It’s For You, Professor Collier

Two memories of our visit to Nepal fifteen years ago stand out, one magical, the other unsettling. My wife, Rohan, and I were staying in the Himalayan foothills at a hotel just outside Nagarkot. I was there at a conference. The magic occurred on a clear day when, after an hour’s stroll, the view we sought suddenly appeared. Far…

At Your Service

It was a mixed fortnight with pleading and pride playing critical parts. Twice we needed major household repairs and twice we relied on favoured status for the work to be done with minimal delay. For installing a new gas boiler, it was my presumed frailty that added urgency; for replacing the leaking water main, the key…

Slippery customer

My wife, Rohan, suggested that we eat out at Vince et Versa, a restaurant nearby. I agreed but on one condition, that I be allowed to bring my own cutlery. My proposal was rejected - it would be an affront.  A day later, I hatched a less obtrusive plan and a table was booked. I…

In search of humble pie

In general, my French lessons follow a fairly standard format. After a session in which we catch up on the French news and on any important student news, our teacher goes round the table asking each of us in turn if we have a presentation to offer. Most of us will have prepared something and,…

Tomato wars

Frank is a thoughtful man who rarely smiles. He also happens to be the owner and chef of Le Symphony, a favourite café of mine. His menu is limited but his omelettes are a dream, and when I am in Brittany it is with him that we - Bernard and I - have lunch most…

The only way is Sussex

There was a short detour to be made before booking into our restaurant-cum-hotel on the edge of Lochinver. Our aim was to pick chanterelles. In Scotland they are at their best in late summer and one September we had stumbled across a carpet of them growing in their favoured Eeyore environment - a damp mossy…