Ages ago, Mirinda invited Lisa and her partner Rupert over for lunch. I’ve been planning the meal every since, adding bits, subtracting others, until I had it right. Ignoring the fact that my menu board needs a thorough clean, this was the result of my deliberations.
I wasn’t happy with the scallops. I used too much Serrano ham and the scallops didn’t brown enough. Still, they tasted okay.
I’m also going to have to not feed people our lo-carb desserts. The carrot cake chia pudding was not a success. Which was a shame because I thought it worked out very well. But Rupert didn’t eat his because his tongue reacted to the taste.
He said he suffers from dysgeusia, which causes a distorted sense of taste. He blamed the chia seeds though Mirinda thinks he may have bitten into a cardamom seed. In future, I’ll stick to pastry options like the plum puff. That never fails to satisfy.
Still, that aside, we had a wonderful visit.
Mirinda took them both on a tour of the garden before heading off for a tour of Farnham while I cooked (and indulged in some very loud rock music), filling the house full of delicious smells, awaiting their return.
The afternoon was full of laughs and experiences. My two favourite stories were how Rupert sent his kids off to Kenya to teach them about something other than the middle class and how Lisa lost most of a convoy of trucks due to her terrible navigation skills.
I also loved Rupert’s story about where guardsmen keep their swimmers and towels when heading for the Lido in the Mall.
And the girls were very happy as well. Especially Freya, who always appreciates a welcoming lap.
They’d also been to Marrakech but, disappointingly, didn’t see the goats in the olive trees on the way to Essaouira. They shared my general opinion of Essaouira but doubted the goats in trees. I mean, really.
Given they’ve both been in the army, we swapped lots of tales. Principally of the First World War, from my perspective. We also got onto how officers who had bought their commissions were not always the best leaders. I said that this was borne out by the Richard Sharpe books where he’s clearly an excellent leader though he came up from the ranks and a lot of the poncy boy, privately educated, tossers from rich families, are just as clearly not.
Not wishing to wear out their welcome (they wouldn’t have, no matter how they stayed) they left for home before the sun set.
An excellent day.