Jaqui's Daily Blog

Apologies, Our Vegetable Trough and Creating Memories

The Man from Ocado (it's Richard, in the Apple van in case you need to know) says he needs to see proof of my age to check that I am over 25 before he can deliver my bottles of Prosecco. What a smoothie!

"We do sell food, too," he jokes, and I find myself explaining how I am accumulating bottles of the sparkling stuff, week by week, in preparation for a forthcoming celebration. I don't tell him that the celebration is our Golden Wedding in case he had me down for younger than I am. Though not, to be honest, under 25...

I wonder why I found it necessary to offer explanations anyway. It's a definite Sign of Weakness in my book, though I am aware I am not the only person so afflicted.

It's the same with apologies, don't you know? A wise person advised me once never to apologise in advance before, for example, serving up a meal or embarking on a presentation. The only one who knows, for certain, how things were supposed to turn out is Yours Truly. By drawing attention to slight - or even major - deficiencies in what is to come, it leaves absolutely no room for doubt.

I'm sure all the chefs who appear on TV have learnt this simple lesson. I bet you anything you like that there are times when they look at the sorry mess they are about to consign to the oven and thank their lucky stars that they have invested in One They Prepared Earlier.

Apart from the arrival of Mr Ocado Man it's not been the most eventful of days. My greatest excitement was ordering ten bags of multi-purpose compost to be delivered on Tuesday morning, for the filling of our vegetable trough. All we need to do now, I tell Mr B, is to agree what we should grow therein. "Vegetables?" he queries, poker faced. What a wit! Based on that, and similar performances, he could easily get a job with Ocado and drive around in vans fancifully named after assorted fruit and vegetables.

Personally I hanker after carrots. This is because I have a fond memory of my dear Dad treating my Foursome, when they were just littl'uns, with baby carrots lifted straight from his vegetable patch. Never did carrots - or a memory - taste so sweet. I like the idea of taking my own grandchildren out into the back garden and digging them up a carrot each from the vegetable trough.

My own Grandad, when washing my hands before dinner, would make his hands all soapy then take each of my tiny mitts in turn between his big hands, enclosing my dirty paw completely as he tenderly bathed it clean. As loving gestures between grandfather and grandchild go, it takes some beating. I have never felt more totally loved and protected than I did standing at the wash basin with my Grandad. I have tried to copy his actions but my grandchildren are obviously rather more independent-minded than I was and are quick to tell me they can "do it myself!"

I suppose I have created, over the years, a few traditions by which my Truly Tremendous Ten may, or may not, remember me when they reach my Great Age. A Giant Penguin on the doorstep. Ready, Jelly, Go traffic light jellies. Birthday banners and summer holiday songs. It's something of a strange list, I have to admit.

Will those memories linger as long and as sweetly, I wonder, as the taste of a freshly dug carrot or the enveloping comfort of my Grandad's hands?

I make no apologies for living in hope.

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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