Lifestyle March, 26th 2012 by

Todo Por Una Revision

I received an unexpected email from a friend who had just had a medical check-up, one of those that takes a whole day and involves checking your vital functions every 15 minutes…… The poor guy was clearly worried.

Well, it should be pointed out that he is 70 years old and in a rash move has decided to get married for the fourth time. His fiancée had decided to take the old car for a service – for whatever reason I cannot imagine. My friend is tall, good-looking, strong, and a lover of the good things in life, thinking nothing of catching a flight or the AVE to go and eat in a good restaurant the other side of the country.

We have been together in the Sanfermines as well as many good restaurants in Málaga, and he is, like me, born a guiri but after nearly half a century living in Spain feels more Spanish than the Spanish.

Instead of finding himself back home after the check-up, he actually found himself on the operating table, where an urgent surgical intervention removed the risk of almost imminent fatality from clogged-up arteries. The good news is that he is out of danger, but the bad news is that he has been told to cut from his diet sugar, salt, fats and of course wine. And that’s permanent. At the moment my friend shows every intention of keeping to a healthy diet from now on, determined to change the habits of a lifetime.

I am rather tactless in such matters, so after telling him that no-one lives for ever, and wouldn’t it be better to live ten more years as he wants rather than 20 as he doesn’t want to, told him in colourful detail about the wonderful cocido madrileño I had enjoyed at my friend Roberto’s house in Marbella on Saturday. Roberto is also a bon viveur, to the point of having his own separate kitchen/dining room with a wood-burning oven for cooking roast lamb, suckling pig, etc, and when he does a cocido he brings all the ingredients from his native Burgos and the wines from a friend’s bodega in the Rioja. I also mentioned that next week I am due to taste some Argentinean wines from the country’s best bodega, and of course my planned trip next month to El Bierzo to visit some wineries. Oh, and a vertical tasting of Viña Real on Friday.

Nothing I said could raise his spirits though, and it would be understandable if my friend in his recycled mode looks on me as being a complete waste of space, only interested in food and wine.

 Originally published in Diario Sur on 25 Feb 12



AJ Linn

Andrew Linn left England 40 years ago to relocate to Spain, having been involved in businesses such as wine shipping and publishing. He currently writes regularly and professionally on wine, food, flamenco, and the Spanish way of life for various publications, and has a regular column in a Spanish newspaper. Andrew is involved in charity work relating to abandoned and mistreated animals.

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