Fred the Bread, Jacques Choux-Racque and Robert Plant

Here’s a little bow to our home life. Let’s start with Jacques Choux-Racque, a longtime presence in our household. Over a decade ago, we bought a flatpacked shoe rack and were assembling it at home, when my husband said to me, “That’s Jacques.”

“What?” replied I in befuddlement.

“Jacques!” intoned my husband, with an exaggerated French accent. “Jacques Choux-Racque!”

Ah. Now it made sense, although these days you’d need a historical knowledge of French presidents to get it. But all the French people we’ve met laugh if we mention Jacques Choux-Racque to them.

And then there is Fred the Bread. Three months ago, some lovely guests bestowed a sourdough culture on us, which we gave a little glass jar to reside in and unanimously called Fred. Now we regularly have sublime basic eating experiences, courtesy of Fred.

In mid-2020, everyone at my husband’s workplace got a pot plant in appreciation for their handling of the extra workload occasioned by COVID. The plant came home, took up residence on top of the microwave oven, and grew long tendrils all over the back of the kitchen bench facing the dining area. We put in some panel pins to support the tendrils, which are now draped over a square metre of panelling and still growing like the clappers.

Of course, our green addition had to have a name. I started calling it Audrey, in honour of Little Shop of Horrors. It seemed appropriate, given its vicinity to the food preparation areas and its rapid expansion. Brett occasionally called it a krynoid, in reference to The Seeds of Doom, a Tom Baker Dr Who story which is basically a rip-off of The Thing, most entertainingly done, and featuring one of my favourite objects of therapeutic fantasy – a human composter, for disposing of annoying people.

A few days ago, my husband asked me if we’d finalised the pot plant’s name, because he had a really good case for naming it Robert. I looked at him in puzzlement, and he smiled. “Robert Plant, of course.”

Obvious, really.

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