1)A 2 minute audio excerpt from classic Hancock (for those of you listening on the black and white wireless) on the subject of spectacularly poor cooking:
2) And another viewpoint on gravy – a poem – viewable in book “Essential Poems from the Staying Alive Trilogy” edited by Neil Astley and at blog
by Raymond Carver.
No other word will do. For that’s what it was.
Gravy, these past ten years.
Alive, sober, working, loving, and
being loved by a good woman. Eleven years
ago he was told he had six months to live
at the rate he was going. And he was going
nowhere but down. So he changed his ways
somehow. He quit drinking! And the rest?
After that it was all gravy, every minute
of it, up to and including when he was told about,
well, some things that were breaking down and
building up inside his head. “Don’t weep for me,”
he said to his friends. “I’m a lucky man.
I’ve had ten years longer than I or anyone
expected. Pure Gravy. And don’t forget it.”
(This poem was written by a recovered alcoholic, apparently washed up as a writer, who got sober, met and married a second wife – and got an unexpected decade of happy life)
Which reminds me of the recently deceased A A Gill, the tremendous food critic and writer, who was told by a doctor that he was on the point of death from his alcoholism when he was a not very successful 30 year old painter – at which point (1984) he signed into a detox clinic. He lived to discover what he was born to do – journalism (despite severe dyslexia) – and married once (2 kids) then lived with his partner (they had twins). His comment, below, also reflects an appreciation of a second chance at life.
I realise I don’t have a bucket list; I don’t feel I’ve been cheated of anything. I’d like to have gone to Timbuktu, and there are places I will be sorry not to see again. But actually, because of the nature of my life and the nature of what happened to me in my early life – my addiction – I know I have been very lucky.