Drink: Bruce Anderson

By Anderson, Bruce | The Spectator, September 23, 2017 | Go to article overview

Drink: Bruce Anderson


Anderson, Bruce, The Spectator


I was reminded of Wild West films from boyhood. Then, the beleaguered garrison scanned the horizon; would the US cavalry arrive in time to save them from being scalped? (John Wayne always did.) Now, one was hoping for relief, not from the Injuns, but in the form of an Indian summer. This is of especial interest to those who have a tendresse for Somerset cricket. Its paladins usually have a charmingly amateur quality. As Cardus wrote of an earlier cricketing vintage: '[They are] children of the sun and wind and grass. Nature fashioned them rather than artifice.' Somerset needs a match or two in order to gain points and avoid relegation. That said, the way we were playing earlier in the season, being rained off was the best hope.

It would help if those in charge of schedules should remember three things. County cricket is a summer game. It is also one of the glories of English civilisation, almost entitled to rank with the cathedrals and the common law. As such, it must not be brushed aside in the interests of junk sport, or whatever they call 20/20. But an ungenerous climate can bring consolations. That prince of foragers, young Louis, deciding that these were the perfect conditions for mushrooms, set off into the wood with a bucket and brought it back, full of chanterelles.

Scoffing them, we also drew on the lingering fruits of summer. A summer pudding was to be garnished with some final wild strawberries. They always look delicious -- and the name. Caviar apart, is there anything more alluring in the culinary vocabulary? That said, what about the taste? In that passage of Decline and Fall so aptly named 'Pervigilium Veneris', Margot and Paul saunter from bed to lunch. In Waugh, low-life deflation is never far away. They come across Philbrick, that master of multi-faceted fraudulence, who is eating some of those 'bitter little strawberries which are so cheap in Provence and so very expensive in Dover Street. …

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