Readers, please don’t worry – there is not a rare mis-spelling or typo in my title today. This is indeed the interesting spelling of a particular cafe in my town which I visited recently. The more traditional spelling of the word would have double ‘m’, granted, but I will forgive the cafe owners this mistake as they were VERY kind to me.
Why was I visiting a cafe in town during Lockdown, I hear you ask? Well, it was a Sunday morning and She and her good friend Loadsakids often meet up for a coffee and to put the world to rights on Sundays – usually after the Andrew Marr show so they can discuss highbrow things – but because we are in National Lockdown yet again, they could not meet in Costalotta. Instead they came up with a brilliant idea – of walking their respective dogs into town and standing outside a cafe that was open for takeaway coffee. There is an awning, luckily, so one can stand there drinking takeaway coffee and not get wet if the weather is inclement. I’m not convinced that this counts as an ‘essential journey’ or even ‘exercise’ but doubtless She would argue otherwise and mutter something about mental health.
Anyway, the other dog and I were extremely well-behaved and patient whilst 45 minutes of dull conversation took place over a cappucino and Americano. I felt we did very well as in all honesty there was nothing to do and not much to look at, once we’d sniffed each other’s backsides.
The thing is, even though our Pack Leaders were taking no notice of us, Friends, the cafe owner was far more observant and could see how dreary this was for a pedigree Spaniel and Beagle. Imagine our surprise when he came outside with two foil dishes of roast beef trimmings and bacon pieces!! The cafe owner asked our Pack Leaders if we were allowed to have them – She of course snapped ‘no, he’s too fat already’ (pot, kettle) – but then in a moment of conscience realised how rude this looked when a nice man had gone to the trouble of providing food for us. So with a sigh and reluctant “oh all right then,” the foil containers of meat were put on the ground. Loadsakids’ dog gently chewed and licked her portion as she has very genteel manners , whereas I snarled and grabbed mine, gulping the whole lot down in three mouthfuls like a demented wolf. Passers-by laughed and found this entertaining. She told me off for showing her up and marched me straight home.
I have not been taken back to Yumy since, even though I know for a fact that She has met Loadsakids there again. Loadsakids took her dog because of course her dog doesn’t show her up. I was left at home. I feel this is unfair.
Lockdown is very wearing, Friends, as I’m sure you will agree. Everyone is a little fed up of having nowhere to go, so even though it is still November for several more days yet many people have put up their Christmas decorations in an attempt to cheer everyone up. Not in my household, of course. The decorations will be staying in the loft until well into December as we don’t do festive cheer very well here. That said, last year’s Christmas tree from Lidl has been mentioned by several people lately, as they remember it with great affection. Our tree from Lidl became something of a cause celebre locally last year, as Regular Readers might remember, and I doubt very much we will find one quite like it this year. Here it is.
Unique, wasn’t it. That’s the middle of Lidl for you.
Anyway, She says it’s far too early for bldy Christmas decorations and there will be no pine needles left on the tree if we put one up now. Far be it from me to mention all the neighbours out in their front gardens today, cheerily hanging lights from guttering and waving at each other. To be fair though, Pack Leader did get the screwdrivers out and I thought for a moment She had given in to the early Yuletisde spirit and that Michael Buble would be playing any minute, but no. The good thing is that She decided to fix the light cord pull in the bathroom at long last – Regular Readers will know this broke several months ago and has been tentatively repaired with some thin string – so it looked like the afternoon would be productive after all. Alas no, Friends, as it took so long to unscrew the light fitting due to the awkward angle and not being able to see whether a Phillips or flathead screwdriver was needed, that it was nearly dark by the time it had been successfully unscrewed and then She realised She had no clue what to do next. So, with some bad language the unit was screwed back to the ceiling again and we are no further forward.
Young Lad has been at home all week – how often I seem to write these words – as his school had to close due to the number of positive coronavirus cases. Young Lad has been doing online lessons for the last ten days. This appears to consist of signing into the lesson and saying hello to the tutor so they think he is paying attention, then the entire class messaging each other on their phones and playing games for the rest of the lesson. Young Lad will be sad when school re-opens next Wednesday but I’m sure there will be some more positive cases in Year 10 before long and they’ll all be sent home again.
