One of the best things about courierering is that it makes you appreciate the simplest necessities of life – food, sleep, shelter – as if they were its greatest luxuries. When you get in from a hard day on the road, a plate of cheap pasta with own-brand pesto is as satisfying as fresh tagliatelle, smothered in freshly picked basil, and served under a Tuscan sunset. After 40 hilly miles in the rain, the mediocre lasagne that Messenger of Doom and I ate in a teashop in Builth Wells tasted so good that I almost cried, and couldn’t stop going on about it for hours. I’ve paid a lot more for food that gave me a lot less pleasure.
And there’s also a certain satisfaction in making the most of what is, after all, one of the most fundamental human impulses. Never have I been such a sensualist. But rather than getting my kicks from champagne, cocaine, air travel, or anything else Sinatra had to sing about, I’m getting off on something I’m supposed to do anyway. It feels gloriously neat and efficient. Why seek out pleasure and purpose from life, when it’s already there, in your clamorous stomach?
So that’s why I think other people will probably find it boring when I go on and on about food. Because they have much more sophisticated ways of seeking fulfilment – like shopping, and transcendental meditation, and recreational drugs, and driving BMWs. I don’t need any of that. I just need this.
It looks like omelette and salad, doesn’t it? Well it’s not. It’s happiness on a plate.
And here’s the first perk of autumn. Remember those blackberries in my front garden?
I picked some.
And I turned them into crumble.
And I went to bed happy.