Beloved seemed a little concerned.
Beloved has noticed that I spend more time downstairs than in my study. The busy time is done and I could get stuck in again. The problem is, where do I start? What is conceivably of interest to anyone but us?
“Well, you could start with food,” he said.
Trust him. He is thin to the point of emaciation in spite of a good appetite.
So, let’s start with food.
First, a supper party. A good friend had returned from five weeks’ exploration of the environmental impact of hydro-electric plants on the Tapajos river in Brazil and it was time to catch up. I thought it might be nice to invite another good friend whom I owed several meals. (not that we keep track - well, ok then, I do, just a bit) It was all a bit last minute, but unplanned parties are usually the best. At 11 pm two nights before the supper party Andrew rang.
“Thank you for the invitation. I’d really love to come, but I have two guests staying.”
“What a pity, another time.”
“Well, we could all come. Think about it. It would be brilliant, just for the conversation. I’d bring the food for me and my guests, who are lovely people. You’ll love them."
I was rather taken aback. Andrew seemed merry and very enthusiastic; in the background I could hear sounds of conviviality.
“Think about it”, he repeated, “you won’t have to do a thing. I’ll bring lots of food and wine.”
I was beginning to feel flattered. Andrew has been something of a grand personage in the past and isn’t exactly a nobody now. That he should be so keen to come to a humble supper chez Friko . . . . . .
I do a lot for a bit of flattery.
I made up my mind. I’d rearrange the position of the table, and add an extra leaf, to seat more than six. I’d buy the peripheral courses and do a simple main course. It could be done without great effort.
The next morning my in-tray pinged.
“Abject apologies. I should never have imposed on you. I phoned you on the spur of the moment after a very bibulous meal. (Who’d have guessed?) Of course we won’t crash your party; could you and J. come to me for drinks before dinner on Sunday, instead?”
I persuaded Andrew that it was all settled, that I’d consulted the other two supper guests, that the food was taken care of and that he should present himself and his guests at seven the next night. Which he did, laden with three bottles of wine, a large cool box and his house guests, two delightful South Africans. Many hours later they went home with the cool box incl. contents, but minus the wine, which had joined further bottles provided by Beloved and the original guests.
It was a great evening and now Andrew owes me big-time.
Autumn is nowhere near our birthdays but Jay, another friend, decided that she wanted to take us out for a very belated birthday lunch. Pub meals are carb-heavy, just the kind of meal suited for a wet, cool Sunday in late autumn.
This is a plate of roast beef, with roast potatoes
and vegetables, as well as a giant
Yorkshire pudding. Millie had lots of leavings in a doggy bag.
The Lion in Leintwardine is a very attractive pub with rooms, a restaurant and bars, and sits smack on the banks of the river Teme. The pub garden runs down to the river and they even have fishing.
Leintwardine is a large village in north Herefordshire, close to the border with Shropshire, with origins in Roman times; it has been inhabited ever since and was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.