At last night’s dinner, I sat obliquely opposite *Dawn*, whom I’ve known slightly for several years but not got to know very well. She seemed to know about me, however, within minutes she was teasingly remarking on my liking for a drink or two…look, really, I don’t get this, I really have never fallen over or become truly embarrassing through drink. I am a regular moderate drinker (okay, those awfully tightlaced types who think that anything over 10 units per week is a bit dodgy might call it more than moderate, but they all weigh less than 110 pounds and are thinking of what is appropriate for themselves) and I am also a person who is only truly awake in the evenings – those of you who have only met me during the day have not received the full esprit de Z – (so help me, this sentence is becoming truly convoluted, are you losing the thread yet?) but that is no reason for the reputation I seem to have as a frightful tippler who is never happy without a drink in her hand. The only consolation is that everyone feels able to tease me about it, so I must be spoken of as a sot, but a good-natured one.
Anyway, I had a chance to chat to *Dawn*. She is lovely and I love to hear people talking about their enthusiasms. She mentioned she is going to Stafford for a big chicken competition so I encouraged her to tell me about them. It transpired that she has, this year, started entering her chickens into shows and has done extremely well. She said that it had taken her years to work up to first prizes with her goats, but she is already winning trophies with the chooks. Apparently, they particularly enjoy their pre-show bath; she uses a maximum-shine shampoo she buys from her hairdresser (she has lovely hair herself) and puts them on a wheat and corn mix for a week after the bath, to stiffen up their droppings so that they don’t dirty themselves before their big day.
I wonder if she has to lead them round the showground, like they do at Crufts.