Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A family bucket

Friday 22nd

Today, I did bugger all - except sat down, wrote the blog about Thursday’s trip to Selbourne and contemplated the next few days plans.

Saturday – 23rd

After another lounge-about session in the morning, I headed off with my brother to Caterham, near Croydon, for a pub-lunch meeting with his daughters at the Lady Bird. The pub sits alongside the army barracks where my brother began his 35-year career as a Welsh Guard in early 1958. I had last met his daughters in 2009. After a couple of pints and a plate of Lancashire hotpot, we stepped back into the blustery, snowy air to head to Croydon.

I had not been in Croydon since 2002 when my wife and I made a brief stop-over at the home of her briefly met with her cousin, Jimmy. He was my Best Man at our wedding in 1970 – which was the last time he had seen my brother so they had a nice chin-wag, including recalling that my brother had toured him around the hilltop overlooking Swansea Bay while we were away on our 1-day honeymoon! After an hour or two, my brother returned to Guildford. Jimmy and his wife took me to a crowded, but excellent (Bangladeshi, I think) restaurant that evening. Quite a businessman, the owner gave us brandy ‘on the house’ – just the thing to wash down my Lamb Vindaloo curry!

Sunday – 24th

A cold blustery morning greeted us as we walked the ½ mile round trip to Palm Sunday Mass so it was nice to warm up afterwards when Anita made a traditional Irish / British breakfast of (real) bacon, sausages, baked beans, egg and hot tea. Jimmy’s two daughters and their children arrived at different times during the day, so there was the customary recounting of their meeting with our daughters there some 25 or so years ago.

Jimmy and I sat and watched TV while Anita prepared a surprise dessert for that evening. Earlier in the day, the conversation was focused on events, times and customs in decades past in Ireland and Wales. From that conversation, Anita got the idea for the dessert – a Christmas plum pudding on to which she poured custard – are treat indeed. Being that t followed a large portion of chicken, ham, vegetables and roast potatoes, I should have suspected I may need some exercise the next day when I would travel to London!

To be continued . . . 

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