It’s been a busy week in some ways – I have had lovely walks every day thanks to dear, dear Ebony and dear, dear Pippa and other than that I’ve needed an awful lot of sleep. She has been working of course, but somehow managed to fit in the various medical appointments that are part and parcel of my family’s life. Young Lad had to have some vaccinations on Thursday night – these were called ‘School Leaver vaccinations’ and Young Lad missed them earlier in the year as he was having a small operation and therefore more medical goings on at the time. Readers I do find it ironic that Young Lad has had School Leaver vaccinations. In order to leave school, you would think one would actually have to attend occasionally. Anyway, Young Lad had injections in both arms and didn’t turn a hair – afterwards he asked if he could have a treat and She snarled “you’re 14 not 6” so that was that. Poor Young Lad. He had been very brave – if the Evil Vet comes near me with a needle I have to be muzzled and held down by eight veterinary nurses. And I ALWAYS get a treat afterwards. (From the Evil Vet, not She).
Then there was a phone consultation with Young Lad’s specialist at the hospital – Regular Readers will know that Lad and Young Lad have about ten specialists between them – and that was quite tricky as it’s not always easy to understand what Dr Mohammed is saying when face to face with him, let alone over the phone with no chance of lip reading. Anyway, I think we got the gist of it.
Friday night saw the sighing and tutting of the regular trip to the pharmacy to collect everyone’s prescriptions – of course in these golden times this means queuing outside in the cold as only one person at a time is allowed in. The mood was not improved on arriving home and unpacking the huge bag of medication, as they have only given Young Lad one month’s supply of his to last until the New Year, whereas Lad got two months’ supply – so now there will have to be ANOTHER email for a repeat prescription and ANOTHER night of standing in the queue at the pharmacy in the dark after work. I know Readers. There are far worse things happening in the world.
I felt that last weekend held a more positive note here, though, as someone actually got round to tidying up the back patio a bit, and cutting the grass. This was a very difficult job indeed as it was like a bog, and turned into thick mud the minute the mower got near it. It took a very long time to do as someone had to keep emptying and scraping mud off the mower, but by the end of the afternoon the garden did look a little better. The good thing is that all the bldy leaves have now fallen off the bldy fruit trees so there are no more to come down and cover the grass – this makes picking up my comfort breaks much easier as they can be spotted against the green grass, whereas it was hard to find them amongst the leaves and a bit of a gamble to be honest.
I needed a comfort break at 2.23am the other morning and boy was I moaned at.
Young Lad has almost caught up with his Food Technology practicals – I think he is only a couple of weeks behind now. He has written up his samosa evaluation, you’ll be glad to know, and last week had to make arancini balls. This, I gather, is basically risotto rolled into balls and coated with flour, egg and breadcrumbs then fried. It sounded nice but She said we’re not frying anything else as we did the samosas last week and we Don’t Have Frying in this house, so the arancini balls were baked in the oven instead. You are right, Readers. Dry as. They weren’t exactly balls either, as this would imply a sphere, and rolling wet soggy risotto into round shapes isn’t as easy as it sounds, so they were lumps. Dry lumps. I had one, though, and they tasted nice.
This week Young Lad needs to make puff pastry. Enough said.
Lad is still busy at university and is looking forward to coming home when the authorities finally release hundreds of thousands of young people back into the general community which won’t affect the coronavirus rate at all. He was supposed to register with the university GP back in September and has been ‘reminded’ every week to bldy hurry up and do it, but Lad has been very busy and just hasn’t had time. Lad will try to fit it in this coming week but don’t hold your breath, Readers. There is a surprise in store for Lad on Monday as he will be receiving a parcel in the post from us – we have sent him a Lindt chocolate advent calendar and a Cadbury’s selection box to cheer him up. Lad is 19, Friends, but you are never too old for a Cadbury’s selection box or an advent calendar. At least She’s stopped buying them religious ones now.
You see? There IS some Christmas spirit here, after all. Not much, but let’s take what we can.
Golly, that was quite an epic blog tonight and as a wise man once said, I really am quite the wordsmith. I do hope I have managed to bring you all some cheer and taken your mind off things as it really is a strange old world at the moment, but chin up everyone – Costalotta is open again from Wednesday as we’re in Tier 2, but you just can’t meet any friends there.
I‘ll let you know if there is a change of heart tomorrow and the Michael Buble CD is dusted off. I wouldn’t put money on it.
Keep safe everyone,