MY friend's spouse Sian has just won the Rippers Wife of the Year award for her outstanding devotion to duty. I know I am taking my life in my hands here, and inviting a fatwah from women's lib organisations throughout the UK, but I feel it would be remiss of me not to recount her astonishing feat of self-sacrifice in order to keep her hubby happy.
On the gilt-edged scroll she will now receive from yours truly, I will emboss the message I received on e-mail from my old school pal Haydn this morning.
The commendation reads:
"I have a wonderful wife, she left the house at 7.00 this morning to queue for Rovers tickets for the West Brom game, and we’ve managed to get two for you. It looks like we probably got some of the last tickets available, Sian thinks there will be hundreds of very disappointed people."
Outstanding - and rest assured Wren has been fully kept in the loop about this selfless devotion to duty. In fact, the truth is Sian won't be going to the game herself. In a further e-mail she informed me that her son Liam would rather have his dad to himself at these big games, so she will be forced to stay at home (well, that's her excuse and she is sticking to it).
Meanwhile, I omitted to mention a little tale of the true nature of my profession and how we have to suffer for the cause and take our life in our hands to bring our loyal readers the service they expect.
Last week The Voice of God was dispatched to Milford Haven in search of a story. The person he was trying to track down was linked to a notorious murderer featured in every national newspaper.
After spending some time in deepest West Wales in search of his prey, he finally tracked his target down. Knocking on the door he was greeted by a rather large gentleman who, after The Voice had introduced himself, looked over his shoulder into the road.
"Is that your car, mate?" asked this gargantuan bloke.
"Yeh, that's right," replied The Voice.
"Then get back in it and f*** off," he was told, menacingly.
No doubt The Voice will have his revenge in the not-too-distant future. Expect a story in the papers of a plague of locusts descending on this west Wales outpost very soon.
Last night, after a few beers with the Prince of Darkness, I ventured home to cook a thai curry. I had bought one of those big rolls of cooked belly pork that you get in supermarkets and decided to adapt a recipe from my new stir fry book - the one Wren generously bought me for my birthday.
The recipe itself suggests you use uncooked meat, but my version speeds up the time immensely and is very tasty, too.
WHAT YOU NEED:
1 tablespoon of groundnut or peanut oil
Strips of cooked pork
a clove of garlic, crushed
a tablespoon of crushed ginger
two tablespoons of coconut cream (or the cream off the top of a tin of coconut milk)
two tablespoons of thai red curry paste
a tsp of sugar
a tsp of turmeric
a splash or two of vegetable stock
some pickled garlic from one of those lazy garlic jars
half a lemon
WHAT TO DO:
Heat the oil in a wok
Add the crushed garlic and stirred, without burning
Then add the coconut cream and the thai red curry paste and continued to stir.
Add the strips of pork and mix into the sauce til covered
Add the ginger, turmeric, sugar and stock
simmer for a while, then add the bok choi, separated into separate storks
Add a large squeeze of lemon and some shredded flat leaf parsley
Serve with boiled rice
I ate this watching one of the most boring FA Cup ties of the Year: Middlesbrough v Sheffield United. The BBC are making a habit of selecting the most soul-destroying cup ties - Even Gary Lineker suggesting as much afterwards. Hope the Gas are on Sky.