I have a love/ hate relationship with Kevin McCloud. When he does that beaky-nosed scrunched-up eye thing at the camera I can’t help shouting obscenities at the television. And yet Grand Designs is my favourite program on television. That’s partly down to being snarky about other people’s taste but the way Kevin goads and needles his victims is a huge part of it.
Recently though he seems to have got under my skin to an alarming degree. I was writing up a wine which I was very keen on. It was Cotes de Saint Mont Rouge 2010 from the Wine Society. I was trying to describe how well it went with food and I tried to remember what I was eating with it. I concentrated and I remembered that I was sitting in our old wing back chair – my pompous chair as my wife has dubbed it. The food remained elusive. I tried again and . . . . I remembered that I drank it whilst watching Grand Designs. No no no no! Concentrate, the food, dammit! I engaged the brain and. . . . . it was the episode where the arty old couple from Surrey have a Hufhus imported from Germany. . . . Argghhhh! think brain! . . . I tried one more time but it was no use. That face just kept swirling into my consciousness.
I gave up and wrote this instead. Apparently what differentiates great wine writers from us also-rans is not their palates but their superiors memories. Their minds are efficient databases crammed with tastes, smells and evocations that they can cross-reference in an instant. Mine on the other hand, is filled with Kevin bloody McCloud.