Last night we had a lovely dinner with Sally, Mark, Kate and Will. They are coming to the end of their European adventure and enjoyed our dinner last week so much that they wanted to visit us again. This time, at home.
I bought a whole load of mince and pasta and cooked up a storm when I arrived home from work. They arrived at about 7pm and we sat down to dinner half an hour later.
And what a lovely night we had. Lots of chat, food and wine. A highlight was me having a go at Catholics to find that not only is Mark a Catholic but he has two sisters who are sisters in a nunnery. He didn’t take offence and, instead joined in the general dislike of organised religion. Oh, how we laughed.
Sally told us that the kids have been left alone to make their own minds up – Sally is a realist, like me. I said it shouldn’t be too difficult to make their minds up given there’s plenty of evidence for no religion and none for the existence of imaginary friends.
It was a lovely night, my fascist leanings aside.
First thing this morning, however, things started going wrong from the off.
I have been planning the menu for our lunch tomorrow for a week and today was to be devoted to preparation. I’d planned it to perfection so that I’d be finished in time to go for a walk with Mirinda, Day-z and Emma. As well as wanting to go for a lovely walk, it was also to be Emma’s first long walk somewhere other than the park. Sadly, I missed out.
The first thing that went wrong was the early morning arrival of Clive and another guy called Jai (I think) who were going to, finally, lay the bonded aggregate on the top steps off the terrace. My plan had included going shopping first thing in the morning. Because Mirinda was off for her guitar lesson, I had to stay at home with the dogs and to be on hand for any questions.
Needless to say, the path tops were not laid today. Eventually, Dave turned up and the four of us stood around waiting for someone to make a decision about whether to start or not. Finally, Dave determined that the screed wasn’t dry enough to start work. Besides, no-one could find the primer that has to be painted on first. (The primer turned up on Sunday when I found it in one of the boxes that were delivered last week.)
So, no work done, everyone left, saying they’d be back first thing Monday morning. No sooner were they out the door than I was off into town.
Having bought half the shopping I needed (the weather was too sketchy to take my wicker basket) I quickly started making my creme brulee custard for tomorrow’s dessert. Everything was going extremely well. And then I turned my hand mixer on. The blades turned as they were supposed to, spun a few times then they stopped. Nothing I did made them turn again.
I was devastated. Not only because I’d lost one of my favourite kitchen tools but because I had a load of eggs and sugar ready for beating.
It was nearing lunchtime and Mirinda’s return. I knew I’d have to go into town and buy a new hand mixer but decided I’d go after lunch. Which I did. And that’s why I missed out on the walk.
After lunch I once more walked into Farnham, bought a new mixer and the remaining groceries for tomorrow.
Back at home, I immediately went back to the brulees, wondering how on earth people made them without electrical aids. It was then non-stop until it was time to make tea.
What a day. Last night was so much easier.