A brief hiatus

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I am afraid there will be a dearth of new posts on Elitistreview over the next couple of weeks or so. On Tuesday I was on my way to A La Cruz for lunch and was suddenly consumed with incredible pain. I made it into the nearest hospital and was told I had extremely severe pancreatitis.

This hospital seems less inept than the last one I visited, so when they tell me things like most of my pancreas is consumed by pseudo-cysts and there is a reasonable chance my kidneys might suffer major damage I do worry a tad. All I know is that I’ll be in their intensive care ward for weeks and as a consequence boozy tales are on hold for the time being. I’ll leave future news in comments on this post. Back soon…

  • Oh no! Can I visit? Where do I come to?

  • Oh Vanessa that would cheer me up more than I can articulate. I’m in University College London Hospital in the intensive care unit. The only restriction is no visitors between 1-3pm. Don’t worry if you cannot make it, though.

  • If you are in there next week. I will be there for certain. Let me know if you go home or change wards. Xxxx much love and hang in there.

  • I, alas, will not be out for weeks. Bit of a bummer, that.

  • I will see you next week. Can I bring anything? Just let me know xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Hi Vanessa, I’m now in the 9th floor ward, bed 45.

  • Do get well soon, David. Best regards, Leon.

  • peter s

    So sorry to hear this David. All the best. Peter

  • Chris

    So sorry to hear things are so bad
    When your back to your usual jolly self the first bottle of wine is on us
    Very best of wishes
    Adam & Chris

  • I am clearly feeling better as I am thinking about food. Which food? This food:

    Satay chicken banh mi, spiced chicken banh mi, barbecue pork banh mi, Thai hot and sour prawn soup, scallop, sweet shrimp, fatty tuna and squid sushi, roast chicken sandwiches with butter and salt, rare roast rib of beef with horseradish and roast potatoes, Thai lacquered neck of pork, raw prawn salad, veal and ham pasta bake, barbecue pork buns, a huge plate of lightly steamed, fresh green beans with loads of butter, grilled scallops, a little fluffy cloud of ris de veau, shapheard’s pie with lambs’ sweetbreads, a ripe and creamy camembert (with a glass of Nebbiolo), Munster, fresh pasta scented with tiny, fresh peas (with a glass of white Hermitage), a rack of roast lamb (with a glass of spiffy Morey), veal carpaccio, bearly poached langoustines, some ebi-ten handrolls, a brilliant pizza from one of London’s best suppliers, a truffle omelette, a bacon and egg roll with a really strongly flavoured bread roll, a cheese and onion sandwich, sherbet flying saucers, squid risotto a la Ledbury, osso bucco, roast leg of lamb studded with garlic, damned-good sausages, cough candy twists, almost any kind of fresh pasta with veal meatballs and a light tomato and chilli sauce, Hawksmoor’s burger, snails in garlic butter and Riesling, a tarte flambee, slow-cooked ham hock, roast duck, really mature Comte, stunningly mature Montgomery’s Cheddar, some Keen’s Cheddar whilst you are at it, Lincolnshire Poacher, Parmensan, falafel, hoummous made with plenty of olive oil, a hot dog from The Dogfather, baked, creamy rice pudding, spotted dick, a lovely quiche, white chocolate chip cookies, Hungarian pepperoni, a piece of crispy, flavoursome baguette stuffed with loads of parma ham, Hawksmoor’s sirloin steak, Pedro’s ox chops, veal croquettes, Scotch quail’s eggs, ‘Blackwatch’ Scotch eggs, chicken in cider, Boston baked beans, Monkfish wrapped in serrano ham, Stornaway black pudding, oysters, boudin noir, fresh, ripe blackberries, how about cherries as well, a croque monsieur, jam roly poly pudding, sticky toffee pudding, scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream, a fresh cream apple turnover, dry-cured steaky bacon with HP Sauce, fried Burford Brown eggs, toasted scones with butter, crumpets, a cheese bagel with bacon and avocado, three-bean salad, smoked eel, mash with vast amounts of cream and butter, pulled pork, fresh pan-fried foie gras on toast, Twekklo yoghurts, organic roast chicken cooked with loads of butter under the skin, grilled dover sole, lobster and crayfish sandwiches.


  • Thanks for all the positive words, chaps!

    I have just had the last two drips removed, I am getting ‘food’ through a tube in my nose piped to my intestines, and when I saw the doctor earlier he said he was very pleased with the surprisingly rapid progress I am making. I put it down to the wine I drink, keeps my constitution strong. I will be in hospital for at least another week, though. That is a bit of a pisser as I am having lusty dreams of quality food (see above).

