Gloria’s Lemon Creams

Gloria in A Good Wife, loves Lemon Creams. Her story starts with her facing a packet of her fancies, hidden in her drawer to stop her eating them. I’m not an enourmous fan of them myself, preferring a custard cream instead.

As children my parents were very, very strict about the biscuit barrel. The rule was 2 a day, one fancy and one plain. Now this was good if there were Custard Creams because then I could believe I had 3 by pulling the CC apart. Incidentally my siblings and I never, ever forget this rule, and I have yet to return to the UK for a family visit when one of us doesn’t make mention of this.  If I told you how old we all are now, you’d be shaking your heads and muttering that by now we should be over it! Hahahaha, not likely!

lemon-creams

Photo: Bakers

Chocolate Digestives now these little discs are one of my favourites. Given the chance I could eat a packet and a half in one sitting.

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Photo: Mcvities

What’s your fancy?  And do you dunk?

The demise of family life because of a defunct dining room table

This is my dining room table and chairs.

pink leg table 1

As you can see, it’s a little bonkers with pink legs. It is also completely impractical for more than 2 folk as the side legs are in the wrong place. Not sure where side legs should be, but certainly not where these are. You feel a little as if you are fighting for space and comfort when sat there, and if it’s me there, my jaw clamps and my enjoyment levels plummet. Four people will start to get irritated with each other, more than that and there is likely to be an emergency room visit required, before the mash potato arrives.

It seats in a nice spot . . . but is never used, and not only because of the points above. I’ll raise my hand here, I don’t like it. Simple as that. Why not get rid of it? Hmmm, talk to the hubby. He loves that table more than me I think! Kidding  . . . I hope. We actually bought this table years ago, it was a horrible colour and moved from the kitchen to outdoors where it suffered the perils of bad weather, until we had it refurbished to its current state.

My interest in sharing this then is down to a story I heard over the weekend regarding the dining room table, and how it’s changed over the years, not only in position but family life itself.

You’d think a table would be fairly insignificant, but actually the story had me nodding my head in agreement. As it seems the demise of the dining table can be cited as one of the reasons why family communication and want-to-be-together has broken down. \We no longer it appears feel the need to be as one. No more are the family unit pleased to be in the same room, eating and talking and enjoying, at most an hour together once a day. How much can be achieved in that time must be huge, even if it’s about being aware of other’s likes, dislikes, while allowing questioning and answering on any subject, from world peace to Uncle Bert’s bunion op.

The conclusion then was based on how the dining table over the last 5 or 6 era’s has moved from being in an allocated room used for Sunday lunch, to a table in the kitchen, to a table in the living room close to the TV, to an open plan kitchen with an eating surface and bar stools and no further table, to no table, no kitchen eating area, eat in front of the TV. In essence, once the TV took over, so family structure began to fall away.

It’s a shame isn’t it? Now I say this reservedly as I can well remember as a child having to sit at the dining table on a Sunday for the obligatory roast. The meal was always superb, and I still picture the puddings and jug of custard arriving to this day. I don’t recall conversations all that much, but I know we had to sit there until everybody had finished, and then only once we’d asked to leave, could we.

I said reservedly as the sitting there bit used to really get up my nose. However, now, all grown up with no functional table to speak of, I appreciate the time we had there, and how it brought us all together, even if this was only for a couple of hours a week.

We were a family of six, here’s us four children. Gosh we were funny looking, err, sorry, we were really cute. Jokes aside this is one of my favourite photos of all time.

I wish I could share tales of falling of chairs with mirth as we squabbled over the last roastie, or arm wrestling for the last slice of lemon meringue, but I can’t. Maybe one of my siblings will remind me.

odds 012

So what do you think, a break down of society due to the omission of dining table? And indeed, do you still use the dining room table, and what is yours like?

National dog and burger day

Did you know this week had 2 amazing days to celebrate? I didn’t, but here goes, National Dog Day and National Burger Day!

Whoa, what a great idea.

I’ve lived with a few doggies over the years:

Midge – a Jack Russel when we were kids

Tabasco and Tequila – 2 dobermans with hubby

Travis and Mutley – with hubby. Travis was a Jack Russel, but really couldn’t have been, he was so big. And Mutley is a X Jack Russel/Corgi.

Mutley is our last boy. He’s 12 now and has taken to eating his foot! And that despite the enourmous amount of treats we give him.

As to burgers, eaten a fair few over the years.

How are you doing on the Doggie’s and Burgers?

Cancel the cake!

I loved this comment from Ruth Rodgers regarding restaurants

” . . . they are public places where people go to do private things.” So very true me thinks

She said this while talking about her famous River Cafe Restaurant in London on her recent Desert Island Discs – River Cafe website 

Something else she shared was regarding a story and a wedding cake. A diner had requested a cake to be decorated with the words Will You Marry Me, only to arrive at the kitchen half way through his meal with a request to, “Cancel the cake!”

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photo: Online Telegraph

We are launched with an excerpt and a poll

Super thrilled, A Good Wife has now been released. Below is a short excerpt to tease and entice you to read further.

cover for smashwords

 

Gloria pulled a length of wool from beneath her arm, letting her eyes linger over the unopened lemon creams in her underwear drawer.

