I've eaten out in restaurants every night for the past 10 years. Looking back in my diary I see I embarked on my epic dining out career on the night I got divorced.
I can't cook.
I think there might be a connection.
I don't like menus - too much choice. So I always say: " Surprise me."
Last Monday the waiter came back after five minutes.
I don’t like menus — too much choice. So I always say: ‘Surprise me’
"How do you like your steak, sir?"
"I asked you to surprise me!"
"Just in case," he said.
Guess what I got? A fillet steak.
I always carry with me my telescopic steel fork. If I like the look of the desert on the next table, with a flick of the wrist it instantly becomes 3ft long and reaching over I can help myself to a slice of crème brulée or cheese cake.
Everybody finds this funny. OK - almost everybody.
At the beginning of April, I was in Montreal at a place called Milos,when a man with his wife at the next table got upset when my fully extended fork got stuck in his wife's low-cut top and some baklava unfortunately went astray.
What happened next took me back to when I went to Disneyland in Paris with Lily aged four. I got into a fight with Goofy. He started it!
"You queue jumped," he said in a Parisian accent.
He poked me in the chest with his paw. I fell down, pulling Goofy down on top of me.
Lily was screaming: "Daddy, don't hurt Goofy!"
I would definitely have won if Mickey and Donald hadn't joined in.
One evening during the FVC (first volcanic cloud) three weeks ago, I was sitting outside my favourite restaurant, the Hellenic in Thayer Street, when a man walked up and looked at the menu in the window.
"It's had the same three waiters for 30 years, and they're all crazy, I told him. It's like being in a scene from a Marx Brothers movie."
"Very interesting," he said and sat down.
And that's how professor of mathematics Zvi Artstein of the Weizmann Institute became my new best friend.
Over a glass of Othello he explained to me his eponymous theorem which states that a dynamical system has a differentiable control-Lyapunov function if, and only if, there exists a regular stabilising feedback.
"Right… thanks for explaining that, professor." I said through a mouthful of klefteko.
Having a professor of mathematics as a best friend is very useful. Only last week I emailed him: "Prof, I have to vote in the election here tomorrow. Do you happen to have a theorem that will tell me who the winner will be?" I asked.
He answered immediately: "Of course I have such a theorem, hence I know who the winner will be. I am busy now so will tell you that next week."
Last year a friend with ambitions to be an interior designer stayed with me for six months. One night I got out of bed to get a glass of water. Where I was pretty sure the kitchen should have been, there was now only a pipe sticking out of the wall.
"What happened to the kitchen?" I asked her the next morning.
"You told me I could design you a new one. It's going to be delivered in December."
"It's September - it might have been a good idea to wait until the new kitchen arrived before ripping out the old one."
"It's been gone for three months." she said." You never complained until now."
"That's because I never noticed I hadn't got a kitchen until now!" I said.
You never know what you had until it's gone.