I’m feeling enervated. I know that I’m enervated because I remember the day, and nearly the hour, when the meaning of this word was made clear to me. Once upon a time there was a celebrated watering hole in Covent Garden called the Zanzibar, a 70’s deco dream designed by Tchaik Chassay, at whose feet, not Tchaik’s feet but the Zanzibar’s, can be laid the collapse of many a career, business and marriage. I have apportioned the blame thus as it is far easier to lay it at the feet of an inanimate object rather than inculpate those feet of clay that were the true cause of these mishaps. The Zanzibar was a drinking club of near Antipodean extremes. The bar stools were very tall chrome constructions which led to the management working on the principal of “three strikes and you’re out”. Falling from one of these bar stools was not uncommon as the Martinis served were of Dean Martin strength and proportions. I remember sitting with another clayfoot who had taken a couple of falls and was sporting a blood stained handkerchief around the head to staunch the flow of blood after striking the foot rail on the way down. The clayfoot was now hanging on to the hand rail for dear life knowing full well that another tumble would entail the “third strike” enforcement of being bundled into a taxi home, or somewhere. Work was accomplished at a different rate in those heady days which meant that lunch time, to all intents and purposes, signified the end of the working day. It was essential to arrive early at the lunchtime session in order to claim a barstool that would keep one close to the action. Cray fish racing on the smooth, curvaceous, mirror studded black bar was a Woosterish event that I remember clearly at this early session, although the word “clearly” may well be an oxymoron when paired with the Zanzibar. As food was definitely of secondary importance in this drinking establishment, although the cook at the time was none other than the now iconic chef, Alistair Little, in embryonic form, maybe the crayfish were not racing but in fact sedately making their way to the kitchen under their own steam as no one seemed to be taking any interest in them as a possible foodstuff. It may well have been a safe haven for crayfish as I rarely heard anyone ordering food or, if someone did, the food often remained uneaten meaning that a live crayfish would be absolutely safe, under its glossy coating of mayonnaise, as long as it remained motionless and managed, chameleon like, to look pink. It was a morning such as this that found me climbing onto my upholstered chrome drinking stool and bidding “Good day” to a fellow clayfoot, Angus Forbes, a very clever Australian photographer and film maker. Angus had gone to Geelong Grammar so he nearly spoke English. He loved words, nearly as much as he loved Seagrams Bourbon for whom he was a test pilot, and enjoyed quizzing me on the meaning of random words as he got great pleasure from my infallibly incorrect answers. Thus we return to “enervating”, which I immediately defined as meaning exciting and elevating when, as we all now know, it means the direct opposite of those qualities. That was the icing on Angus’ morning and he laid another fiver to win on the crayfish who was washing his claws, pre race, in a red wine vinegar and shallot mixture which had been recommended to him by an oyster chum.