“I Can’t Eat Any Spices”

On a dull and cooler day, I spent the morning working on the last of the paperwork for my tax return. I was diverted from posting the documents to my accountant until this evening by two welcome visits from friends.

Giles visited early in the afternoon to wish me well for the knee surgery. With Jackie, we enjoyed the kind of conversation that is only really possible with lifelong friends, where there is so much known and understood about each other.

Later, a newer friend, Richard from Kitchen Makers, visited. He is to reform our dressing room. Our conversations are animated and stimulating. With him we don’t have a lifetime of reminiscences, and we are still learning about each other. In addition to being a superb craftsman, he is a great conversationalist and can speak intelligently about a range of subjects.


This evening we dined at Lal Quilla where we enjoyed the usual excellent food and friendly service. We both ate prawn puri starters; Jackie’s main course was chicken shaslick and mine was lamb naga; we shared a plain paratha and egg fried rice, and both drank Kingfisher.

The reason we visited our favourite restaurant was that I had been told that I should not eat chillis the night before my operation. It was not me this evening who could not eat any spices. It was the woman in the booth behind us who stated that she couldn’t eat any spices at all and therefore wanted to know which of the meals could be cooked without spices. The patient waiter fielded that one with his customary discretion and tact.