Saturday 15 June 2013

Beer and Oysters

Last weekend, our neighbours were kind enough to invite us over for refreshments. Well, we were really just supposed to be going over to pick up some courgette plants, but it turned into one of those evenings when the talk and the alcohol flows freely, and where an hour stretches into three or four without your really noticing.

Our neighbours have a beautifully-well-kept vegetable garden -- my mother described it as being like a market garden -- with a large polytunnel, enabling them to grow all kinds of veg that would otherwise struggle in our sometimes-harsh climate.

While drinking (in both senses) in the sun -- ladies on wine and gents on refreshing beer -- we got to talking seafood; they too have a good view of Gastrobeach from their house, so they've seen me down on the shore swimming and foraging (though not at the same time). Before I knew it, there was a tub of Islay oysters on the table, with chunks of lime to go with them.

I don't know about you, but that's my kind of evening: sunshine, shellfish, a few drinks and (at least initially) smart conversation.

We went home with much from that evening -- not just the washed and bagged lettuce and mange tout, not just the courgette plants, not just the satisfied belly full of beer and oysters, but the sense that good company and a wonderfully-relaxed atmosphere are sometimes closer than you think.

Sometimes, right next door.

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