Fruit of the Vine

For a long time, Michael has wanted to enjoy an occasional glass of wine with his dinner. Not any wine, mind you: it had to be a special wine, one that would tickle the senses, please the palate and — most importantly — wouldn’t leave me breathless.

Pardon, says you? Isn’t that backwards? Shouldn’t we have sought wine so delightful, so perfect, so exquisite that it takes our breath away with the first whiff of its lovely bouquet?

No, indeed.

You may know (or not), Oh Best Beloved, that I have asthma. Not that little wheeze form of asthma that allows one to genteelly cough into one’s cupped palm on occasion, or use an inhaler now and then. No, this asthma is a Monster That Lies Within, one that at any excuse tries to squeeze the last gasp out of my beleaguered lungs.

And what does this have to do with wine, you ask?

Ah, Best Beloved, wines contain sulfites, both natural and artificial. Sulfites, unfortunately, wake The Monster. If Michael has an ordinary glass of wine and then gives me so much as a gentlemanly peck it leaves me… literally… breathless.

M: “Hi Honey!”


J: *wheeze… *thud*

M: “Honey… Honey… were you just suddenly struck by the need to drop on the floor and nap, or do I need to call 911 again?”

All in all, this trifling sort of problem tends to make one a tad gun-shy about drinking the odd glass of wine now and then.

Or ever.

So. We haven’t.

Last year, however, we began in earnest to try to find a wine for Michael that didn’t have any added sulfites, was quite low in natural sulfites, was tasty to boot, and is certified organic.

Most importantly – it had to leave me in fine fettle if I was near it (or near Michael after he had a glass), without offering The Monster Within the tiniest excuse to generate even a whisp of a gasp.

We’ve succeeded!

Frey Vineyards produces an entire selection of outstanding wines that Michael can enjoy without worry of turning into the bearer of the Kiss of Death.



We’ve just discovered that even I can imbibe a small glass of one particular Frey wine.

It’s heavenly.

Along Came A Spider

Charlotte's Second Cousin Twice Removed, Waiting for Lunch

I woke up suddenly the other morning, with what I can only describe as the very odd feeling that someone – someone quite small with many many legs – was dancing on my closed eyelid.

Someone was.

An eight-legged someone.

Have I mentioned, Oh Best Beloved, that I’m rather put off by anyone doing an eight-legged tap dancing routine on my face, particularly if the dancer happens to be a sharp-fanged spider? With apologies to Charlotte, I am not overly fond of sharing my immediate body zone with arachnids.

I was, however, quite calm and collected.


Ok. I wasn’t.


*fling…. squash*

Final Score: Spider – 1. Me – 1.

Game over.