Post-fun blues

Do you know the book Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield? It used to be one of my favourites as a child. Anyway, at some point in the book one (or possibly two) of the girls is involved in a play and the others get to to go matinees and stuff and have special teas, then when it’s all over the two younger ones get upset because it’s all over and they feel like nothing nice will ever happen again. That’s me at the moment.

So on Friday night I went for that meal with work. The restaurant turned out to be not just pretty posh but incredibly posh. Not quite as expensive as Brenner’s Park Hotel but up definitely up there with the ones that are soo not suitable for a girl like me (I’m common as muck don’t ya know). The food was gorgeous. I had foamed chick pea soup with some mini springroll type things filled with some kind of grilled fish floating in it for my starter. For the main course I ordered Veal “served two ways” (I am translating this from the German). This consisted of one piece of veal tenderloin (perfectly cooked and absolutely gorgeous) and something that tasted to me like canelloni (as in pasta tubes). These were filled with shredded veal. This was served with carrots, pureed parsley (it lloked like bright green mashed potato!) and gravy. Dessert was passion fruit creme roll served with coconut flavoured icecream. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

Last night I cooked lamb for some friends. There ended up being 6 of us (originally it should have been 7 but one ended up being unable to come). I have never roast lamb before so i was very nervous but it turned out really well. The lamb ended up being perfectly cooked. It was well done (because I detest medium meat) but still very tender and not at all dry. The mint sauce went down well, the roast potatoes were perfect – for the first time ever! And I actually managed to get the amounts almost right for a change. There was only just eneough left over for Jan and I to have them for lunch today. It was a brilliant night, full of good food, good wine and good conversation.
And now it’s all over and I just feel blah. Just like the girls in Ballet Shoes who thought nothing nice was ever going to happen to them again. Obviously I know there are things to look forward to and I will have fun nights again in the future, but right now it’s hard to remember that. Especially since all I’ve done today is sort out, wash and hang up laundry and I still haven’t had any more news about flats. So much for February bringing an end to the blues…

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Buying back my childhood

We moved around a lot when I was a child. Not as much as some army families but much more than the majority of ordinary people do. And things tended to go missing during these moves. I still remember a black haired doll called Lynsey who disappeared somewhere between our house in Northern Ireland and our new house in Aldershot. Then there were the books. We always had a lot of books. Even back then I loved reading and would sit all day working my way through a pile of books if the grown ups would only let me. There are so many books I remember owning back then that I now have no idea of the whereabouts of. Like my original copy of What Katy Did. My Grandma let me take it away from her house and I was convinced it must be really old because it had belonged to one of my aunts when she was a little girl. When you’re 8 or 9 aunts are ancient, therefore the book must have been too. The book disappeared at some point and I was devastated. Later I got another copy in one of those children’s classic collections but it’s just not the same. Then there were my Peter Rabbit books. My sister had the whole set in miniature. I only had two, big versions of The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle Duck. Gone. All gone. I had a puffin 50th anniversary collection of books as well, containing things like Ballet Shoes, Stig of the Dump and the Silver Sword. They came as a box set and when you stood them next to each other the sides of the covers made up the number 50. Three or four of those are missing now though, so that the 5 is missing part of its belly and the 0 looks weirdly deformed.

There are other books too. Ones I never owned, but remember reading during silent reading at school. Things like Ace (who was the sheep-pig’s great, great grandson) and The Way to Satin Shore. And books I borrowed from the library. I remember gradually taking out the entire Ramona Quimby series from our local library – the first one was chosen mainly because of the authors name. Beverly like me, except I have an extra e.

I’m slowly, slowly making a list of all the books I remember reading and adoring back then. Then once I’m earning a proper wage, I’ll start buying back my childhood. I just hope the world doesn’t go and end on us tomorrow as some people are predicting. I’d hate to be sucked into a black hole without having a chance to read When Marnie was there one last time…