Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A Bit of Blether

Aside

We have just had the Sussex branch of the family for their last visit before leaving for Australia but hooray they are coming again in August. Mum and daughter have just popped over to Oz for a quick recce but they know it well having lived there for ten years.

Our grand-daughter – having finished GCSEs, had a combined celebration and farewell party at the Ritz with her girl friends. One of them thought she had spotted the Queen Mother but grand- daughter broke the news of the Q.M’s demise and realised it was Margaret Thatcher. I think she was jolly clever to recognise her. Maggie asked them what the occasion was and volunteered that it was very expensive and was generally sweet to them.

Being polite girls they asked the waiter if they could have doggy bags (as opposed to having them already in their handbags, as Grandma would have done) and were politely refused. However GD managed to sneak a scone for her Dad.

My Kent grandson celebrated his end of whatever they have at 18 by having six days in Paris with his girl friend. As he has risen at crack of dawn for years to do a paper round I expect he paid for it himself -. which pleases me greatly.

My D in L made the most scrumptious Coq au Vin whilst here – I haven’t done one since the seventies. I asked her about the recipe but all she would say was it said half a bottle of red wine so she put a whole one in and had made sure it was a happy chicken. MTL and I enjoyed the leftovers after they left. And by the way Gordon Brown, check out girls et al; please don’t lecture me about thrift – or anyone who lived through WW2. We know more about thrift by practising it for years and then never growing out of it. So there!

And as for tightening our belts – we’ve been doing that, on and off, since Harold Wilson. Over the week-end we had a discussion about leaving our plates clean which Grandma expects and we were told that in some countries in the east, if you leave a clean plate they assume you want more and continue doling out noodles. However this is the West.

I had an e-mail forwarded from my old school from an old boy. I eventually remembered him – he was senior to me and in my sister’s form. He said he remembered me sitting on his knee at one of Geoff Hurst’s kissing parties. Of this I have no recollection but we did have lots of end of year celebrations. He said he was 81 but still alive and kicking. Bless him!

30 comments:

Kim Ayres said...

A friend of mine went through a nightmare situation of being a guest for a meal at a Chinese friend's house. He was brought up to always clear his pate, while his host was brought up to always provide more than the guest can eat...

Mei Del said...

how wonderful to have old schoolfriends get in touch after all these decades! i recently went home to a class reunion and it was still jolly fun - we remembered the pranks we got up to and the boys we kissed! it was an all girls' school.

PI said...

Kim: that must have been hilarious. I wonder how long it was before he cottoned on.

mei dei: I was quite tickled. He told me in his next e- mail that he was relieved to get mine as he wondered if he had been too forward. They don't make them like that anymore. Talking of girl's schools my granddaughter - who is very attractive had to attend the school's prom in a group as none of the girls - living in the countryside had boy friends. There's a lot to be said for co-ed if only because one sees boys for what they are - a necessary part of the furniture.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

I bet Maggie had a doggie bag in her handbag, even though Denis would have left her a few bob. I took aged aunty for tea at the Ritz once, they just keep bringing tea and food until you can't eat any more. The waiters are good fun and happy to take photographs of customers. One must draw the line at takeaways though!

PI said...

Daphne: I'm afraid if I ever get the chance I'll be naughty - if only because MTL would be shocked. And it is paid for and what else are they going to do with one tiny luscious little cake?

Eryl Shields said...

Tea at the Ritz, how wonderful! I have a lovely image of your beautiful (and she has to be) granddaughter and a gaggle of friends eating dainty cakes in that venerable institution, it looks like a Vogue photo shoot.

On the subject of plate cleaning, it has taken me years of sustained effort to undo that training for the sake of my hips.

PI said...

Eryl: she is lovely and much loved by both of us but she is MTL's blood grand daughter. Oddly her mother has been taken for my daughter.
Re plate cleaning - smaller portions?

R. Sherman said...

Geoff Hurst’s kissing parties

You can't just leave us with that tid-bit alone, with no further explanation!

Cheers.

PI said...

Randall: now don't get excited. as I said I don't remember this particular occasion but it was perfectly normal in the forties - usually at the end of term, to have parties - sometimes at the Conservative Hall and sometimes at someone's parents and we would play games which would always include spinning the bottle, sardines etc etc. All quite innocent and educational in learning who was a good kisser. In those days meant keeping your mouth shut and none of this slobbery nonsense. Remember the war was just coming to an end and we had to take our fun where we found it.

sablonneuse said...

