Dandelion made a cake, you see, and decorated it and it looked so delicious that I, babysitting Squiffany and Pugsley for the day, suggested making one too. Or rather, a tray of cakes., because small children can get so involved, not only with the mixing but also of the putting of buncases in trays and spooning of cake mix in cases, and then of individual decoration.
Actually, the decoration was limited to green butter icing because that was the only colouring I had. Pugsley would have liked to make a gingerbread man too, but I discovered the golden syrup had an inch of dark goo in the bottom of the tin and it didn’t meet even my casual attitude (today I fed my grandchildren yoghurt with a use-by date of 7th July; it was fine, I ate one myself a couple of days ago) to food longevity. I’ve promised to buy more tomorrow and, furthermore, to buy decorations- possibly of the sort described by those who know as “sprinkles” for future baking. I am, I admitted, a Bad Granny, but have vowed to reform my ways.
Just watching University Challenge, by the way, and am stunned to discover that Girton admits men nowadays. Where does that leave Girton calves, I wonder? Of no interest to me, sadly, as I’m nearly old enough to be an undergraduate’s grandmother.
I was most upset to find that the Sage has been using one of Ro’s bowls for chicken food. This has been a bone of much contention for years; that he uses various dishes from the cupboard for feeding his beloved bantams. I know how it happens; he uses a dish for leftovers, leaves it for them to polish off and, by the next time he visits a couple of hours later, it looks part of the furniture and he fills it with grain. In this way I’ve lost nearly all my ramekins and other small pots. But Ro, before he went to university, went shopping for essentials and among his purchases were two bowls, one green and one blue, which he’s been very fond of and which he’s used frequently. They disappeared from the cupboard so I assumed he’d taken them with him to Norwich, so I was rather stern when I found that one was filled with chick crumbs for the phantam. “How did that get there?” wondered the Sage – which rather irritated me I confess, as no one but he has fed the chickens. I also noticed another two dishes of mine. I examined Ro’s bowl – it has three cracks and numerous chips round the outside edge. He vowed that a chicken couldn’t do that damage to porcelain. I pointed out that it was pottery (no member of the Sage’s family will confuse earthenware and bone china) so he said that a chicken’s beak still couldn’t damage glaze. “It was pristine the last time I saw it” I said richly, “so please explain the chips and cracks.” He dropped the subject, but I found that the other earthenware dish also had cracks and a chip, although the porcelain one didn’t. “When have I ever used one of your dishes before?” he asked dramatically. Oh bless him, that was a mistake – I would never have mentioned previous occasions again, but he did ask…and there were many of them.
I’m not sure if I said this – one of the bantams cackled triumphantly for a very long time after laying her egg last Friday. I grumbled for a while, but in the end even Dave was irritated. “Is this what men hear when their wives speak?” I enquired. Dave refused to answer, which was quite reply enough. Since I have been asking the Sage politely not to keep using my china for chicken’s food bowls for years and he apparently is unaware of this, my voice is evidently a meaningless cackle. I have used the fact that this is Ro’s bowl to sternly forbid* the Sage ever to it again.
I reminded the Sage of the congestion charge, and that spending Tuesday and Wednesday in London will mean two day’s charges. “Will you sort it for me?” he asked, so I looked up how to pay. “What time are you leaving, by the way?” “About 3 o’clock” – “oh okay, you do realise that you’re paying £8 for about half an hour in central London?” Once he’d considered the matter, he decided to go by train after all. I’ve had to pay £37 for a return ticket (off peak). It would probably have been much cheaper if he’d Thought it Through and discussed it with me earlier. Perversely, I’m mildly disappointed at losing a day of solitude. However, when the time comes (about 10 o’clock tomorrow night), I’ll be awfully glad to see him home. Nevertheless, I’m planning a delicious meal for tomorrow night involving stuff he won’t want to eat.
Ah, an update – I”ll be babysitting, so I’ll have to prepare early and take the food through next door. Actually, now I’m babysitting, so I’ll have to prepare early and take the food through next door. Is it worth it? I don’t know. It may be that I’ll prepare something we both like for Wednesday instead, on the grounds that the Sage being home is an unexpected treat. Champagne, do you think?
*a split infinitive indeed. So?