walking along a street,” he said. “Technically you’re perfectly still on that bus, but of course, moving. That’s because the bus is moving.”

I blinked. I suddenly felt hungry.

“Let’s say the traffic slows to a crawl and, although I’m still walking, I’m able to catch up with that bus.”

I sucked my spoon thoughtfully.

“This sounds just like the number 42 route to Liverpool Street,” I said, “it’s a bitch in the rush hour. If it’s relative speed you’re after, then please avoid it like the plague.”

I really didn’t think Dominic took the bus, he looked like he regularly skateboarded.

“And as I walk along next to the bus, you look out of the window, and I wave.” Dominic waved across the table at this point. And I’m sorry to have to tell you, I waved back.

“Whilst we’re are both separately in motion – because you’re on that bus and I’m walking next to it – to the naked eye it appears that we’re at a standstill because we are both moving, at exactly the same speed, at exactly the same time.”

After a while I could see Dominic’s lips moving but the only audible words I could hear were blah blah blah, interspersed with – Newton’s apple, Albert Einstein’s moustache, and microwave background radiation. It was at that point I decided to abandon my ambitions of becoming a physicist and just stay with wallpapering.

Later, as I was getting ready for bed, I told Guido that time becomes slower the closer you get to travelling at the speed of light. But I’m not sure he was that interested.

He said he had something far more pressing on his mind.