Mr B is devouring his home-made moussaka with great relish.
I wish I could claim to have made it myself – but
in fact it was a present from the Middle of the Darling Daughters, one of two gifts to thank her father for loaning me to her for the weekend to assist her in her hour of need. The second present is a book called “How to baby-sit a Grandad”
which is absolutely hilarious, all the more so because the illustrated Grandad is the spitting image of Mr B. The idea is that the book will stay at our house, to be read aloud when Faris and other small grandchildren come to stay. The moussaka will
certainly not be hanging about in the same way.
I do remember the first moussaka we shared, Mr B and I. It was in a beautiful open air restaurant on Lykavittos
Hill where we sat surveying the whole of Athens, laid out before us like a tantalising map still to be thoroughly explored. It was our first holiday abroad and I’d been researching this moment as one to be savoured and remembered forever. I
had forgotten, however, to research the ingredients in a moussaka or I would have discovered it is a cheesy dish (I don’t “do” cheese) which was rather a pity – though I seem to remember that Mr B finished off my portion as well as
his own, on the basis of waste not, want not. As One who is Always Thinking of My Stomach, I still bear a grudge. (The Middle of the Darling Daughters, incidentally, makes my moussaka without cheese. It’s probably sacrilege but it’s totally delicious
and I love her for it.)
Mr B and I are sitting at the dining room table while he eats his moussaka and watching Andy Murray beat Kevin Anderson in three straight
sets. I remark on the fact that Andy Murray never seems to be wearing his shirt properly. It always looks as if it needs straightening up around the neck and shoulder. Mr B reminds me that playing such a strenuous sport as tennis will involve a certain amount
of (to put it politely) perspiration which will lead to clothes clinging to one’s body. I point out that other players, like Djokovic and Tsonga, who have now taken over Centre Court, do not seem to have the same problem. Mr B says I should be watching
the tennis not fussing about Andy Murray’s shirt, ill-fitting or not. This is a bit rich coming from one who snoozed away half the match in his arm-chair.
between watching the tennis and worrying about the state of Andy’s shirt, I have been trying to plan some fun outings for our oldest grandson, Jack, who is coming to stay for a few days having finally finished his GCSEs. I say finally because they seemed
to go on forever and a day; I am sure I can’t remember my O Levels being spread out over so many weeks. Jack’s mother, the Youngest of the Darling Daughters, reminds me that he is a teenager and, as such, unlikely to arise from his bed too early
in the morning. The message is clear: when organising outings, don’t start too early. Mr B, who similarly favours late starts, is happy to hear this. He will love having a male ally at his side for a few days to counter my enthusiasm. He suggests
that Jack should bring a couple of golf clubs with him so that he can take him to the local driving range. He knows Jack owns golf clubs because he gave him his own set not so very long ago. I am just hoping they are not languishing at the very back of my
daughter's garage, somewhere unreachable without clearing out the entire contents.
I am quite sure, anyway, that Jack will have his own ideas of how he wants
us to spend our days. Having been to stay with us every summer since he was knee high to the proverbial grasshopper (albeit in the company of his mother and sister) he generally knows what’s on offer. We will have A Fine Time.
I turn my attention back to the tennis. I am interested to note the spectators on whom the cameramen train their lenses. It helps if you are famous, of course,
say Sir Alex Ferguson, Greg Dyke or Cliff Richard. Failing this (and, let’s face it, you can’t just become famous overnight, in the hope of being picked out in the Wimbledon crowd) then the best bet appears to be to paint your faces to resemble
a Union Jack.
I have entered a competition to win tickets for the Ladies Final. I am supremely confident that I will win. I will take Jack and we will eat
in the best restaurant, cheer on the winner and wear silly hats which may (or may not) attract the attention of the cameramen.
Alternatively we will just have to watch it on TV. Which, like my
first taste of moussaka, would be a bit of a disappointment...