Like you, I was brought up to clear my plate and when my schoolfriend came to stay (we hadn't seen each other for 30 years) I was quietly annoyed that she always left food on her plate. BUT - she has retained her slim figure. She later sent me a Paul McKenna book on 'becoming and staying slim' and he recommends (nay - commands) that you never eat everything on your plate. It goes against the grain but I'm going to try.

PI said...

Sandy: good luck with it. I would find that sooo difficult to do. Let me know how you get on with it and perhaps I'll break a lifetime's habit and my family will rejoice.

kenju said...

A kissing party? Sounds like fun! Too bad you don't remember!

R. Sherman said...

In those days meant keeping your mouth shut and none of this slobbery nonsense.

If there wasn't andy slobbery nonsense, you weren't doing it right.

:)

Cheers.

PI said...

Judy: I just don't remember that particular one.

Randall; our heroes were Clark Gable, Stewart Granger, Tyrone Power and they ALL - on screen - kissed with their mouths firmly closed. Later one learned that open could be acceptable but I still don't enjoy being drenched in spit.

problemchildbride said...

Kissing parties! Cool!

It's lovely that auld fella got in touch. (And was able to - modern technology is fab.) You must have made quite an impression on him all these years ago.

PI said...

Sam: took him long enough to do anything. Now he is happily (one hopes) in Canada with his wife.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Your visits with family are always so wonderful to read about, Pat...And it certainly is a big family...! I LOVE the Grandson going to Paris for a vacation with his gorlfriend...Good for him!
That Coq 'au Vin sounded devine...! Good idea to double the amount of wine! (lol)

PI said...

Naomi: the young lovers are hoping to be in the same city - if not the same university - depending on their results. 'Aint love grand?

granny p said...

A whole bottle of wine?...wish I could have tried it... Nice family stuff altogether. When do we get next instalment of the autobiography? Perhaps that's being ungrateful and another way of not finishing up the leftovers.... sorry.

PI said...

Granny P: I know I know! How about tomorrow? And possibly it will be the penultimate one - for now.

Eryl Shields said...

It's so difficult to get people to dish out small enough portions, I feel terribly bossy, and ungrateful, saying 'that's enough' or 'a bit less please' they always look incredulous! But at home I always have small potions though Stevie eats all the leftovers, which isn't doing him any favours. Bob's amazing, he'll stop mid mouthful if he's had enough wherever he is.I can feel a post coming on!

Btw, have you read On Chesil Beach, I'm just reading it at the moment? I almost suffocated myself when Florence was enduring that kiss with tongues!

PI said...

Eryl: I smile to think of you mixing potions in your green shelved kitchen.
No I haven't read Chesil Beach and now you've made me want to. And there's Midnight's Children sitting waiting on my bedside locker. Oh 'eck!

Guyana-Gyal said...

My mother told me, you must eat every scrap because you don't know which bit has blessings for you. My goodness, what a lot of blessings if I were in China.

P.S. I'm imagining that coq au vin lurching drunkenly, merrily, in the pot.

Dr Maroon said...

never been in the Ritz, but I've eaten their crackers. Very moreish!
Am I allowed to take issue? Course I am, we're old friends now.
Tightening your belt since Harold Wilson?
Look me in the eye Pat. If you have been, then you are the only one, and must have suffered a catastrophic series of unlucky personal financial setbacks unrelated to the government of the day.
I MAY be a bit liverish just now, but I do know my economics. I'm scotch and we invented the art. Ask YTL if you don't believe me.

Krimo said...

Pat, that was a fabulous tour! Lovely, lovely photos!
There's nothing like a well cooked Coq au Vin!
With a bottle of red wine down me, I'd be happy!

PI said...

Doc: I got it wrong; I didn't mean that I personally had tightened my belt, but that I(and everybody else) have been adjured frequently,
throughout my life to tighten out belts, by the gloom and doom merchants who give me a pain in the gluteas maximus.
I consider myself to have been very lucky having come from a loving, working class family and never been unemployed, hungry or homeless. The glass really is half full to me
and if there is nothing I can do to halt a recession I refuse to get depressed about it.

PI said...

GG: the smell when it was cooking was enough to make you feel tipsy. It was yummy.

PI said...

Krimo:thank you! I had almost forgotten about C au V and it was even better second time around - as so many things are.

Kim Ayres said...

Apparently this culture clash only came to light as, stuffed to the rafters and feeling quite sick, my friend began to see the end in sight, and his Chinese friend began to panic.

PI said...

Kim: I do hope they were able to talk about it and laugh afterwards. Thus are international friendships formed.