Mr B fancies a Chinese takeaway.
He has been thinking about it all day and I am only hoping that the meal, when delivered, lives up to his Great Expectations. I am not
partaking myself, having enjoyed a delicious lunch in the delightful company of my lovely friend, Sue, who allowed me to chunter on about a particularly stressful time I am having with one of my voluntary hats on. She displayed both sweet understanding and
exemplary listening skills which I appreciated more than I can say. Everyone should have a friend like Sue.
At this very moment of writing we are awaiting the ring on the door bell / rat-a-tat on the knocker
which will signal the arrival of Mr B's Dinner. Mr B has set the salt and pepper on the table and I have retrieved a bottle of red wine from the garage. No, I didn't say I wouldn't partake of a little liquid refreshment, now did I?
Although I am, as regular readers know, Always Thinking of My Stomach, I don't tend to harbour Great Expectations where food is concerned. I like my food plain and simple - in this, I am a great disappointment to my fella. My dear
Mum was much the same. I remember the day we visited a local Rest Home where we hoped she might feel both restful and at home. The proprietor was keen to impress me with the quality and diversity of the food on offer to the five elderly residents.
"One day we might serve up a tasty lasagne, the next day a pasta dish, the following day perhaps a moussaka..."
My mum treated her to a long, hard look: "I like good,
plain, British food," she asserted, stoutly. Bless her boots.
My dear Mum was the very mildest of folk but as she grew older she started to stand up to be counted. Visiting a gift shop somewhere in Wales with
my sister, she was aghast to see tea towels on sale bearing the slogan: "Keep Wales Tidy - throw your rubbish in England". My sister recounts that our mild-mannered mother went all round the shop turning the tea-towels over so that the offending words could
no longer be seen. A small rebellion but an effective one.
On Saturday week it is the annual Jolly Girls Outing when the three Darling Daughters and I, together with the two grand-daughters who have so far
reached 16, the qualifying age to be officially recognised as a Jolly Girl, will meet up in Brighton for lunch and seats at the Theatre Royal Brighton for the matinee performance of "Annie". Between now and then I need to find a place to eat which will meet
the expectations and taste buds of all seven of us. Being Brighton, we will be spoilt for choice.
It's rather too much responsibility for one such as I who shares my dear Mum's appreciation of good, plain
food. French? Chinese? Thai? Sushi? Or, maybe, Fish and Chips, anyone?
Unlike Mr B who, you will all be pleased to hear, is currently tucking into his crispy duck with relish, I am always much more interested
in (i) the ambience of an eatery and, even more importantly, (ii) the company. The excellence of the latter is, of course, guaranteed - these are the Jolly Girls after all.
This year grand-daughter Hazel becomes
a Jolly Girl and will join us on our Jolly Jaunt. Her official title, as testified on the framed certificate I gave her on Christmas Day, is TDOTYDOTMANOATJG. Her cousin Eleanor will turn 16 later this year and so will qualify for the next Jolly Girls
Outing in January 2017. Her official title will be TYDOTEDOTMANOATJG. Work it out, if you can. It will then be another 14 years before the Twinkles, Tala and Lilia, qualify as Jolly Girls. By that time I fully expect to be wandering around gift shops checking
out any offending tea towels on sale and demanding good, plain, British food.
I will have finally turned into my mother.
And at least three of the Jolly Girls
- poor things - will have turned into me.