The Zandwoman

The Sage took Ro and Phil with him to the shooting range today and they had a lot of fun.  Phil had never shot before and he and Ro are keen to do it again and Weeza is tempted too.  I think that’s a brilliant idea, a good way of spending a couple of hours on a Sunday and then they can come back here for lunch.

While they were out I was in church.  I was playing the music today, but felt the songs weren’t really suited to the organ so played them on the clarinet.  We’ve recently updated the sound system and, for the first time, I was amplified.  Sounded quite good from where I was standing, I rather hope I might be asked to do that again sometime.  I like playing the clarinet and I like playing the piano (although to a very poor standard nowadays) but I have never been an accomplished organist and I rarely enjoy it.

Weeza and Phil brought fish pie for lunch, Ro brought apple strudel and cream and I provided a chocolate sponge pudding and custard, and the vegetables (carrots, cauliflower and courgettes, if you want to know) and it all went down well.  I sent them home with some fairy cakes that I’d have served with tea if Al and family had come through, but they still aren’t at all well and Weeza and co certainly don’t want to catch their bug, so better not mingle if there’s still a risk.

After lunch, Gus was tired and started to cry, so I picked him up and took him out of the room.  A few minutes later, I returned with a sleeping baby.  The secret of my success?  A single recitation of The Walrus and the Carpenter did the trick.  He was asleep by the time I mentioned the ‘shoes and ships and sealing wax.’

I’m not sure that I’ve ever mentioned (although I may well have, if you’ve been reading all this nonsense for the past six years there is little of my life that you do not know) that I have two ways of keeping young children quiet while waiting to be served in restaurants.  The first is teaching them that particular verse of the W. and the C. – it takes children a surprisingly long time to pick it up accurately, possibly because it is more-or-less nonsense (I’ve never yet had to move on to Jabberwocky) and the second is napkin folding.  I teach them the waterlily and the slipper, both of which are quite simple to do but take some practice to learn.  When I was quite small, my mother used to get me to fold the napkins when she had friends round for dinner.  I realise, of course, that it was just to get me out of her hair so that I wouldn’t try her patience by ‘helping’ in the kitchen.  But that’s okay.  It’s proved its use over the years.

11 comments on “The Zandwoman

  1. john.g.

    Happy Mother’s Day! I had a roast chicken dinner from the pub. Chef is a dear and plates and wraps it up for me. T veg were roast potatoes, new potatoes, carrots, leeks and savoy cabbage! Paul had 184 booked in today!

  2. Jane and Lance Hattatt

    Hello Z:

    We do so hope that you enjoyed Mothers’ Day. Wonderful to have your family around you and to share a delicious sounding lunch. Fish Pie is one of our absolute favourites, such comfort food and a chocolate pudding with custard to round things off….it is a wonder that anyone could stand up!

    Perhaps you could show a napkin folding tutorial at some point? The Waterlily and Slipper sound very advanced for small children, we rarely go beyond the folding in half!!!

  3. Z

    184! Blimey, that’s a tall order. Wise of you to have yours plated and take it home!

    Thank you, Lance and Jane. It was a real treat to have the family eat here but to have very little of the effort of preparing a meal. Elaborately folded napkins are not part of our normal way of life either, but it does seem to entertain children and their parents are grateful. I’ll do a series of photos one day so that you can all have a go!

  4. mig

    Oh that sounds fun. I’d love to be able to fold pretty napkins. And it would be a wonderful thing to do with the grandchildren. I’m quite looking forward to reading old favourites to the youngest one too – she loves books already but probably wouldn’t stand for a whole recitation.

  5. Pat

    I should think clarinet music would be a welcome change in church. I have never been enamoured of the organ – not the one in church at least.
    No WV as far as I can see.

  6. Roses

    I confess that I have a fondness for Bach on the organ (how much ammunition can a girl give Rog?), but agree, with a small congregation it’s a bit overwhelming. And I love the sound of a clarinet. I’m glad you’re enjoying playing it.

    Your Mother’s Day sounded delightful. So sorry to hear next door are still poorly, that’s one horrendous bug they picked up.

  7. Z

    Rightoh, Mig, And if my blog tutorial isn’t clear enough, I can show you after the party in May.
    Rog, hee hee.
    Pat, I’m a little lost for words, but giving you the benefit of the doubt there. I like the sound of the church organ when it’s played well (ie not by me) and ours is quite a small one so not overwhelming. We’ve only got 8 stops and one manual, it’s not that loud. But then it’s quite a small church.
    Roses, I don’t think Al made it to work today, so he must be really ill. He sounded pretty bad when he brought through my present yesterday.

  8. wendz

    Two puds! Now that’s what I call a proper celebration. 😉 We had M’s Mum for lunch and I made a beef in red wine casserole – but as the sun came out and shone brilliantly and warmly, it was entirely inappropriate food – and then a *cough* Tesco’s Tarte Aux Citrons.


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