Molly and I share similar tastes in that we both very much like roast chicken and sardines which Jenny does not. In a well ordered ménage à trois, as is ours, such a problem is not insurmountable being resolved by the simple expediency of Molly and I taking lunch together whilst Jenny and I dine in the evening. Lunch was until recently something that I remembered from a past life. At one point in that past life I can remember being a master of lunch, which was an event that often filled the best part of a working day. If one was good at lunch it meant that only the meanest portion of time was allotted for work. The inevitable result of that equation has become evident since coming to live in France, a land which celebrates the restaurant lunch with a near religious fervour and where my lunching habits have foundered on the rocks of penury. Mr.Micawber would feel vindicated and eternally grateful that his fictional existence had saved him from yet another person joining the host of spendthrifts waiting to give him a good kicking for being such a prescient clever dick. My return to the lunching habit has been brought about by my recent acquaintance with manual labour. A loaf of bread and a jug of wine is apparently the lunch time menu in Xanadu should you be building a pleasure dome in a cavern measureless to man but, in my dotage, the jug of wine would have me on my knees quicker than a bag of cement on the shoulder or, as P.G.Wodehouse succinctly wrote, being struck behind the ear with a stuffed seal. Speaking of seals, it is apposite that sardines are high on my list, and Molly’s, of lunch time favourites. My Portuguese grandfather was keen on tinned sardines and would use the strange collective term, ” a drop of sardines”, when he fancied them for his supper which statement surprised me, not only grammatically, but also in their selection as food for the evening. The main thing is that Molly is particularly keen on sardines and, surprisingly for a cat, seems to very much like olive oil….as do I. So lunch is simple sardines in olive oil, good bread and butter and a big salad of mache and rocket…..only sardines for Molly. Interestingly, for a lunch companion, Molly prefers to eat from a bowl on the floor. In moments of excess, in years gone by, I often spent a certain amount of time on the floor at end of a long lunch so it’s not for me to criticise the eating habits of others. On the other hand, Molly does prefer to sit on a stool in the kitchen to eat a bowl of biscuits before going to bed in the outhouse.
Then of course there is roast chicken…but more of that another time.