Monday, October 30, 2006

A good weekend

In may ways it shouldn’t have been a very good weekend, yet it was. The house was full of ill things. LL, Ali Babi and my Princess all where full of cold, coughing and spluttering their way through the day. Somehow I had manage to pull something in my neck late Friday night on the last bit of drive home, and have been walking around with agony radiating through my shoulder. The weather was pretty awful, and we where having to clean up the after affects of the latest flood.

For all that, it was a good weekend. We were together, the kids where generally happy, which always makes being a parent a happy thing. We ate well, did some stuff together, played some games, had some friends over for lunch, just generally had a good time.

The visit was welcome. When LL was pregnant with Pirate Pete we did the pre-natal class thing. It was a funny group, half of us in our mid thirties, the other half in their twenties. The older group made up of established middle class professionals, the younger half, uhmm, a bit more working class (it’s the easiest way to describe it to an English audience, and essentially factual).

Eight years later and we all still see each other. There’s a couple of parties a year, the girls do night’s out together, the kids see each other a couple times a month on Friday afternoons, and there’s various invitings for lunches and dinners. Sunday we had over for lunch one of the families we get on well with.

LL and I like to put out the boat when we have people over. So it was a pork tenderloin stew with white wine and cream, asparagus, marrow and apple (if you haven’t tried sautéing marrow with apple, do, they’re great together), and a pile of honied carrots for the kids. Then one of LL’s party pieces with a pear frangipani for pud. A couple of bottles of good white wine, and we’re set.

It was a particularly enjoyable lunch as there was plenty to gossip about. Now, most people use the word gossip in the negative, that it’s a bad thing, salacious. I believe the opposite, that in general, gossip is the grease that keeps relationships smooth. Yes, it can go to far and be damaging, especially if the gossip is a lie, but in general, it is a good thing.

This was rather sad gossip, which in a way makes it better. After eight years all eight couples where still together. Something we’d all remarked upon and been rather proud of. As of last week, that record is broken. Our first breakup in the group. The girls had been out to a pub for one of their regular nights, and all the beans had been spilled. It’s a most odd break up because there’s no adultery or hidden skeletons. As best as can be figured they’ve just got bored with each other. Well, that and the husband is of the 1960’s variety who thinks child care is women’s work.

So it was a good gossipy lunch, we could feel buckets of sympathy for the other couple and their kids, then look to our own partners and still feel good we’re on a safe track. Then look at the five kids happily playing and know life can be good. Plus, they leave and because you’ve done a top to bottom deep clean of the house, you can kick back and relax (once the dishes are done, of course). All in all, a good weekend.

My shoulder is still aching though. Anyone know a good osteopath in central London?


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