Val Seeks the True Vindaloo

Saturday 22nd December 2018

Val mentioned on the telephone that  the true Vindaloo had been revealed to him. So I was booked to go down to Hastings to experience it. There was no lunch on arrival as had been mentioned but the pork was said to be marinating in the vinegar, the cardamom and the cloves. I was getting nearer to the secret of the true Vindaloo. Meantime Val wanted to go to B&Q to get a really good dry rot killer. He said he’d been watching 101 Dalmatians with Glenn Close on Channel 5 the day before. The adverts he couldn’t believe –  a motorised Barbie clinic?  We drove to the De La Warr Pavilion which was saved by the parents-in-law of one of the artists in my collection as well as their son, an architect, being married to another architect known to Bruce McBain. Val had fish and chips as well as banter with the attendant about the mushy pea fritters in the cafe there. It seemed there was an alternative to B&Q in Bexhill main street but they are out of dry rot killer. We were set off by that shop on a wild goose-chase through all the other DIY outlets in Bexhill except B&Q, but the banter was good and I don’t think they’d ever seen the likes of Val and myself. We wondered about the life of staff in such places. Val thought there would be compensations: such as contact between the sexes and whip-rounds. So we ended up at B&Q anyway and Val emerged triumphant with a tri-parite mega dry rot killer in a less than 5-litre quantity. Quite why there is dry-rot in an external door frame of a newly-built house I don’t know.

But there is.

We got back to Val’s LA-type residence. I did some dusting while Val recovered on the sofa. His recent triumph was Kirsty Wark on Newsnight saying to Giles Coren, ‘So then, Giles Coren, is vegetarianism an eating disorder?’ It was Val who first asked this question 30 years ago. Now it’s reached the orbit of Kirsty Wark. Not surprising then that Val was meditating on a vegetarian Christmas menu: ‘How about making a nut roast out of topside? Would that do?’ Eventually Val stirred for the kitchen where he engaged in the mysteries of the vindaloo. Before the final manifestation though, there was a paté: ‘More of cut moquette than a mouselline,’ Val explained. ‘I couldn’t face all that sieving.’ I thought ‘cut moquette’ was a kind of carpet. Anyway, it was a delicious and decorative paté. We ate on knees with telly on. Then came the vindaloo. Have you guessed yet? Well, at last you shall know. The true Vindaloo – well, it’s not hot at all. Quite the opposite – fragrant and tangy.

So there it is.

The next morning Val outlined a look he might adopt involving greasy fuchsia hair with a centre parting, many bags and unfortunate jewellery.

Posted Sunday, December 23, 2018 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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