Does this sound somewhat familiar? It’s Sunday, early evening, and you’re shifting down a couple of gears after enjoying a leisurely, “this might be my last semi-sane weekend until January” window. You started by tuning into Monocle on Sunday (of course) and you had a long, decadent breakfast with your favourite newspapers: a section of the FT Weekend that you missed, some long reads from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung and, while enjoying your third capp, the cover story from Les Echos Week-End.
Before you pulled on your Tarvas (check them out, a super-cool Finnish shoe brand) for your walk, you filled in some gaps on the bookshelves, moved around some furniture as part of a Christmas-tree rethink and took stock of the pantry to ensure that it’s fully armed for impromptu cocktail events over the weeks ahead. Out on your walk you were surprised by how busy it was in the forest but then why shouldn’t it be packed? The leaves are now at their most golden and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.
Now it’s time to plot out the evening ahead. Fortunately, you managed to catch up with an Australian chef earlier in the week in London and he gave you his new cookbook so there’s going to be a fine dinner ahead. But what to crack open from the fridge? Is it a beer-and-bath moment? Or does that come later? Too early for a merlot from Ticino? Given that it’s Sunday and the sun has dipped, you might as well open a bottle of Laurent-Perrier, find your cosy corner and read a little bit. Maybe there’s even time for a little pre-dinner nap.
Thirty minutes later you wake up and the cooking is already underway. It’s going to be a very easy crab pasta for dinner (always, always have six cans of Kamchatka crab on standby in the cupboard), so your job is to select a new wine. What about Austrian? Or maybe something German? What would Monocle’s contributing wine expert recommend? Ah yes, she always did say to keep something from Santorini well chilled in the fridge for just such an occasion.
You decide that dinner’s going to be on the sofa and you might watch Antiques Roadshow. (Countryfile used to be a pleasant hour of escapism until they went overly political and tried to please every possible interest group, losing you along the way.) Now what to watch? You’ve finished with Fauda, Tehran and Nobel, and even surprised yourself by enjoying Emily in Paris. Clicker in hand, you navigate through Amazon, Apple and Netflix and eventually decide it’s worth seeing whether season three of Le Bureau is available in your region yet. A couple of swipes around Amazon start to look promising and it appears that seasons one to five are all available via its Sundance partnership. Perfect.
Time to open up that merlot after all and settle in for multiple hours of French spooks keeping the republic safe from harm. Or not. Even though Amazon has introduced me to Sundance I can’t get beyond the title page and now it’s looking like the evening is completely spoiled, which brings us to an opportunity. Why can’t Messrs Bezos and Cook come up with a subscription service sans frontières for people who live across multiple borders and want to watch and listen to content from all over the world? Yes, yes, I know I could have a VPN service but, given that I’m in the business of selling subscriptions and supporting talent, I would like to pay for this properly. So how 'bout it Apple, Netflix, Amazon and co? Why not a premium, clear-conscience service for Monocle readers, expats, the globally curious and anyone who hasn’t managed to see the last three seasons of Le Bureau? Then again, there’s always mail-order and the DVD player. Cheers to progress.