She placed her phone on the polished chest of drawers. “Georgie, are you having me on?” she said, selecting the loudspeaker functionality that would free her hands to crochet lilac loops. As a rule, she didn’t do handiwork. Her intention, though, was to distract herself from eating. Her waistline had thickened in the past ten years, and with mere months before turning sixty, she wasn’t about to give in to her body’s wish to explode, no matter how hard it was attempting to do so.

The hook worked effortlessly in breaking open the biscuit wrapper. Gloria took two. One was such an awkward quantity when it came to lemon creams. There was comfort and irony in knowing she’d kept to her latest diet’s golden rule, self-appointed, that is, of not touching, looking at, eating from, sobbing over, or even caressing the biscuit tin – or, for that matter, any lurking packets – for the next six weeks. Roger would be proud she’d kept to it. Not that he minded, or even mentioned her fuller figure . . . too often, that is. The main thing was, she wouldn’t have to lie – to herself or to him. That was the key to their marriage. No lies, no secrets.

“No, I’m not,” Georgie said, her voice rising before ending with a defining “t”.

Gloria was sure her neighbours were now in on the conversation. For not even the distance between houses, with their established foliage and aged trees filling the depths of manicured gardens, could contain Georgie’s heightened state.

“Gwen is dead,” Georgie repeated, “mid-morning, today.”

Gloria felt her body slumping. “That puts paid to our Kreef Bay weekend then.”

“Are you serious, Gloria? That’s all you’ve got to say?”

Gloria’s eyes flew open. “No. No. I mean. Of course it’s not. It’s just that, well, she was perfectly fine when I saw her yesterday. We’d met for a coffee at that new place in Rondebosch, Blossom’s. The reviews live up to reality, by the way. A mixture of modern and Victorian. A touch of flowery wallpaper and matching china. Amazing place, considering it’s along Main Road, next to that awful shoe repair bar. The brownies …” Gloria stopped to gasp “… I tried Gwen’s, only a corner, mind. You’ll love them—”

“Gloria!” Georgie interrupted, once again engaging the neighbours.

Gloria pulled a face. “Sorry. Yes, where was I? Oh yes. Gwen. Yes, later she popped in at the house to ask Roger to check over some paperwork; they were laughing together in his study. I left them to it. Don’t tell me it was her heart.” She brushed crumbs from the duvet. “I remember her telling me how she hoped her death would be dramatic, trampled by elephants while on safari – something like that. Are you sure she’s dead?”

Georgie’s voice sounded tired. “She was at her swimming class.”

Gloria needed her phone against her ear to continue this conversation. “Really? She couldn’t swim?”

“Gloria!”

“Didn’t anybody see her struggling in the deep end?”

“Gloria, you really are an insensitive cow. It’s no wonder Roger is away a couple of days a week.”

Gloria chose to ignore the jibe. “I think we should meet at Gwen’s house. Gwen-too and Mabel need our support. I can be there by eleven.”

“No. Gwen-too said wait until she’s ready.”

“Really? We’re practically family. There when she was born … powdered her bottom over the years. And Mabel’s.”

“Practically or not, she said she needed time alone. I’ll speak to you soon.”

Gloria sat with lilac loops in her lap. Gwen was dead. And she couldn’t swim? Gloria had been friends with Gwen and Georgie since college days, where they’d met, having simultaneously. . .

 

Saturday tasting wine and much laughter

Having lived in Cape Town for about 34 years now, close to the Constantia Valley wine route, you’d think we’d have visited most of the wineries close by. Wrong. Needless to say as the weather warms we are now embarking on rectifying this, and will be visiting them all over the next few months.

cape town valley logo

We started about a week ago with Eagles Nest, on your way to Hout Bay, before you reach Constantia Nek. Our intent was to have a glass of wine, much emphasis on a glass of wine, and then head home for a lazy sunday afternoon and a casual meal. The day was best summed up as a 3 bottle lunch and a very long sleep when we got home. I must clarify the pair of us didn’t drink the 3 bottles, rather we had a Rose and a Red, of which we both had a glass or so with our lunch – yes we ate even though we’d only recently had breakers. The third bottle was Shiraz that is waiting to be enjoyed.

Our lunch that day was actually a brilliant cheese and charcuterie platter. What I really enjoyed about Eagles Nest was the simplicity of the place. No over commercialism, wonky wooden tables and chairs, and a lovely woody setting.

Sadly I didn’t take a happy snappy.

However, at our next winery expedition, camera was on hand

rob and ruth pointing at sign

Yesterday then we headed to Constantia Glen, which is right next door to Eagles Nest. This is a very popular place. Very glad we booked. There was a great vibe with a spectacular view. Again we had the cheese and charcuterie platters, several, with extra warm baguettes. We were 4 – hubs and I, youngest daughter MissWib and her man.

all of us

We started with the wine tasting, 5 wines in total, and then shared 2 bottles of their Rose. What I really liked about here, is that while you have the feeling of being in a summer house style restaurant, you can leave your table and mooch on the surrounding lawn, on supplied cushions.

MissWib and I – selfie on the lawn

meg and ruth selfie

Laughter was much at Constantia Glen, and while we were there we could see our next winery to visit – Beau Constantia – I hear they do great sushi as well.

Laughing again

me ruth rob laughing