Monday, April 14, 2008

Barrett Bonden, checkout, chilled

For those who haven't read the books, Barrett Bonden is a character, a bosun, in the sequence of sea novels by Patrick O'Brien set at the time of the Napoleonic wars. It is also the name adopted by an old friend, who visits the shores of this blog from time to time. It was with such pleasure that I detected his pseodononymous visits that, when replying to his comment the other day (30 March), I extended the nickname into a metaphor, and ran with it. When he reflected a few days ago on the difficulty he had with enjoying gardening, I suggested that he was in fact a sea faring man, more at home on a tilting deck than in a cabbage patch. In fact he is by no means a regular sailor and I was afraid that I may have cut him off from his true personality and interests. But to day I am glad to see that he has responded to Lucy Kempton's sympathetic response to his dilemma.

The lady called Jean at the supermarket checkout is always worthwhile conversationally. "I've had may bacon and beans for breakfast and I'm set up for the day," she says in reply to my "How are you?". Not wishing to let the dialogue rest there, she says: "You wear your beret like a Frenchman," "Yes", says I, "It's a French beret."

Some friends offer us chilled Fleury with salmon at dinner the other day, demonstrating that red wine (particularly light red wine like a Beaujolais) can be served cold, and that it can also go well with fish.

3 comments:

Lucy said...

I'm glad he's come out of the shadows too, his profile is most interesting! I feel he should be prodded gently to walk the plank of creating his own blog.
I didn't understand the Patrick O'Brien reference, so the tongue-in-cheek in-jokery between you went over my head also, though somehow I suspected something of the kind...

Barrett Bonden said...

And yet when Frenchmen try wearing English garments - especially tweed sports jackets - they're unable to rid themselves of a glossy stiffness. Undermines - perhaps reinforces! - le style c'est l'homme.
I'm flattered that anyone would want to read a blog by me. To some extent I have partially walked the plank. My website www.belmontrural.co.uk is divided between the dullish affairs of the local parish council and the arguably even duller life of the website editor

Plutarch said...

The blog idea is a good one. I hope that Barrett will act on it.
I wear a beret because I like berets, I also sometimes wear a baseball cap, and a Tilley winter hat, and sometime a trilby. Sometimes I go hatless. I don't think much about style, more about comfort.