As I haven’t cooked anything more challenging than baked beans on toast since we married almost 30 years ago, it seemed to me that she was trying to tell me something.
The book is based on chef Rick Stein’s recent television series Long Weekends, where he visits a city, samples the local cuisine, and cooks meals based on it.
We were watching an episode last week when I said it made me want to learn to cook. When I unwrapped my present, I thought TCMrsF must have been paying attention. It turned out to be not so.
She had already bought book and apron, and had spent the intervening days hoping that I would not submit to an untypical bout of initiative by buying my own copy.
Fortunately I maintained my usual form in the initiative stakes, and all was well. All that remains is for me to cook something.
Endings and beginnings
We went to put a Christmas wreath on my parents’ grave this week, and discovered that the permanent headstone and grave covering had been erected. I had not heard anything from the funeral directors, so the work must have only just been done.
I’m glad that it was carried out before Christmas. Going into the new year with a temporary memorial would have felt wrong.
Of course, this year we have also discovered the forgotten graves of my paternal grandmother and great-grandparents. My intermittent research into my Irish ancestry, however, has yielded very little so far.
It appears that I’m an editor again
Birthday lunch in a Swansea restaurant was interrupted by a man at a neighbouring table, who introduced himself as a fellow ex-pupil of Dynevor Grammar School.
He is now the membership secretary of the Old Dyvorians Association. The man who edits their regular newsletter is moving away, and apparently my name had come up in discussions about a possible replacement. Would I consider taking it on?
I was taken by surprise, and could not think of a good reason to say no (despite being very firmly of the opinion that schooldays are NOT the best of your life). I did point out that I had not paid my subscription for the last two years, but he did not appear to think this was a problem.
Back on the sofa
I did my second stint as a guest on the local BayTV station’s noon chat show on Wednesday. We talked, amongst other things, about the chances of Swansea City football club avoiding relegation from the Premier League at the end of the season.
I predicted they would be relegated. This from the man who confidently told his friends that Britain would vote to remain in the European Union, and the United States would elect Hilary Clinton as its next President.
On that form, I reckon I have almost certainly secured the Swans’ survival in the top division. I hope they are grateful.