I wish I’d said that….

cheese_pickleThinking that policemen look younger and regularly saying “I remember…” are both very clear signs of age. This statement doesn’t hold true in my case as I avert my eyes at the first sign of a policeman, in sure and clear knowledge that I’m guilty of something or anything, and I try not to say “I remember….” as the dots are hard to pronounce and yet are probably the only things that I do remember. Memories come to me when I’m writing, sleeping, cooking or at any time other than when remembering would contribute to the conversation or would facilitate the smooth running of every day life. The box is full, but someone keeps moving it from the last place that I put it down. Every now and then I run into a contemporary, whom I may not have seen in years, and we chat animatedly over several hours during which time no names, proper nouns, dates or titles are mentioned as they are temporarily forgotten until after we have said our farewells. The conversation was in no way spoilt as we both knew the names and titles in question, they just weren’t forthcoming on demand. It’s quite a relaxing way of talking in that it avoids the pitfalls of mistakes as nothing is mentioned that could be incorrect or misleading, there is just agreement. This is an ideal situation, of course, that can only be achieved with seniority but which leads me inexorably to the pleasure of “l’humour de l’escalier”. This phrase relates to that moment, on the way home after a particularly trying event, when the perfect riposte manifests itself and has to be wasted. There is a wonderful book, a copy of which I have sadly mislaid over numerous house moves, that is called “I wish I’d said that”. The reason for this post is that I have just remembered a couple of things from that book and can’t resist but to share them with you:

A short conversation between Jean Harlow and Margot Asquith, the acerbic aristocratic wit.

Jean Harlow: ” Oh, hi there, are you really the famous Margot Asquith” (pronouncing the “t” as in “got”)

Margot Asquith: “Yes, my dear, but the “t” is silent, as in Harlow.”

I’ve forgotten the other one now, so I’ll carry on eating my bread and cheese. The cheese is a wonderful Cantal Entre Deux and the chutney is Green Tomato and Apple which was made by Mary Cadogan.

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2013, Cheese, Digital photography, Excellence, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, Humour, photography course, Photography holiday, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to I wish I’d said that….

  1. fransiweinstein says:

    What a great line! The ‘t’ is silent, as in Harlow! Thanks for the giggle.

  2. Mad Dog says:

    James McNeill Whistler would say, “You will remember Roger, you will” 😉
    That cheese looks amazing!

  3. You realize this week I am trying not to eat the cheese I bought. You are not helping.

  4. That does look like excellent Cantal Entre Deux. ‘just weren’t forthcoming on demand’ is a great way to phrase it – I shall (try to) remember it!

  5. I forgot what I was going to say………..but this is wonderful as ever!!!

  6. Curses: I have sworn off cheese for a while and your wonderful picture had me truly yearning. Love that Harlow anecdote.

  7. ChgoJohn says:

    If I could find cheese anything like those that your feature here, I’d never make another curd in my life!
    “… the ‘t’ is silent, as in Harlow.” This will keep me chuckling for the rest of the day. Thanks, Roger.

    • It’s worth trying to hunt out a copy of the original book from the late 70’s to early 80’s. I’ve seen some newer versions and they don’t seem to contain the same subtle epithets that I remember. Did I just say remember?

  8. Hehe! That was good: the shot, the cheese, the story…fantastic! 😉

  9. Wonderful line, wonderful shot. I do envy you the cheese selection over there. And the freshness.

  10. Eha says:

    Define the word ‘age’ please: I seem to have forgotten 🙂 !

  11. cecilia says:

    “Oh you mean.. ? ”
    “Yeah that guy.. he lived around the corner from…”
    “…Oh, the wee fella, yeah, I liked that fella, the bloke with the hair like a whatsit, the bowl thing. I can’t remember the last time we saw him. Was it where you fell over that time, after that night, at the canal place?”
    “Oh yeah that funny pub.. the one with the pointy door… and the guy with the weasels”
    “it was roundy”
    “No, it wasn’t roundy, it was pointy, like his hat, you remember that fool?”
    “and that girl”
    “yeah, I hated that girl”


  12. I’m starting to say “I remember…” and I’m only 34. I think anything above 25 can validly say that phrase now.

  13. Funny how in Japan we’d say the same thing about policemen!

  14. In recent days, I’ve been saying to my husband repeatedly, “Do you remember when…” to which he replies, “Um… no, I don’t remember…” I think I need to stop asking and accepting that not everything is remembered. 😉 Love the photo.

  15. And the dialogue between Jean H and Margot A is excellent.

  16. angela says:

    sigh ~ your lovely pictures always make me sad that cheese makes me ill ..the chutney would work, though… your posts are always such bits of joy even for non- foodies, thank you.

  17. Andy Szpuk says:

    You always remember to photograph the cheese so I’m thinking your memory cannot be so bad, although the pungent aromas must help.

  18. Am loving these cheese shots and loved the line! Yes…I’m getting to that point too where I forget stuff and repeat myself…Yes…I’m getting to that point too where I forget stuff and repeat myself…(!)

  19. spree says:

    Great line…so glad you it sprang back to life in your memory Roger…good laugh over that one…and the cheese shot, mmm so good! You do know how to perk a person’s appetite.

  20. Roger, this looks fabulous. I’m so jealous of your skills.

  21. Karen says:

    I’m having so much fun catching up with your posts. Do I ……that chutney mentioned in a post about a visit to Mary Cadogan’s?

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