Monday morning and I am heading south on Harley Street towards a rendezvous with ramifications, a date that is also a terrible coincidence. The last time I was on this page I had just been despatched to the Viva Mayr clinic in Austria to have colonic irrigation. Bizarrely, here I am again, on another assignment to have the same treatment, this time at its new London outpost. Why oh why do section editors keep sending me to do this? I rack my brain for answers, for clues, a hint, a sign, but nothing springs to mind. Any ideas? Keep them to yourself.
Speaking of deep cleansing, the Cumbrian family firm Lakeland has just previewed its Christmas range at the Oxo Tower, a day of unbearable excitement for kitchenalia aficionados. I love Lakeland’s endless, thrilling gadgets to core, hull, pip and stone, plus its devotion to stain removal and a lint- free life. So what’s new? Apparently spiralisers are down, microwave egg poachers are up and souping is the new juicing. The next big thing is fermentation, the process of turning cabbages (UK sales up 39 per cent) into um, delicious kimchi and sauerkraut. Even Tom on The Archers is doing it, so it is officially A Thing. ‘Jan,’ says a Lakeland personage, ‘you would be amazed how easy it is to ferment.’ Actually, I say, with a melancholy sigh, I wouldn’t. However, what is not to love about the darling new jars, complete with little blowholes to aid the fermentation process. At night, in the darkness of the pantry, I like to think they whistle and chirp, like a pod of lightly vinegared whales.
At Glyndebourne, the crowd goes wild for my friend Lise Davidsen, who is making her debut there in Ariadne auf Naxos.