I fill out the form in about two minutes. What are you prepared to do to win? the form says.
Nothing, I retort. It’s that kind of thinking that got us all into this mess in the first place.
I put my sister down as my front of house because there has to be two of you.
She says, “Your legs need shaving. I’ve got a razor, we could do it in the loos”.
There are many other London people waiting. Most are very dressed up. Some have young children with them. We get our passes and we go upstairs.
“I had to put a rocket up their arse”, he admits. “You two ask questions. That’s good. Right now you are not in a good position to negotiate but later maybe you can be. The prize is a 10% non directorial holding in a restaurant with Raymond Blanc. You will work for him for a year for 20k.”
“I’ve had my bad times but who hasn’t? I’m not 22.”
“I’ve met people of 60 who haven’t been through shit.” He said. “And that’s my job not yours to establish what is normal.”
Afterwards I go to Westfield, the nearby shopping centre, and cry. My sister finds me sobbing in one of the white plastic modern chairs. I’m driven back to times when the world seemed dark. When I was alone, beaten up in the street, head-butted by a boyfriend in front of my daughter.
We love you, she says. We just need your medical records.
Why you are worried I might run amok with a carving knife? She ‘laughed’.
“That’s very intrusive”, she says. “Everybody has been through the sort of stuff you’ve been through.”
I say “Who gives a fuck what Tana Ramsay cooks?”
Him: “I hate it when wives jump on the bandwagon”.
Mum says MPW’s cooking was noticeably better, more refined, than anything she’d had before.
“Unofficially you are through”.
“I’m afraid you are not through. You are not even a reserve. You didn’t fit in with the line-up”.