The black dog is abroad on such a day as today, which has been so remorseless in its doleful gloominess that the arrival of evening has been a sweet relief. As darkness falls the lights go on and the warmth of the newly fired up oven gives off a comforting warmth in the kitchen, which room is where I know that I will find the pleasure that I allowed the day to take from me . Cooking, the accoutrements of cooking, the ingredients, the smells and the whole atmosphere of a kitchen restores me. Books come out of shelves to be scoured for delicious ideas which won’t be made tonight, but are marked, with the others already so marked, as “definitely to be done” whilst the cork is pulled from an ordinary bottle of red. This is the pleasure, this is the heart of the home. I made a visit to the boulangerie in the village, earlier in the greyness, and bought a good loaf of bread which will accompany a simple pasta with broccoli, anchovies and chillies followed by sweet apples in a puff pastry case. Food as simple and as good as this feeds the spirit as well as the body making me wonder how I could have been so foolish as to have let a day go by without enjoying every minute to the full, and filling me with determination not to be pissed off with the arrival of the plumber at 8.00 tomorrow morning.