My friend in Portugal tells me that today is Dia da Criança – Children’s Day – in Portugal, a festival which has been celebrated there since 1950.
principles of Dia da Criança are that children should be protected and educated in a spirit of understanding, tolerance, friendship among people, peace and universal brotherhood, and in full awareness that they must devote their energies and skills
to the service of their fellow men. I just love every single principle – even though it is surprising to hear about a Children’s Day with no mention of chocolate.
Mr B is of the opinion that every day is Children’s Day these days. I suspect the poor grandkids who are still slaving over their exam revision might just challenge this perception on the part of their Grandad but he will doubtless stick to his
guns. Next week, of course, it will be Father’s Day – but Mr B (Contrary Mary that he is) doesn’t hold with Father’s Day either, describing it as an American import introduced to mimic Mother’s Day and make a lot of money
for card manufacturers. I am quite sure, however, that a special day dedicated to Mr B’s needs would be considered an excellent idea. Let us establish a few principles.
Firstly, on Mr B’s Special Day, he will not be woken up at 3.30 in the morning (as happened this morning) when I decided to visit the bathroom and accidentally tripped over my slippers trying to fit them onto my feet in the dark.
The consequence of which was that he didn’t manage to get back to sleep, finally giving up the struggle at 5.30 a.m. and taking himself downstairs to the comforting embrace of the armchair and the soothing presence of the coffee machine. If there
had been a Test Match being beamed from some far-off shore, that would have been both a consolation and a bonus but of course there was no such luck today.
would, inevitably, have to play a central role in Mr B’s Special Day. If unable to actually experience a Great Sporting Occasion, then at the very least there would have to be hour by hour TV coverage of some major sporting fixture(s). My task,
of course, would be to keep him fed and watered throughout the day, to fetch his daily newspaper and generally do his bidding. However unlikely this might sound. While doing his bidding, I would refrain from the explosive sneezes which so alarm
him, making the Poor Lamb jump right out of his skin at both the sudden-ness and the sheer loudness of them. Mr B is quite convinced that I am sneezing on purpose and reckons I could, at the very least, provide a five minute warning. Occasionally
I manage a five second warning – but that’s as good as it gets.
It will obviously be my turn to cook on Mr B’s Special Day and I expect he will
choose the Madras Beef Curry which has long been his favourite of my culinary masterpieces (no, you are right, there aren’t actually that many to choose from. How did you guess that?) My ancient copy of “My Cookery Year” bought from Reader’s
Digest in the early years of our marriage, actually opens automatically at the right page. It is Page 168 and the whole page is spattered with the evidence of Curries I Have Cooked. I wonder if Nigella’s cookery books are so adorned? It would be good
to think that she and I have at least something in common...
There you have it. Mr B really is a Man of Few Demands for his special day, bless him. Most
of his requirements, you will have noticed, require me to (i) do something or (ii) not do something. You might think that this would be causing me grief but the fact is, I am not going to worry about it too much because, let’s face it, today is
not His Special Day but belongs to other, younger mortals.
Happy Dia da Criança to the children – everywhere.