Lucy Caldwell: The Story So Far...

Share

The word that occurs most frequently in my non-fiction writing is, apparently, "champagne". Obviously, I'd rather it was something like "Proust", but I can live with "champagne", though, I must admit, it plays an aspirational rather than an actual role in my day-to-day life.

I once overheard a certain grande dame of the theatre saying that, when she got home, she might just crack open some bubbly and put her feet up. Then she yawned and said that eye masks and Bolly were the two constants in her fridge. And I thought: I'll know I've made it when I can off-handedly contemplate staying in and drinking a bottle of champagne - and not even cava - for no particular reason. After a typical day, the closest I get to cracking anything open is snapping the toggly-thing on a can of baked beans.

That said, this week there's been a lot of champagne - or, at least, white-wine spritzers. Firstly, at the opening of the revamped West End restaurant Scott's, then at the party celebrating the culmination of the Royal Court Theatre's 50th-anniversary year. At the former, I made a world-changing discovery: cod's roe on hot buttered toast, which is joining my rota of comfort-food suppers: cheese on toast, sardines on toast, and - er - beans on toast (what a repertoire).

But better than this epiphany, better even than dancing giddily until dawn, was receiving this column's first fanmail. It was an unexpected package, addressed - intriguingly - "c/o The Independent". Inside was a beautifully designed book: The Enthusiast Almanack. It's a "best of" assortment from the past three years of the cult periodical, and it's a work of genius. There's no mention of champagne, but alongside a practical guide to making a mermaid, a piece on itchy internal organs, and a quiz entitled, "No, Really, How Are You?", is a recipe for mangelwurzel wine, which sounds almost as good.

The champagne statistic was brought to my attention by my surrogate auntie, Jo, my mum's best friend from childhood, who lives in a village called Hagley and cultivates worms. They're not your common-or-garden variety: last May, they were awarded a silver medal at the Chelsea Flower Show. (Although it was, technically, the garden that won, Jo insists that her wormery and its compost were crucial.) She won't divulge her secret, but I gather that, aside from their usual fare of raw food, leaves and shredded paper, they're partial to a dash of elderflower cordial, and they seem to like champagne corks, of which they were fed many at Chelsea: Jo says that they've been reproducing like mad ever since.

The periodical's so good it's not going to happen, but I dread to think how excited they'd get if I fed them pages from The Enthusiast.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Day In a Page

Read Next
George Osborne appearing on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, 5 July 2015  

George Osborne says benefits should be capped at £20,000 to meet average earnings – but working families take home £31,500

Ellie Mae O'Hagan
The BBC has agreed to fund the £650m annual cost of providing free television licences for the over-75s  

Osborne’s assault on the BBC is doing Murdoch’s dirty work

James Cusick James Cusick
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy