As an avowed carnivore, dating a vegetarian served up probably the most miserable two years of my life.

On what I had anticipated would be a romantic trip to Paris, the wheels well and truly came off. Even in the world’s culinary capital, there was apparently absolutely nowhere for us to eat and we wandered aimlessly from one temple to gastronomy to another, my rumbling stomach growing louder.

In the end, when McDonald’s was mooted, I knew the relationship was doomed.

In retrospect there were other Parisian problems, not related to diet, which magnified the malaise. The holiday probably didn’t get off to the best of starts when I suggested we visit the Père Lachaise cemetery, where Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison rest, on our first morning, selling it as a cultural jewel on a par with the Louvre.

This was cast up relentlessly later.

That said, I resurrected the cemetery scene in a novel I subsequently wrote, where our hero, desperate to woo and win his lass, lost her to another, post-Père. Helas, as our French friends say.

Anyway. To eating vegetables again and I have discovered a new love for legumes. The reason is not hugely important other than to say I have bought a new kilt for a major event next month and I am keen that it fits on the big day.

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Her Ladyship is similarly focused and in addition has taken to swimming in Helensburgh’s swish new pool with a fervour I’ve not seen in anyone since the film 'Jaws'.

Who knew that a packet of spinach the size of a binbag would cook down to almost nothing but still be packed with iron? Who knew that you could have so much fun with courgettes and cucumbers? Who knew that beef jerky could be rammed with protein but have virtually no calories?

While we’re at it, although this conundrum may be a bit too much to contemplate here and now with everything else going on, who knew that mushroom soup was so grey – in every sense?

While celery and beetroot are still too much for my delicate palate and will never be on my shopping list, and I know I will have the odd steak and fish supper once in a while, I am now a black belt at toss frying noodles and sorting beansprouts and kale into portions.

The salad dressings and oils have been slung to the back of that cupboard in the kitchen with the odd bits of tupperware, none of which fit each other, and will remain there awhile.

But it will never catch on in Paris.

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On the subject of food, to indulge ourselves on a recent rare night off from the new regime, Her Ladyship and I ventured into the Helensburgh hinterland and dined majestically at the award-winning Annaya’s.

We were hosted by the remarkable Rocky, who recited the entire menu in minute detail from memory. I barely had time to order a pint of lager as a much-needed apero before he started his significant soliloquy.

Professionalism personified, he returned to our table in the hiatus between his speech and taking our order, with a platter of small tasting pots so we could decide which of the array of amazing sauces to choose from - on a menu which was creaking under the weight of so many delights.

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Despite these most unusual musings in my offering this week, I am still a person least likely to read a restaurant review in any newspaper, far less park myself in front of a cooking programme on TV to coo and cluck over the coulis or consommés. That kind of thing really does not interest me at all and next time I put quill to parchment here, I’ll be ranting about something else.

But because he described it so fantastically well, and he couldn’t have known my predilection for trains, I plumped for the railway chicken - which I wholeheartedly recommend. It was out of this world.

Apart from the exquisite service and the amazing cuisine, what helped me along the line during our visit was that the restaurant’s walls were adorned with fascinating photographs of people and places from Indian history.

Some I knew, some, ashamedly, I did not. Rocky recounted all their stories at length with his own expert interpretation.

Food for thought indeed.

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Lord Acton probably did quite a lot in his life, but his best known contribution to the world was to leave us a quote which is wheeled out periodically, as I do today.

And do you know what? He was bang on.

In an 1887 letter to a cleric, the historian, academic and politician said: "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Leaving my politics to one side - though they’re eminently sensible - what Acton said is of course wholly true, and events in London and Washington DC of late have shown it to be so.

Both former Prime Minister Boris Johnson and former US President Donald Trump have displayed a passionate disregard for protocols as they appeared before process, apparently having been caught red-handed.

Helensburgh Advertiser: Boris Johnson is refusing to go quietly despite the findings of the House of Commons' Privileges CommitteeBoris Johnson is refusing to go quietly despite the findings of the House of Commons' Privileges Committee (Image: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)

Boris has been found to have deliberately misled Parliament over lockdown parties in Whitehall, and Donald has been using his en suite bathroom as a store for documents of the greatest sensitivity.

No apologies, no mea culpa, no sackcloth and no ashes. Instead, the hubristic trope that they were right all along - and, more worryingly for the world at large, at an already incredibly febrile time, that they are still in the background, waiting for another tilt at power.

Another quote which is reeled out as often as Acton’s treatise is that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

In the case of Johnson and Trump, I’d be willing to make an exception.