Monday, 28 March 2016

Cheshire roast

I've been in Cheshire at Nathan's sister's and her husband's house today. There are way too many apostrophes in that sentence, so many, in fact, that I'm doubting their validity, but it's rather late and I've eaten too much chocolate, so, you know, f**k grammar...

We've had another lovely day, which started with a road trip up the A1 through rain, sunshine and rainbows to Lisa and Mark's house where we dropped off birthday cards for their children George and Rosie. Two of Lisa's children were born on the same day, which, rather oddly has collided with Easter this year. They were all out. We didn't actually expect them to be in, so delivered the cards, left a couple of Easter eggs on the doorstep, popped to the local churchyard to say hello to George, and continued our journey along the A14, the M6, the M54 and the A41 to Nathan's Mum's and Ron's house. Again, way too many apostrophes, but you know what I mean...

We ate hot cross buns for lunch with cups of tea and bits of Ä’ostre eggs. Nathan's Mum had an operation on her back earlier this week and looked remarkably well. She is still in some discomfort from the operation scars, but the chronic pain she's been in for months has entirely gone. She says she got out of bed yesterday and, for the first time in ages, felt entirely alive. Bravo!

Later on, we travelled to Sam and Julius' where there was a proper family gathering going on. At least ten of us sat down for a full roast with all the trimmings. The great joy about a roast meal (apart from the glorious tastes) is the veritable rainbow which arrives on your plate. The oranges of carrots and mashed swedes, the yellow of sweet corn, the deep reds and purple of cabbage, the greens of leeks, asparagus and broccoli. I bloody love food I do.

I fell asleep on the most comfortable sofa in the world after lunch whilst Nathan taught his niece Jenny how to knit. It was warm. The sofa felt like silk and velvet. Nathan's voice was soothing. It was glorious. I felt like my Grandpa.

We travelled home in a massive storm (named Katy, I later learned) listening to the news, which was a catalogue of stories relating to Muslim extremist violence: a bomb which killed scores of children in Pakistan, tales of Isis carrying out mass killings in ancient amphitheatres in Syria, news that right wing extremists shouting anti-immigrant slogans had stamped on flowers and candles at a peace vigil in Brussels. I am proud to report that the extremists were greeted with shouts of "we are all the children of immigrants." As a man with Welsh, Jewish, Gypsy and Huguenot ancestry, I entirely second that.

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