Another scrummy lunch today – pityÂ my poor waistline. This one was at the Coq dâ€™Argent, No.1 Poultry, in the City. My hosts were Mark Jenkins and Simon Walker -stockbroker and wine merchant. I arrived early and decided it would be prudent to visit the loo and elicited the assistance of an elderly waiter who didn’t look too happy at the idea of accompanying me to the lavatory. He was even less enthusiastic when I asked him to stand guard outside, as I could not lock the door, and then come and assist me to adjust my trousers. He did, but with poor grace. Ah well, win some, lose some. At least we were able to have a civilised finish to lunch and smoke a cigar on the terrace under large mushroom heaters.
This was the second time that I had worn my full regalia. My full length apron, decorated by my grandchildren’s primary school, my two wrist supports, the wipeable sleeve protecting my clothing on my left arm and my new 12 inch long shoover. Looking a little like a clown I thus managed to feed myself with a spoon, once the food had been cut for me.
The boys hadÂ strict instructions from â€˜her in doorsâ€™ that they were to ensure that I caught the 4.28 and to see me onto the train. This they kindly did but unfortunately they marched me along the platform, each supporting one raised arm, before planting me unceremoniously in an empty seat in front of three bemused passengers who were clearly convinced that I was a legless drunk unable to walk unaided. Then, when IÂ enquired, whether any of these three passengersÂ were going as far as Audley End, in the hope that one of them would kindly give me a nudge,Â if I fell asleep, I was met with three distinctly disapproving stares. However the lady in the middle begrudgingly nodded, and as we reached that station, thrust her elbow into my ribs.