Allow me to introduce Bernard's final hurrah! Pride of place - the very centrepiece - of Audrey's 80th birthday party. But to get there was a story. Not unlike John B's story, I guess.
Round here there first point of call for buying fish tends to be Ken's local food emporium. So Kathryn & I head of to Keighley Morrisons to talk to a fishmonger - firstly about buying a salmon and secondly regarding the borrowing of a fish kettle in which to cook said salmon.
"Oh yes," says a helpful, behatted fishmonger, "we can do that but you have to sort out the fish kettle with Customer Service." This we do - booking said kettle and ordering a 4kg salmon to pop in the pot. We knew the weight because we've been there before - anything bigger than 4kg won't fit in the kettle. Job done!
But no. The following Friday, as arranged, Kathryn toddles back to Ken's place to pick up the fish and the kettle. And yes, the kettle's fine but the fish! The fish is 5.5kg - not just too big for the kettle but too big even with the head and tail removed. Kathryn informs Ken's fishmonger that this won't do and leaves - sans fish and sans kettle - to go an buy the meat for Audrey's party at our butcher.
At the butcher, Kathryn regales Paul (the butcher) with the sorry story of the salmon. And Paul - sympathetic chap as ever - says; "let me call the bloke who I buy prawns from! He might get you a salmon." OK says Kathryn. Paul rings and, yes, the bloke can supply a 4kg salmon for the next day.
At lunchtime the next day, Kathryn goes to the butcher (I'm doing something useful at the time like having my hair cut) and collects the salmon. A splendid beast resting on a bed of ice - such a fine beast that the lads at the butchers gave him a name - Bernard.
Bernard then had his head removed (to accommodate the squeamish sensitivities of others), was placed in a boiling court-bouillon and cooked. Once cooled, Bernard had his skin scraped off and replaced by fine fake scales of cucumber. And very fine he was too!