Uncorking memories

A while ago I decided to make myself a coffee table, with a resin top in which I would encase all sorts of decorative/meaningful things. Some photos and a few old seven-inch record sleeves could go in, I thought, and perhaps I would put some of the kids’ old toy cars and Lego pieces to good use, in the manner of resin-based artists Miss Bugs (see below for an example of what they get up to). And maybe some corks would be good here, in similar patterns to the ones Miss Bugs put little toys in. Yes, definitely corks. I’d better start saving up some corks.

And so here I am, several months later, with no coffee table and lots of corks. Corks strewn on top of corks with a side order of cork. Let’s face it, whoever decided that this craft project was up my street can’t have known me very well, which is worrying given it was entirely my own idea. The most significant side-effect of their accumulation has been the disappointment of Mrs CF, who has witnessed a sea of bobbing corks gradually subsuming our precious kitchen drawer space.

Some corks. Yes.

Soon they will simply have to go. The thing is, though, I rather like them. I am comforted by their presence. Every time I open the cutlery drawer, I get a reminder of experiences past. It’s just as well I have these old friends here with me, given that they are pretty much the only old friends that have been allowed in my house this year.

Without wine, there would be little to differentiate one night at home with Mrs CF from any other, in a year that has contained a lot of nights at home with Mrs CF. But though we’ve been legally mandated to spend a lot of time on our own, look at the company we’ve been keeping! I don’t mean to boast, but there’s evidence here of Burlotto Barolo, Produttori di Barbaresco’s, er, Barbaresco, both Cotes du Rhone and a precious bottle of Cote-Rotie from Domaine Jamet, Rioja from Muga, a variety of Chateauneufs, chenin blanc from Alheit in South Africa, chardonnay from Pierre-Yves Colin Morey in Burgundy, Bedrock’s can’t-recommend-it-enough “basic” old-vine zinfandel, and quite a lot of Domaine Jones’ Fitou, which thanks to the Wine Society selling it cheap by the case and it being really very good indeed became our default wine for as long as it took to polish off that case, which was a worryingly brief but very enjoyable period.

When I started my wine journey, about 15 years ago now, I would have readily believed that I might have a drawer stuffed with corks by now, but not these ones. They are, to put it mildly, considerably more highfalutin than the kind of stuff I put up with back then. All things considered, it’s probably time to tone down our drinking a notch or two. First, though, I’ve got some space to clear in the kitchen. The process of collecting these corks has involved a great deal of pleasure; now for the sadder if briefer process of disposal.


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