Wednesday 30 December 2015

A very curious encounter

Picture the scene.
A young man (my son) is on a train sitting
at a table of four seats.
He is wearing a casual navy jacket,
a T-shirt and V-neck jumper
with a pair of dark maroon trousers.

Opposite him are a smartly dressed woman and her husband
in their late fifties or early sixties.
She has a cold.
After a while she opens a pack of Lemsip sachets
 takes them all out, and puts them in a tidy pile.
She then opens up the Lemsip box.

She turns it over and begins to write.
The young man does not take much notice of this,
(he is working on his laptop)
until she pushes the piece of card across the table to him.
She smiles. It is a message for him.
Here is what it says:

Do you think she makes a habit of offering 
unsolicited sartorial advice on trains?
Would an unremarkably dressed young man be likely to 
a) be grateful for this advice,
b) want to act on such specific advice?

Would she have risked doing this to a woman?

Would she have welcomed my return note
correcting her spelling of 'accentuate' and 'wear'?

What would you have felt?
What would you have said?

Saturday 26 December 2015

Wednesday 23 December 2015

It's beginning to look a bit like

A perfect dawn.
Time to see off this beastly bug for good.
The leaking coolant pipe in the car has been fixed
(yes that was the third thing),
the meat has been collected,
the veg box delivered,

the cake has been iced,

the Advent windows admired,

cards and twinkly lights,

are disposed about the house.
O. has made a huge batch of seething sourdough

and I have cracked open

the Quality Street.

Interesting how much smaller the old tins were.

And finally the orange pastry recipe for mince pies
from my  'well used' Josceline Dimblebey book.
I hope you can read it Frances.

Monday 21 December 2015

Things going slightly awry

I am being tested.
No sooner was the cooker fixed than the digibox
went on the blink and failed to record the Strictly final.
I had lovingly inputted all the programmes we would want to watch 
over Christmas using my bumper legendary Christmas Radio Times
and it has folded its arms and said, 
'No. You will watch live or not at all
like in the Olden Days.'
I have a cold.
The sort that might not loosen its foul grip in time for Friday.

Saturday 12 December 2015

Cooking on gas

It took two hours
and a hefty fee,

to change a 3 amp fuse -
which I provided.
But I am very grateful to the skinny
and much tattooed young man
who wrestled the beast out of its lair,
disemboweled it,
diagnosed the problem
and reassembled it,
without damaging either tiles or floor.

Let the roasting, baking and grilling re-commence.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Exquisite timing

With two loud bangs
our gas stove threw in the towel last night.

At first light the hunt began 
for anyone who knew how to fix it.

The usual rigmarole followed with The Four Seasons on hold.
The passing from hand to hand in various organisations. 
The out of order number, the wrong number,
'We're very busy, everybody wants their cookers fixed. 
I will get someone to call you back between
24 and 48 hours.
Then it will be up to 5 days before anyone can come.'
The lying on the floor with a torch to find
the ten digit model number engraved on its intestines.

The very real possibility that it is beyond repair,
(it is twenty years old),
or the parts are unavailable.
I consider the option of buying a new one,
shudder at the expense
and realise that we will still be sailing very close to the wind 
for delivery and installation.
Plus I happen to remember that the floor was laid up to
and not under the stove in a close fitting chimney alcove and 
that it was an even tighter fit after the walls were tiled.
Likely the floor and tiles will be damaged
as the old one is extracted and the new one pushed in.

Although the entire electrics have blown 
and the gas is therefore cut off to the ovens and grill, 
the burners on the top will still work with matches.

Poached goose anyone? 

Saturday 5 December 2015

Winging it

What do you do if you decide to make some mince pies
and discover that your mince pie tin is missing?
You get a fancy tin from the back of the cupboard,
thankful that you did not Kondo it

and make mince pie madeleines instead.

The broken one didn't spoil the line up for long.