14th was St Valentine's day, now quite shorn of any thing religious. But the ladies like it so we men do it. I bought Anne roses, chocolates and a card as usual and offered to take her to a restaurant we haven't visited lately.
On the day, however, I also gave her a table! She wanted a table on which to lay out a big jigsaw so I took a 4' (1200 mm) one I had in storage downstairs and, with Anne's help, brought it upstairs and made a place for it in her room. I have had a fair bit of removalist experience over the years and I needed all of it. Getting it through a series of narrow doorways was quite a job. Anyway, getting a table as a Valentine's day gift must be a rarity.
Also on the day, however, Anne was feeling a bit down due to the fact that her eldest sister had died the night before. It was very much an expected death after a long decline but the reality is of course still a blow.
So rather than go out to a restaurant, we just got in fish & chips from a local fish shop that we knew to be good. We had it al fresco on my verandah with some champagne so we both enjoyed it. Both Anne and I regard fish 'n chips as a treat.
And yesterday I put on a dinner for Jill's birthday. Jill is one of the few people outside family that I keep in touch with. As usual we went to a West End Greek restaurant that we know. I like to make the dinner one of 4 or 5 courses so the courses have to be small. But the restaurant concerned offers many of its foods in appetizer form so we had a lot of them. We had Keftedes, Haloumi, Tarama, Pastourma, traditional Greek salad plus alcohol and dessert -- all at a very modest cost. It was good to catch up with Jill and Lewis and particularly good to see Lewis still hale and hearty in his 80s.
And today was the funeral for Anne's eldest sister. I did not go to the interment but attended the church service afterward, mainly to give Anne support. It was at the local Presbyterian church and attracted a full house -- as Anne's sister had been very active in the church for a long time. Being a bit deaf, I understood very little of the sermon or the prayers but I doubt that I missed much.
The "wake" afterward was better. The fare was very Presbyterian -- ham sandwiches and cold water -- but I am very keen on sandwiches so it was fine by me.
I cooked Anne a shepherd's pie for supper -- a ready-made one from Woolworths that just had to be popped into the oven for half an hour to cook. I have no idea who the Woolworths cook is but he makes great dinners and we enjoyed that one -- helped by a cold bottle of Tyrrell's Verdelho. Tyrrell does Verdelho much better than other vintners in my opinion.