Retired Bloke and falling leaves

DID I tell you that one of the nicest things about living in Swansea is the fact that the city is full of trees? I did? Well, as is the case with most nice things, there’s a price to be paid.

And in my case, at this time of year it involves a sweeping broom, a bucket, and several large garden waste bags.

I spent two hours this morning sweeping leaves off the deck, the patio, all the paths around the house, and the front steps.

Tomorrow it will be just Retired Bloke and his rake against the brown and orange carpet that is currently covering the front lawn.

After I’d had a cup of coffee, a slice of toast and marmalade, and a much-needed shower, The Current Mrs Feeney and I went to Swansea Central Library. TCMrsF is a demon for crime fiction; she can’t get enough of the stuff, and the gorier the better. I’ve noticed this disturbing trend for forensic fiction among females. It’s enough to make a retired bloke stir uneasily in the night.

When I retired, I fondly thought I’d spend my afternoons in an armchair with a book. It has rarely happened, but I’m going to be making more of an effort.

I borrowed “The Secret Life Of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd, and “On The Edge” by Edward St Aubyn. If anybody has read either, let me know what you thought of them. I’ve made a start with the Kidd; going well so far.

I visited The Aged Parents in their care home. Mum asleep (as is the norm these days). I watched the first half of a televised rugby match with dad before going home for our Sunday meal of roast beef and all the trimmings. Delicious.

One thing you have to say in Mrs F’s favour (I’d say many, naturally) is that she is a dab hand in the kitchen. I wonder if she’s picked up any tips from all of those books about forensic procedures? Perhaps we should move on.

While stirring the gravy (never let it be said that Retired Bloke does not pull his weight – or stir his ladle – in the culinary sector) I had another glass of the Montepulciano D’Abruzzo we opened last night.

As you may know, The Wine List project sees me heroically endeavouring to sample a wine made from every major grape variety listed in Hugh Johnson’s pocket wine book.

I had a look at what HJ had to say about Montepulciano : “Deep coloured grape dominant in Italy’s Abruzzo and important along the Adriatic coast from the Marches to southern Apulia.” Hm, not as descriptive as some of his entries.

IMGP5810So I turned to the label, eagerly anticipating the fruits of the copy-writer’s toil. I wasn’t disappointed. “A vibrant red bursting with cherry and black pepper aromas followed by juicy flavours of ripe red berries …. mouthwatering freshness and peppery bite.”

Now I don’t know about you, but my nose seems to lack the extraordinary sensitivity displayed by some of these label-writing boys and girls. I tend to struggle beyond fruity, acidic, dry and tangy. Still, it seems to work out ok in the end. “Smooth and fruity” would be my contribution to the Montepulciano debate.

According to the people behind the label on this bottle (one of Marks and Spencer’s range) it is “perfect with spicy sausage pasta, meaty pizzas or seared duck breast.” Not having some ssp or mp, not to mention sdb, in the larder, we paired it with a Pollo Arrabiata Parmigiano pizza (also one of Messrs M&S’s efforts). The red chillies and Roquito peppers put those old “juicy flavours” to the test.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, and will be buying a couple more bottles for the RB wine rack. Oh, and if you are technically minded, it was 12.5% alcohol volume.

Drink up, and do try to remain cheerful at all times.


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