Monday, December 24, 2018

The Complete Saki with Pol Roger Blanc de Blanc

It's here - work is done, I'm off for the next 3 days, and after that it's all considerably calmer anyway. It's not been an easy week, but I'm more or less in one piece, and so ready to drink champagne.

My mother and I have a tradition going back a good few years now, I go to stay with her in Christmas Eve, taking the best bottle of champagne I have with me, and we sit and drink it. It's possibly the best part of our Christmas, we might have a bit of pottering around left to do, but the hard work and prep is out the way. We make half hearted suggestions about midnight mass, play with the dog, watch a bit of television, and talk. If my sister would let us it's when we'd open our Christmas presents (we did for a couple of years when we were going elsewhere on Christmas Day, it seemed like a much better time).

The end result is that we're happy, relaxed, and full of good champagne. This one was my New Years resolution for 2018, I like Pol Roger as a house (a lot) but have never tried the Blanc de Blanc (do called because it's made from 100% Chardonnay, the only white grape amongst the 3 permitted varieties for champagne).

I don't read much in December - I'm too busy at the beginning, too tired and grumpy at the end to concentrate on much, but by the time I go to bed tonight I will want a book again, and I'll want it to be something like Saki. I feel like he's not quite as much loved as he ought to be, I could be totally wrong about that, but People don't seem to talk about him so much as they might.

I spent a long time trying to think of the right drink for him, he died in 1916, shot by a sniper. He was in his 40's and needn't have signed up at all, but wanted too. It's a side of him that seems a little at odds with the elegant, witty, satire of his short stories. His sister destroyed most of his papers after his death and wrote her own account of their childhood. As Saki (Hector Hugh Munro) was gay it's easy enough to see why she might have felt she had to do that, and such a shame to think about what we lost in the process.

We have his stories and books though, and they are brilliant (one of them is featured heavily as a plot point in Raymond Postgate's 'Verdict of Twelve' reprinted in the British Library crime classics series and also excellent). In the end nothing other than Champagne with both its soarklevand acidity seemed right.

Happy Christmas everyone, I hope you all have something good to read, and something nice to drink be it tea or champagne or anything in between.