  • Tom Blach

    David, sorry to hear of your illness, but I did enjoy your wonderful list of fantasy food, a real James Joyce meets Kenneth Grahame moment. Get well soon!

  • Guy Dennis

    Glad to hear that you are on the mend, David, and also enjoyed your wonderful food list!

  • Druin B

    May your dreams of future food be soon outstripped by abundant reality.

  • Ah found address. See you soon xxx

  • Hell’s bells it has been an unspeakable day. The pseudo-cysts that have popped up where 90% of my pancreas used to be have been continuing to expand to the extent that they have been pressing against my back and causing me more pain than I am capable of articulating. I have spent the day trying to listen to the cricket whilst screaming blue murder. Eventually I got painkillers of high enough heroism value to make a slight dent, but what I really needed was the cysts draining so they stopped pressing on my back.

    A few hours ago a new doctor came to see me and asked how the drain was working out. He looked mortified when I told him I had not got it. He chased the chap who was supposed to have done it only to find he had gone for the weekend. Fucking A. So I thought I would be feeling thisnshit all weekend.

    Then, joy of joys, a few minutes ago another doctor came and said dr slack had been summoned back to the hospital and at around midnight I will get my innards drained. This is great news. I just hope it works otherwise it’ll be another night of disturbing my ward-mates with more screaming, which I do feel rather bad about.

    More news as it comes in…

  • I hope you are alright. You’re in my thoughts xxx

  • I did end up having the pseudo cysts drained last night, I had almost 2litres of nasty looking fluid extracted. I am terribly pleased that this has totally stopped my back from screaming at me, hooray!

  • Ian Black

    2 litres? Good grief, those things must be huge.

    David, as another visitor to your site, let me add my “get well soon” to everybody else’s. We are all looking forward to the resumption of your unique take on the world of wine!

  • Oh it is really touching to get encouraging words from my dear and highly valued readers – thanks boys and girls! I have new wine waiting for me back at home so as soon as I bust out of here tasting notes and jokes about bodily functions will immediately resume.

  • Jeff (non-stinky)

    You’re nearly all fixed up, David. Just a little bit longer and we can tear you away from there and cast you back on the centre stage 🙂

    Let’s not have any more late night operations, eh? Regular hours when all the staff are around to offer support, please.

    Miss you *hugs*

  • Jeff (non-stinky)

    You’re nearly all fixed up, David. Just a little bit longer and we can tear you away from there and cast you back on the centre stage.

    Let’s not have any more late night operations, eh? Regular hours when all the staff are around to offer support, please.

    Miss you *hugs*

  • I am currently having nutritious slime pumped into my small intestine via a tube in my nose. Consequently, I am not surprised that I spent all night dreaming about roast chicken sandwiches and venison Scotch quails’ eggs.

  • Christian Zeitler

    Hi David, thanks for all your tasting notes on the website, sorry to
    hear you are in hospital and “lusting” for all kinds of food and wine…get
    well soon and hope you get some solid food right away.

  • Hi Christian,

    You have given me something new to cogitate upon: what bottle gets popped first when I bust out of here?

    I’ve got a JJ Prum Auslese that should just be approaching maturity, I’ve also scored some quadruple-A Hermitage that is being dropped off at my neighbours as I type and then there is Burgundy… I’m going to pour over my cellar database right now!

    Thanks for dropping by and your kind words.

  • Christian Zeitler

    David, after air guitar and recently air sex already exist you have just
    invented the air wine tasting 😉
    I’ll bring you a bottle of my favourite van Volxem when I am next
    in London. Greetings from a fellow Berserker, Christian

  • Oh I am rather partial to Van Volxem; they have such a thrilling, electric harmony. You must come around for dinner!

  • Right, are you ready for this? I’m allowed to eat! Wehay! Food, lovely, wonderful, glorious food! I am so happy I could cry, it has been more shit than it is possible to believe not being allowed to eat for the past two weeks. If any of you are passing my hospital do drop by with some tasty morsels 🙂

  • Veronica Castro

    Hi David!

    So sorry to hear of your illness! Wishing you a swift recovery. I do enjoy reading your posts on WineBerserkers, and am glad to have discovered your site. Here’s hoping you are back to your bouncy self soon enough and enjoying more Karthauserhof.


  • Many thanks, Veronica, I’m now feeling most improved! I just have to wait until the 19th to get my stone-filled gall bladder removed then all should be peachy.

    Thanks for dropping by the site.