Jan. 7th, 2013

gillpolack: (Default)
Today is the day of the Grump. It's when the summer warmth collides with PMT collide with asthma collide with general aches. My solution was to go through my wine cabinet and find out what needs finishing. I have five bottles of very fine red that need finishing. Except I don't want to drink. What this means is that the next five friends to invite me to dinner get to share rather gorgeous reds, for one glass I can manage - a whole bottle is out of the question.

I'm not really a drinker of red wines, even the rather good ones I discovered lurking in my cabinet. This would be why they were lurking. Too good to waste, but still liable to give me headaches if I drink more than a glass. One of the bottles is a Henschke. I want to drink it. I need friends to drink it with. Anyone want a dinner party when the heat wave subsides?

I still have far too much fortified wine, despite several bottles of it being stolen last year. Rutherglen fortifieds have so many memories and so I buy it whenever I'm in the region. It's out of fashion in Canberra, so my friends tend to refuse a glass when I offer it. And I'm not a big drinker. This means it takes a long, long time to finish one bottle, much less the dozen I have lurking. Every kind of fortified, going back over twenty years.

Occasionally I give the very special fortifieds as very special presents. Mostly they sit and mellow.

My oldest bottle is a half-bottle from 1946 (I think it's 1946 - it's definitely the 1940s) and I have (for I counted them) four half-bottles older than I am. They're not part of the twelve. I've been deciding what to do with them for 15 years now. Occasionally, friends get to sample the 1948 white muscat and ooh and ah over its complexity and the sheer concentration of flavour. These wines are meant to add qualities to newer wine, not to be drunk by themselves, however. One sip is really all anyone can drink without being overwhelmed.

I asked my wine-expert sister what they were used for and she said they were from the old stock, used with newer wine of the same type to create something special. For seven years I tried to get together a group of friends to use one of those bottles to create something, but when we calculated the number of bottles of wine we'd end up with, we decided against it. I'm not up to getting a barrel of wine and mixing my own, though, so the half-bottles linger, their fate still undecided.

And now I must stop being undecided, make myself some iced tea, and write 2000 words. Unless I actually drink that wine, I've run out of excuses.
gillpolack: (Default)
The Grump turns out to be my weather sense. So does the big Bushfire rant. The various government authorities have caught up with me. This time I rang Mum when the high state of alert was declared. Ten years ago, I rang her once power had been restored, after the worst was over, telling her "Don't worry."

"About what?" she asked.

"The fires. Me. I have power back and everything."

"I saw them on the news," she said. "They're a long way away. How did you lose power?"

"They're only a long way away if you redefine Mt Taylor as a long way away."

"Remind me which one Mt Taylor is?"

"The one at whose base I reside."

It turned out the news Mum watched had misreported that only the outskirts of Canberra were on fire. It saved Mum a great deal of worry, at least. She knew I was safe when it was too late to worry.

I was thinking about taking time out to see The Hobbit tomorrow, just to get away from the heat. This is now not going to happen. Nor are the parcels I have for people going to be sent quite yet. Anything that takes me outside isn't going to happen. My asthma is my body reminding me it's sensitive to bushfire. I shall stay indoors. I can feel it even here as I gently swell up like a balloon, but I have plenty of medication (now that I know what to medicate for), and if things get too bad, there is the hospital.

When this interesting moment in time is past, if anyone local would like to go to The Hobbit with me, I'd be very pleased to have the company. Also I'd be pleased to have a lift: I may be indoors for a few weeks.

Thank goodness for Naomi - I get a shopping trip (in car!) tomorrow afternoon. Stocking up on all sorts of things will make a difference.

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