Wednesday, November 09, 2005

fair and fowl
So, Saturday. We were up and out early and off to London Bridge train station. I left TA to get tickets while I picked up a newspaper and a twix, since the boy had not managed to get up in time to have breakfast. TA gave me my ticket and I was a bit disturbed at how much it cost. I asked - did you use our railcards? He had forgotten. Bugger.
We were on the train - a fast one, a miracle - from Waterloo when the ticket inspector came through and, after looking at our tickets, said you're changing at Woking with a questioning tone. Closer inspection showed that TA had bought tickets to Wokingham instead of Woking. No idea where that is, but believe me tickets from Waterloo cost quite a bit, specially without a railcard...
Our day with social Uncle K and his dry, ever-so-slightly-acerbic, wife F passed off as well as it could considering. Considering he is trying to hide reservoirs of bitterness about having to serve the charities' solicitors. Considering he's nursing a pit of grief for the loss of his last remaining sister.
They drove us over to my aunt's house and gave us the tour. In every room K said take this and, holding up various objects, what about this? So it was that we agreed to take tables, chest of drawers, a sideboard, an iron and ironing board, glasses, cookbooks, rugs, speakers...and probably many more things I can't remember. And were forced to regretfully turn down a twin tub, a sewing machine, clothes, bedding, two bicycles, garden tools, pot plants and many more things I can't remember.
On the way back to Woking we stopped off for a pub lunch and at one point I almost let the cat out of the bag about the illicit contents of a certain thank you card, but after a frantic hand squeeze from TA I restrained myself. After lunch they drove us back to the station.
We had scant minutes to catch the fast train back to London. I leaned through the window and handed Uncle K the card, which he passed over to F. TA called back as we crossed the road - just remember K, you did ask. His reply was faint as we were entering the station: I'll smoke it tonight shall I?
On Sunday we went to the Farmer's market as usual but, unusually, we bought a Guinea fowl. The time had come to test drive Hugh F-W's salmi recipe! It was a revelation - imagine a moist, dense, intense, turkey-flavoured chicken smothered in a meaty, creamy and chestnutty sauce and think of it served with creamed sprouts (topped with crispy bacon) and lovely carrots. Oh my! I'm in love with Guinnea fowl - it's the new everything. It's brilliant. Dinner was marred by one thing only - a niggling doubt about the advisability of giving an aged relative a fairly substantial amount of "strong skunk", as our friendly dealer termed it, along with cooking suggestions.
I got an e-mail from F on Monday, which I opened with trepidation. It said how nice it was to see us and thanked us for the card and contents, apparently K said it could well prove to be the high point of his life.
So that's good, isn't it.
I have a lengthy post planned to mark tomorrow, which is an important day in the world of Mr & Mrs Badger, but I don't know yet if I'll get the time to write it. Watch this space, as they say.

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