Over the last several months we have enjoyed many a "Footie Evening" with our next door neighbours, either at their house or ours. In my opinion, these have been wholly enjoyable evenings, though I have to admit that for
some of our number the overall enjoyability does depend, to a considerable extent, on the result of the match we have been watching.
One of the many things I admire most about Mr B is his uncommon ability
to remember which football team each and every one of our many footballing friends support. Hence, when the results are announced on TV on a Saturday afternoon, Mr B will be supplying an ongoing commentary.
will be pleased!" he will announce, when Bolton Wanderers chalk up a win.
"Matt will be happy tonight!" as Brighton finish on a winning score. Or, even:
won't be a Happy Bunny!" on hearing that Preston North End have succumbed to the opposition. Should that opposition happen to be Mr B's team, Gillingham, the pronouncement will be made with added relish. Mike is our Son in Law; his wife, the Eldest of the
Darling Daughters, is a Gillingham fan like her Dad. Their daughters manage the delicate balancing act between their parents by supporting both teams; I still remember the Christmas when one of our granddaughters, then only a toddler, was found wearing a Gillingham
dressing gown and a Deepdale Duck (the Preston mascot) bib. Diplomacy came early to my granddaughters.
I explain all this as background to Mr B's deep concern yesterday as to whether our neighbour, a Brighton
fan, would be able to watch what I believe is termed a "needle match" against arch rivals Newscastle. He would not be appeased until I had issued an open invitation for "Footie at Ours." I didn't need any persuading because it sounded like an ideal way to
spend an evening in the Very Best of Company. I wasn't too bothered about the footie, to be honest, but I was sure I could put on a good show of following the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune on the Amex Pitch.
It's the same story when eating out. I am ashamed (though not a lot) to admit that the excellence of the cooking, the variety of the menu, the classiness of the Wine List are nothing to me beside the company. "This is my favourite part of the meal!"
I have been known to say, when the waiter or waitress took our orders for coffee. Mr B, similarly, has been known to bewail the fact that I didn't simply pass on the starters, main and dessert, heading straight for a skinny decaffeinated latte, thereby saving
us a small fortune.
Because Mr B had arrived late at the realisation that our neighbour might be Missing Out Big Time unless he, Mr B that is, stepped in to save the day, I didn't actually have anything much
to offer our guests, apart from a beer or two and a J2O. Mr B said I should remember that we were serving up a football match which didn't sound particularly appetising to me (being One Who Is Always Thinking of Her Stomach).
Which was when I had a brainwave. Was it not Pancake Day? What could be better than pancakes at half-time? When our Foursome were littl'uns we had pancakes for tea quite a lot, always on a Thursday. This owed everything to Friday being Pay Day, and
Thursday being the day when I had no money left and only the wherewithal for pancakes in the larder. I was delighted to discover, many moons later when the Foursome were all grown-up, that they never, ever associated the Pancake Tea with a bare cupboard but
instead thought of it as a Great Treat.
Sadly Brighton didn't play the game. Well, to be fair, they did play the game, they just didn't happen to win it. How could they spoil our delightful evening?
Honestly, who'd be a Footie Fan? Pass the pancakes, someone...