Old folk at lunch

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A saint's day



Catholics have a lot of saint's days but the only one which is near universal is based on the life of a saint whose very existence is dubious: St Valentine.

Now I have been on this earth long enough to know the correct ritual for Valentine's day.  Required are card, flowers and chocolate for your lady -- or you are in the poo.  If you know what perfume she likes that can trump the chocolates and even if you don't, Chanel no 5 is a pretty good bet.  It us such a classic that she will like it even if it is not her favourite.

Anne has however always been vague about what perfume she likes so I have always stuck to fancy chocolates of some kind.  This year, however, I broke out.  Anne likes things to be "different"  rather a lot.  So I gave her a fancy tin of Anzac biscuits in lieu of chocolates.  And that did seem to go down  well, though not swimmingly. She likes fancy tins so I expect that it will have delayed action satisfaction.

That night we went to the New Sing Sing for dinner.  We had Peking duck, which was as good as usual. I have always said that only the Chinese can cook duck successfully and I am still of that view.  The Clansmen of late lamented memory could do it well but they are no more. It is a very fancy meal and surprisingly filling.  We took some of it home and Anne had it for breakfast next morning.

And on the second day Anne and I also had lunch together -- ham sandwiches in my "garden".  My garden consists of a stretch of failing lawn overshadowed by eight huge crepe myrtle trees.  They form a bower over the land which creates a rather nice arboreal environment.  We both had pickles on our ham sandwiches but Anne loves pickles so what she made for herself was more a pickle and ham sandwich.  There was a lot more pickle than ham on it.

And February is  rainy season in Brisbane so we knew that we were risking wet bottoms in taking our lunch into the garden.  But Anne wanted a picnic lunch so we did.  And, half way through our lunch the rain came down.  The crepe myrtles did however form something of a canopy over us so we didn't get too wet.  Neither of us were inclined to flee the rain.  We enjoyed it instead.  Sitting together on a stool while the rain came down on a leafy arbor seemed quite pleasant, in fact.

I was reminded of my childhood when an American "crooner" called Johnny Ray was fashionable.  The fact that I had a similar name was seen as amusing by many but it was all water off a duck's back to me.  I did however become aware that one of his "hit" songs was "Just a walking in the rain" and I have in fact never been much bothered by walking in the rain so I suppose nature imitated art (as Oscar Wilde often said).  More relevant however is the fact that I grew up in Innisfail, where they get around seven YARDS of rain per year.  Innisfail people can't afford to be bothered by rain.



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