Mr B and I have spent a lazy afternoon in companionable quietude watching the first two episodes of "Death in Paradise" Series One.
You are right, it's not like me to
laze about of an afternoon. Or, even more so, to be quiet about it. However it is a grey day outside, there's what my dear Mum used to call a "mizzling" rain making the prospect of gardening rather less attractive to the Fair Weather Gardener that I am. Incidentally,
that word "mizzling." I think it is a clever mix of the words "drizzling" and "miserable." Pretty evocative, don't you think? Except that, having looked it up in the interests of accuracy (always important, if not necessarily always strictly adhered to) I
find that it is a proper word, the definition of which is "to rain in fine, mistlike droplets." There is no mention of my Mum as the originator of the word, apparently it could be found in a book called Travels in England, published in 1782. I'm as sure as
sure can be that my Mum was not around then. Life is just full of disappointments.
This evening, for example, I was supposed to be going to a Grand Dinner in the Banqueting Suite of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton.
According to the invite my meal would be eaten in "sumptuous surroundings." It was to be a "back tie" do so, as Mr B simply hates dressing up, I was going with the sweet Natasha who works really hard for Voluntary Action Worthing and so well deserves a treat
in sumptuous surroundings. Natasha is the Very Best of Company, as I discovered on our last jolly jaunt to a launch in the House of Commons. As a team of networkers there can be few to beat us.
taken her best dress to the dry cleaners and was even more excited than I was. Then this morning she rang me with bad news: somehow or other we had been omitted from the final guest list. Do you think someone ran a check on us and decided we should be relegated
to the reserve list? I was, of course, disappointed - as much on Natasha's behalf as mine. But there you are, life is full of disappointments. It's the way you deal with them that matters.
Mr B was
very happy that he would have my company this evening. Even though he has my company more or less every evening. This suggests that he never tires of my company - except that he will almost certainly have a snooze in the armchair after dinner.
Ah, dinner! What I need to do now is to create sumptuous surroundings in our own home. My lamb stew (with leeks, in honour of the Welsh members of the family) and the remains of yesterday's apple and blackcurrant pie (with
custard) will surely taste extra special if I can recreate just a little of the Banqueting Room at the Royal Pavilion.
The stunning chandelier which forms the centrepiece of the room will prove a challenge.
We shall just have to imagine that our crystal lampshade is thirty feet high and weighs a ton. Her Majesty the Queen has not (as yet) loaned us any of her furniture and, even should she do so, we probably couldn't fit in a sideboard veneered in satinwood with
carved and giltwood dragons. I'm a bit worried, too, about setting our table with exquisite silverware...
One answer would be to resort to candles by which to eat our lamb stew. However Mr B is not keen on
candles. He says, by way of explanation, that he likes to see what he is eating. Anyone would think he is afraid I might be poisoning him. As with candles, so with cushions. Mr B hates cushions even more than candles. Getting into bed each night, he complains,
involves Major Cushion Removal especially as we can't just hurl them on the floor in sweet abandon in case we trip over them on the inevitable way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
I have therefore accepted defeat on creating sumptuous surroundings but every cloud has a silver lining. Rather than rushing around trying to get all glammed up ready to catch the 16.50 train to Brighton and to meet Natasha outside
the Royal Pavilion, there was time and space for a lazy afternoon with Mr B.
The "Death in Paradise" box set was a much appreciated birthday present from My Boy. He and the Darling Daughter in Law introduced
me to the most recent series when I was in Cardiff for one of my Nanna Visits but I've never seen the early episodes. They remind me of my childhood obsession with Agatha Christie whodunnits - but with sun and seaside thrown in.
The perfect antidote for the double disappointment of a Missed Dinner and an Afternoon of Mizzling Rain.
I'm over it already.