Ah, dear reader:
It’s been a long time between posts. I must say that there’s a small amount of guilt attached. If one is going to blog then one must do so regularly. To do otherwise is to leave the blogosphere to others and to render oneself invisible again.
I am to begin this new year as I intend to continue – by posting on a regular basis. I’m also keen to enlist the talents of others who share my interest in politics, media and martinis.
It’s also humbling to realise that the martini is more than the sum of its parts. A quick search on Amazon.com uncovers a whole genre of writing about martinis that I, a self-proclaimed afficionado, knew next to nothing about.
I stand in the shadow of some giant literary figures who have not only enjoyed drinking martinis (something I can honestly claim to share with them) but who have also written extensively of their passion.
One such is my new literary hero, Frank Moorhouse. I remember reading some of Frank’s novels while at university some 30 years ago; but I didn’t realise how important his work would be in beginning my own education into the rituals and rich history of the martini.
I bought my copy of Martini: A memoir, several years ago and intended to read it, but didn’t get around to it. However, prompted by a friend who’s just read it, I fished it out the box where it lay dormant for the past year and plunged in.
Like an ice-cold, fresh smooth martini it was pleasure from the first word. I drank in the opening essay and silently apologised to Mr Moorhouse for neglecting this masterpiece for so long.
I’m not really far into it yet, but Martini is a book to be savoured, sipped and coddled.
In the first piece, Martini City, we are introduced to Moorhouse’s drinking companion, Voltz; an expert on the history and passion of the martini. The two men discuss the ‘martini city’ – a place where the martini is well-made and appreciated. I like to think that some of my haunts in Auckland are such places: the bars and nightspots that make my new home (I’ve been here a year now) a delightful place to drink a martini and enjoy the lively ambience of this Pacific-rim town.
Moorhouse also includes this wonderful short ditty from Dorothy Parker:
‘I like to have a martini
Two at the very most
After three I’m under the table
After four I’m under my host.’
I clearly have a lot of learning to do and I’ll start by finishing Martini and then reading some of Moorhouse’s other books in which the martini is both a character, a lubricant and an anaesthetic.
Happy New Year, and “cheers”