I refer not, however, to an evening of exhilarating passion spent in the furry arms of a lovely lady (my wife Isolde the Springer Spaniel, of course, in case she is reading this), but an interesting culinary experience.
At the end of the week, my partner and I were put in the way of some fresh venison, and were lucky enough to secure the choicest cut - the fillet. My partner recalled that she had been given a 'crock-pot' slow-cooker when we moved to our new home which had, thus far, lain untouched in our cookery equipment cupboard. She placed a telephone call to her mother and offered to cook lunch this Sunday - her thoughts turning to a fine, slow-cooked venison casserole.
Yesterday night, therefore, I assisted my partner in preparing our delectable dish. Pan-seared venison chunks, red onion, mushroom, tomato purée, carrot, beef stock (thickened with a little cornflour), rosemary, thyme and red wine were all carefully blended and placed in our slow-cooker (I was involved in the quality-control stage. Nothing was added without the official Jasper Stafford stamp of approval), which was switched on to its lowest setting just before we retired to bed for the night.
All night, as I slept, the sweet fragrances gently percolated up the stairs from the kitchen to my nostrils. It was pleasing in the extreme.
This morning, our carefully-crafted preparations had borne results exceeding even my expectations. Indescribably tender meat and vegetables, cooked to perfection, surrounded by a rich, thick, flavoursome gravy. In just nine short minutes the pot, and accompanying side dish, will be placed in our New Teal Megane and transported to the home of my partner's parents (not much room in our own house for the dinner table to be unfolded at present).
I am SO excited that I have already been to the toilet three times this morning!
It's now the evening.
How much of that rich, nourishing, delicious stew do you think I got? Hmmmn...? No..?
NONE. That's how much. Not a drop more, not a drop less. I was unbarkably livid. And after I had put in all that effort at the preparation stage. That's ingratitude for you, right there.
On the way home, I was so cross that I called my partner a bad word. She wasn't impressed.
In fact, she reminded me of the punishment that hangs over me if I should forget my manners and use "Toilet-Talk" outside of the house. Oops.
I tried to apologise, but my partner could not be appeased - reminding me at the same time that I had consumed plenty of fresh, bloodied, venison fillet at the preparation stage. I'd forgotten about that.
My punishment for my potty-mouth this afternoon is that I must post an embarrassing picture, selected by my partner, here on my blog. I meekly accepted this retribution, whilst fervently pleading against the choice of a picture of one of my hind-paws protruding from beneath the duvet as I slept, which was unfortunately shared amongst my (mercifully, in this case, few) readers some weeks ago.
My partner chuckled softly, and gently patted my head. "Ah, Jasper," she smiled, sweetly. "I promise you faithfully that I will NOT use a picture of one of your hind-paws. You have my word on that."