Sunny Days, Birthday Treats and Vanishing Bandstands…

Two more old blogs as I continue to update my filing. This pair are from August 2011…

Sun, Sun, Sun, Here it Comes…

Myyy, what a garjuss day it’s been. I hope everybody who could do got out in the sun, and everybody who couldn’t had such a lovely day they didn’t miss it anyway.

We did get out in the sun (son and self) and took a lovely walk into the town centre to move some money about at the bank so we have our spending money for our hols in a couple of weeks. We went to a local park where I noticed a bandstand that’s been there since time began (well, my time, anyway) has been stolen! There was just a bandstand size expanse of sandy looking dust where it used to be and the ghosts of a thousand bewildered and dispossessed Sally Army Band musicians wandering aimlessly.

TBH I could have imagined the ghosts, and the smell of onions might have just been coming from the cafeteria rather than ‘the other side’ (see ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ starring David Niven if you didn’t get the onion reference), but there was definitely a distinct lack of bandstand, and a lovely little boy running round in the dust determined to make the most of its sand-like properties. Toddlers, eh? Ever the optimists… Then comes potty training, eating with utensils, reception class, assemblies, juniors and failed eleven plusses, the horror of secondary, first love, first broken hearts, marriages, divorces and death. Poor little buggers… sandpit 2

We drank iced tea in the cafe (Ben and I, not the little kid playing in the dust. I didn’t know him and sadly you can’t talk to other people’s kids these days without people thinking there’s something horrid going on. I’m with Scroobius Pip on that one; ‘some people are just nice’) and Bun had a ben… sorry, I’ll tap that again. Ben had a bun.

It’s my birthday tomorrow (don’t ask!) and I suggested to Ben that he ought to buy me a present and card. He bought me a lovely matching pair of ceramic olive oil and vinegar bottles (he bought me some a few years ago for xmas which I absolutely loved, but which got broken), and a fat separator because I’m always moaning when trying to separate the fat from a chicken-brick chicken in an ordinary pyrex jug. He is a very thoughtful boy and I am very proud of him, even if he does need a prod sometimes to get him thinking.

When he was about five he bought me a book from the ‘Secret Present Room’ at the school Christmas fair. He spent ages in there really thinking about what I would like, and chose a book ‘cos he knows I love reading. Amazing processing and thoughtfulness for a kid with autism, even if it was a book about John Fashanu and his football career, neither of which I have any interest in whatsoever. Anyway, he said he wants to make me a card on the PC (Ben, not John Fashanu). I suspect that will turn out to be a folded piece of paper with a scrawled ‘happy birthday, ugly’ or some-such on the front done at the last minute tomorrow, but better that than something from moonpig… Moonpig – effectively a declaration of ‘I couldn’t be arsed to walk to the shop and choose you something personally, so I’ve added your name to this generic piece of crap from the comfort of my own home’.

While walking into town we saw a taggle of toddlers (I’ve just invented ‘taggle’ as a collective noun for toddlers) harnessed together on an, erm, harness for safe herding. Anyhoo, bless their little cotton socks, they were all wearing little baseball caps, to which were stuck cardboard moo-cow faces and horns. I guess they were off to or on their way home from some sort of playgroup ‘show’. Brought back happy memories of going to see my own wee horror’s early endeavours in the arts theatrical… I wrote a short observational piece on a primary school harvest festival years ago… If I can find it, I’ll dig it out and post it sometime.

They Say it’s your Birthday…

I’ve been duped! Well Ben has… opened the oil and vinegar bottles to fill them and the spouty bit on one doesn’t fit! That’ll mean a whole journey back into town, that will, just to get a new bung that will fit the bunghole. Bumholes!

Today’s card turned out to be pretty much as anticipated, the lazy little sod! Scribbled on the back of the bit of card with user instructions for the fat separator…

Mind you, I got a luvverly cup of tea in our little two-cup novelty cow teapot (funny how that camehappy birthday up after seeing the cow children yesterday… If I was a believer in ‘wooooo’ I might take it as some sort of warning… did I mention I’ve just signed up for next year’s bull run in Pamplona, by the way? ), and he even used the small crystal milk jug and everything. He used one breakfast tea bag and one redbush as a ‘birthday blend’ and it actually worked very well.

Hmmm… Just thought. That moocow teapot hasn’t been used for about two centuries. Hope he checked it for cobwebs and spiders. (Shouts): Ben – did you check the teapot this morning for cobwebs and spiders? Oh. Ewwwwwwwwwwwww…

Right, off to a different park on the bikes this arvo, and then roast duck (hmmm, cherry or citrus or something more adventurous? – will have to ponder and dig out the cookbooks!) for dinner… Can’t quite run to eating out for a birthday treat this year as all funds diverted to holiday spending money, but I’ll open a better than average bottle of wine too. Bought some lovely round courgettes (they’re about the size of a large pear) and thinking of ways I can stuff ‘em as a side dish. Definitely some sun dried tomato etc etc, but should I go couscous, rice, or puy lentils? Oh… got a hankering for polenta now (polenta and duck works well) but you can’t have rice/couscous/lentils AND polenta can you? Oh yes… it’s MY birthday. I can have whatever I want!

Back from park. Didn’t take bikes in the end as Ben wanted to buy some clothes and stuff. Could find NOTHING he wanted. I wouldn’t mind, but he’s only a ‘jeans and t-shirt’ type anyway, so it should be a piece of cake. Talking of cake, we found a half price Maison Blanc pear and ginger tart in Waitrose. I love Waitrose’s bargain bin – they do real price-cuts, not the penny-shaving you get with Tesco and Sainsbury. We had lots of healthy soft fruits lined up for pud tonight but they will now have to wait until tomorrow. Still, it’s my birthday. What can you do?

Got a nice spice rack from my sister and a few more cards and stuff, which reminded Ben of his casual approach to cardage this morning. He is now making me a proper card on his PC. He’ll be wanting access to the printer in a mo (it’s networked, but next to my PC) so I’ll have to clear out so as not to ruin the surprise.

Right, courgettes to stuff, a duck to cuck and wine in need of chilling. How thrilling!

duck dinner

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