Rain and a Yurt
Looking out to sea, I could imagine Axl Rose sipping
Earl Grey and a munching on a biscuit as he wrote "Cold November
Rain'... then again, maybe not ! You know Axl Rose, he's that bloke
in Guns N' Roses with the red, spotted bandana who wears cycle shorts.
I wouldn't want you to think I'm some sad, wannabe, old rock chic who
thinks it's cool to know a few heavy metal tracks; my information is
purely by subliminal infusion by association from my sons who played
this kind of music relentlessly, and without being deaf, some of it had
to permeate.... Blind Melon, Soundgarden, Fishbone.. 'it's all rock and
roll to me'!
November has a singular beauty. If you're not living In Cornwall, it
is almost certain that the picture postcard image will be one of bright
blues and views, but it's not always like that. Vicious rain, slashing
from the south-west, straight from the Channel is hard and cold, as the
horizon focuses the sun tries to break through the cloud and spotlights
of brilliance beam onto the sea like the lights of an alien mother ship
searching for a place to land.
The vibrance of summer has faded, giving way to the taupe, moss and
grey palette of autumn. The cottages are mistily indefinable and the
village a de-saturated silhouette with the headland and lifeboat house,
darkly etched against the sea. Lustrous bands of pewter, silver and mercury
flicker and interchange. amalgam like, across the sea's surface as the
sun feebly attempts to break through the clouds as the white, ocean-reflected
light bleaches everything with diffused filters.
The days are shortening with the onset of winter, but then, as Axl warbles,
' nothin' last forever, even cold November rain', we ended the month
with an 'up- country' treat; an evening at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's,
River Cottage. It's been a long time since we've had such a fabulous
eating experience: it was like being at a party with people you've never
met and will never meet again, with the prerequisite that you'll have
a great time as everyone was there to celebrate a special occasion.
On arrival, a covered tractor transports guests to goodness knows where
into a deep valley and it all kicks off with canapes and cider brandy,
around a roaring fire in a yurt.... a very chic, canvas yurt. not sewn
together skins where you might imagine spending time with Genghis Khan
sitting on a steppe slurping borsch. The evening's menu is explained;
not just what we will eat but the sourcing, growing and production of
the food. It all came together with informal, unpretentious perfection.
A month that started with cold, November rain, ended with canapes
of hot smoked trout with horseradish!
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