Life in the Lyme Light - Dorset magazine columnists Anthony and Eleanor
PUBLISHED: 14:36 28 October 2011 | UPDATED: 20:11 20 February 2013
Former chef to Prime Ministers and popstars, Anthony is embracing the Dorset weather and Eleanor is caught up in a marriage proposal between courses
Well, autumn is well and truly with us. That Indian summer didnt hang around for long; it went home and left us with our usual weather. There is almost no weather that I dont enjoy, as long as it doesnt hang around for too long. Rain shower good, rainy day bad; snow flurry exciting, snow storm chaos.
The weather was one of the first things I noticed when I moved down to Dorset. There was so much more of it than in London. It was as if it had somehow collected here. It was the first thing my father asked about when I called from my new home. It was certainly talked about much more with strangers. It seemed to me that its effects were felt more keenly down here but that could be because so much of my London life was largely subterranean each day moving between my basement flat and a basement kitchen via the tube. Its a wonder I didnt grow a thick brown pelt and massive hands!
Of course everyone puts up with this diabolic existence because London has SO much to offer - the vibrant multiculturalism, the booming arts scene, the thronging restaurants and bars. It all sounds a bit too busy for my liking.
The idea that its worth putting up with the crowds, the litter, the crime, the massive cost and stress because theres so many interesting things to do is the lie that all Londoners keep telling each other - if they didnt, theyd all run for the hills and never return. Thats what I did.
They can keep their human mole life and Ill keep our weather in Dorset thanks!
Anthony says the words Have you seen the weather? on an almost daily basis.
Of course Ive seen the weather! I snap.
What is it with men? I have always maintained that a man will never ask a question he doesnt already know the answer to. This explains why theyre prepared to blow huge amounts of cash on diamond rings well before they get an answer from their intended.
We had our first proposal in the restaurant on Saturday night. The gentleman informed me in advance that he would be doing so, but trying to give them the little extra privacy the restaurant can afford was turning out to be tricky, especially when the locals can sniff out a drama a mile off,
Why cant we sit at the big one over there?
Because Im saving it for someone especially.
Arent we special enough?
Oh alright, hes going to ask her to marry him, good enough reason?
Oooo! Can we have that table next to them?
Only if you promise not to stare and grin at her.
Another couple from down the road arrived who knew the first table and despite my efforts, word spread like wildfire. When the couple in question arrived all eyes were furtively turned to them. Despite the overexcited locals I successfully convinced the lady that nothing out of the ordinary was about to occur through a lengthy explanation on the merits of pigs trotters.
Such was the gentlemans confidence in her reply, that he popped the question before their main courses had arrived. Had he been in any doubt I would have thought he might have left it until dessert to avoid her sobbing into her sole and warm potted shrimps.
She said yes! As if he was surprised.
Read more about Anthony and Eleanors life in Lyme Regis at www.teaanddiningroom.com