Life is full of experiences, don’t you think? Today was no exception.
There we were, travelling along the A24 towards
Woking and the venue for this year’s Brothers and Sisters Day. If you read yesterday’s Daily Blog, you will remember that, because my sister-in-law has been ill, Mr B and I were preparing the food and transporting it up to my brother’s
house. I had packed up our two Union Jack cool bags (patriot that I am) – one containing the apple pie, two pots of custard and one of cream, the other containing Auntie Bessie’s mashed potato, two kinds of vegetables, a bottle
of red wine and a bottle of white wine. Into the car boot with them! This Meals on Wheels business is a piece of cake.
Except that I had reckoned without
the Main Dish – Mr B’s Boeuf Bourguinon – which certainly couldn’t be consigned to the boot, or the back seat or anywhere where there was a risk it might slop all over the place whenever the car turned a corner.
There was nothing else for it. There I sat, in the passenger seat, cradling the Boeuf Bourguignon. It was my job to try to keep the casserole dish on a level through every twist and
turn of our fifty mile journey. Roundabout coming up? Sharp corner? A bit of hard braking to avoid those annoying fellow motorists who think they own the road? Pulling up at traffic lights? At each and every such point in the journey, I had to carefully
tilt the casserole dish in the appropriate direction so that the contents didn’t slop under the lid and run down the sides of the dish. It was a bit like riding pillion on a motorbike, where (if I remember rightly from my youth) you have to lean
into the bends but not so much that you topple over. Unlike riding pillion, however, there was nothing in the least bit exhilarating about riding Pot Passenger. It was tiring in the extreme and stressful with it. I knew Mr B would never forgive
me if, after all his hard work in the kitchen yesterday, I spilt so much as a single drop of his precious Boeuf Bourguignon.
You will be pleased to hear that we
all - including the Boeuf Bourguignon – arrived safely and in no time at all the casserole dish was in the oven heating up splendidly while we enjoyed a welcome cup of coffee and a shortbread biscuit.
My sister and her husband arrived – we were all present and correct. Our other brother had been unable to make it down from his home in Scotland but we all agreed he was doubtless there in spirit. I
managed to get the meal on the table with the minimum of fuss and bother, just as I had planned. Bravo, Aunt Bessie, your microwaved mashed potatoes were excellent and nobody would have known I had cheated except that, being me, I felt obliged to
We all had so much to talk about over dinner that there was (as Mr B would doubtless have said, had he been able to get a word in edgeways) no danger of our jaws rusting.
Yes, we all talked at once, probably as we used to do when we were young’uns. Life must have been noisy in our house when we were youngsters.
There is a kind of shorthand between siblings,
I always think, born of having grown up together. The in-laws – our long-suffering partners – look on and listen patiently as we start telling stories about long ago only to forget to finish them or to
find ourselves diverted onto another fascinating historical tack. It doesn’t matter, of course, because we have related all the stories many times before and we all know how they end. They are the history of our shared childhood. They
are what has made us the people we are today.
Nothing matters more to me than my family. I love the fact that over the years Mr B and I have added precious
branches to our family tree which have, in turn, added more amazing and wonderful branches of their own. We are quite some tree, I like to think.
my brothers and sisters – well, they are the ones who shared my childhood, the ones who have known me longer than anyone else. They will look at me and remember the child I was, just as I remember the big brother I idolised and the little sister
They are my roots.