Up Down Extraordinarily Gynaecological

Sunday 28th January 2018

Laura Malcolm announced a fish themed dinner for New Year. But Matt Driver was not to make the fish-shaped fish salad as he did last year and the year before. He is only motivated by large numbers apparently. So no fish-shaped fish mould salad (an 80s recipe: incredibly decorative) this year. Mincing the shrimps for the shrimp butter, just a touch of soot was incorporated, Laura having previously stoked the fire. We shrieked and LOL-ed though because it’s so fashionable. The poor Multis once took me to a restaurant in an old toilet-block by Tower Bridge where the idea of the tasting menu was cooking with coal oil, tar, crude oil extracts and bitter wayside gourds, with a grating of Pears soap. £290 each, thank you very much.

What a menu it was for Norman New Year though: pink and red fish nibbles in the drawing room pre, oysters, prawns and exclusive, only-found-in-France cockle type of things,  sea bass au shrimp beurre avec cendre (the main), green salad with ‘enhanced cheeseboard’ and no dessert. One was spoken of, but remained a Platonic ideal at the back of the cave in the face of the unassailable reality of the Cruisings’ six boxes of Tesco’s special selection selection of chocs.

Things didn’t go well in the drawing room after the feast: in fact Percival Cruising abandoned Linky Linky altogether owing to bad behaviour and total breakdown of buzzer discipline. Those buzzers with their twisty never-ending flexes were being coiled back into their bag sharpish, I can tell you. We weren’t fit to buzz. Up Down was the only hope: Miss Elizabeth was writhing owing to lack of married love. Then her poetic husband had the idea of getting his publisher to carry out his marital duties on his behalf. Miss Elizabeth was remarkably acquiescent in this scheme but it wasn’t until our New Year’s Day epi that she rocked up in Eaton Place and announced in the drawing room that the marriage hadn’t been consummated. Lady Margery reeled in disbelief and Mr Bellamy sent for the lawyer at once. A grotesque scene ensued in which Lady Margery and Mr B waited in the drawing room while the doctor examined Miss Elizabeth upstairs. There was much build-up to this event, with Rose even saying downstairs that she’d got to ‘get Miss Elizabeth ready for the doctor.’ What on earth would that involve? The seconds ticked by, it grew unbearable the suspense. Finally the doctor appeared in the drawing room and announced that Miss E was pregnant. We must resume this Up Down story line next time.

On New Year’s Day afternoon we had The Music’s Sound. That stain by the door handle of Maria’s bedroom still there. Still not cleaned off. But the mu in The Music’s Sound – it is enchanting, despite everything, such as Julie Andrews’ awful acting and frocks. We totted up how many of the Van Trapp children now are dead – the actors playing them, I mean.

So Normandy was over for another year. The Triumph of the Seas set forth for the Euro tunnel at 10 a.m the next day. Its wound had been rusting quietly in the lashing rain all the while. I didn’t mention, did I, the tragedy? The Triumph of the Seas was nicked on the rear hub by a Hopper – or one of the London bus types – shortly before Christmas. It can be repaired, of course, but Percival is going to scrap her. A repaired machine, no longer intact, with body parts replaced, isn’t the same.

The other thing was: Percival got v. cross if one suggested that he lives in Lower Norwood and as for West Norwood, where Val once resided and planned tremendous double doors into the drawing room – unspeakable. I don’t think even Upper Norwood would do.  So I don’t know how to describe his neighbourhood.


The Fish-based Pre Nibbles for New Year's Eve Dinner in Normandy

The Fish-based Pre Nibbles for New Year’s Eve Dinner in Normandy

The New Year's Eve Seafood Course: So Light and Tripping

The New Year’s Eve Seafood Course: So Light and Tripping

The Shrimp Butter au Cendre for the Sea Bass (the Main for New Year's Eve in Normandy)

The Shrimp Butter au Cendre for the Sea Bass (the Main for New Year’s Eve in Normandy)

The Triumph of the Waves in Her Poor Wounded State: She's for the Scrap-Year Unfort

The Triumph of the Waves in Her Poor Wounded State: She’s for the Scrap-Year Unfort


Posted Sunday, January 28, 2018 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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  1. laura malcolm says:

    Already working on my next soot-themed menu. Ash-dusted quails eggs on carbonised celeriac fragments, followed by fire-blackened chicken with grey puree. Sweet finish of smoked chocolate truffles, achieved by throwing the remains of the funsize multipacks into the Godin stove.

  2. Adrian Edge says:

    Incredible menu

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