Big Dave arrived. He brought with him a bottle of M&S Islay single malt whisky. He was not unwelcome.
I summoned up my most creative kitchen mode and made a pasta dish of wholemeal penne with smoked bacon, onions, garlic, celery, plum tomatoes, a few sliced black olives, chilli, a pinch of thyme, a bit of chicken stock and a couple of teaspoons of anchovy sauce. It was grand, even if I say so myself, and Big Dave, who puts himself forward as something of a Big Man in the Kitchen, was interested in the two teaspoons of anchovy essence which had lent the dish a piquancy he had not been able to identify.
"Oh, just a passing reference to puttanesca," I posed.
Smoky bacon and anchovy essence being the salty elements they are, we resorted to making sure there were two empty spaces in the red wine racks in the kitchen. And then we had to find out if the M&S whisky was any good (it most definitely was), but not before we'd done a mutual sampling of an interesting sloe whisky I picked up last month.
And so to bed, grateful that we'd not wasted our time buying drink in the pub.