Couldn’t have come at a worse time: beach weather pouring in with the prevailing wind, and Lucy’s ballooned. In the normal way of things Chris (what with all that rowing to Trieste and back to work up an appetite for lunch) is lean, John F. – shall we say – less so, while Lucy is, as you would expect, just right: curvy but . . firm. And now? Her whole wardrobe seems to have shrunk in the wash. It was Chris’s bright idea to have the pot-bellied poters of his rowing club produce SMP’s first cookbook – so far, so good, fair enough, who’s arguing? But what does any conscientious publisher have to do in such circumstances? You guessed: test the recipes.
Now you try following ‘Risotto in rosso al castrà’ with ‘Polpettine al cumino con cavoletti di Bruxelles’ and see if you can get into last year’s bathing suit, see if you can get out of your chair to make the attempt. The only way Lucy’s supreme sacrifice can possibly be justified is if all you gourmets and gourmands out there fork out for the forthcoming ‘Forchette Veneziane’ (Venetian Forks indeed, more like Venetian ladles) and this long-suffering third-in-command can indent for an office exercise bike and personal trainer. In the meantime, shapely feet under the hem of the sofa, hands tucked behind her once lovely head: up, hold, down . . up, hold, down . . up . . .