In this omnibus edition of Christopher Matthew's comic verse, his route takes in Britain's middle-aged middle classes and their foibles, stops to raise a leg at dogs and their lovers, and terminates - as is life's way - with a wry look at romance for bus-pass owners.
A TRIPLE-DECKER TREAT teaches us that not only can a Le Creuset casserole be very dangerous in the wrong hands, but so too can Pilates, open-air opera in evening dress, weekending in Wales with a pug, and pushing a trolley in Waitrose.
There are exuberant spaniels of theatrical lineage and neglected latchkey dogs, there are dignified mongrel strays, war-heroes and a psychotic Great Dane called Cher Bebe. And then there is man, with his cowardice, his commitment issues, his short attention span and his propensity for very silly names . . .
Finally, Matthew negotiates the perils and pitfalls of romance in later years. Love is revealed in the most unlikely places, with the most improbable people seeking it. Whether in Dorking, Diss, Clapham Junction or West Wittering, there are amorous opportunities waiting to be seized at the bridge table, on the tennis court, in the herbaceous border, on a bicycle made for two, or simply in warm companionship.
Often hilarious and always touching, these delightful and stirring tales of cast-iron cookware, rear-fixated puppies and late-flowering love are a celebration of everything life has to offer.
It is high time some brave bard took up his pen in praise of senior sensuality, and Christopher Matthew has risen to the challenge . . . [A] sprightly volume of bittersweet verse - Daily Mail
Christopher Matthew is a comic genius