Hayley is coming back today from her time with family and friends, so we're industriously tidying the place a bit. I've had to take boxes out of her room clear up the screen and Macbook from the kitchen (so there's space round the table) and the residual presents from the living room.
We often seem to leave gifts in a pile in the livingroom after they've been unwrapped - sometimes they never even get moved far. There's still a copy of Stephen Hawking's A Shorter History Of Time, unloved and unread sat in the corner. While popping a bottle of whiskey away in the larder I came across an empty bottle, now all washed up and clean, with the label 'sloe gin - light Autumn 1999.
The thing that made me stop and think for a moment was the plastic cap.
Coming back from a camping holiday in Southern France probably in '92 or '93 we stopped off in Bordeaux for a wander and dinner before driving through the night to the ferry. We had dinner in a little brasserie (I always want to call them brassieres) in which I ate the famous Andouillete (there's a story) before finding a tiny supermarket to get provisions before the drive. In this supermarket we bought a cast iron fondue set - still in use - and 3 bottles of wine at about 75p a bottle. If the wine was junk then I'd cook with it, but if it was drinkable then all the better.
Well, the wine was excellent. Probably some nearby vineyard dumping their excess production locally. And yes, the cap came from one of those bottles. Somehow it always seems to have found itself on top of things that are good to drink. Long may that continue.
I'm going to put the empty bottle on the wine rack in the loo, where it'll be ready for next autumns sloe gin.