I am spitting chips tonight. My daughter and granddaughter are staying here, and so are friends of hers. She asked could they stay here, and I agreed.
They all went off to the races. I decided to cook a curry for dinner, on the basis that it would be ready any time, and could wait the hour of their arrival. I had bought the lamb yesterday, and had said to my daughter that I would cook a curry. While they were all at the races I prepared all the ingredients, and this afternoon set about cooking it. It is quite a lot of work but I did not mind that. The cat miaowed eagerly and gobbled up all the trimmings from the meat.
And I even made a dessert - a quince and apple crumble, with the apples and quince carefully separated from each other.
However, in the late afternoon I reminded my daughter that I had cooked the curry. Oh! she said. Her friend's husband does not eat curry. They would get something else for him. I told my daughter that this was the height of bad manners, incredibly rude. And I still think so. When they arrived back here, I suggested we all go out to dinner so that each of us could choose our meal. Oh No, said the females, we want the curry. And so we ate here, at the dining table.
Now comes that awful phrase - When I was young....
When I was young, if you were a guest in someone's house, you ate what was put in front of you. It was unthinkable to knock something back. It would have been incredibly bad manners, an insult to your hosts. You would have forced it down, eaten it and thanked your host politely for all the trouble they had taken to accommodate and feed you. Otherwise your parents would have thumped you, well and truly, and given you lectures on the insult caused by your refusing your host's food.
But no. Much better to buy two frozen meat pies, to be reheated in the microwave oven. and then to sit at the table, contributing nothing to the conversation.
The guests would not realise this, but since Dr P's death I have done hardly any cooking. Just the simplest of things. Nothing that involves a lot of preparation and planning. Of course, they don't know that, but I went to a lot of trouble over that rejected meal, and that should have been obvious. I feel as though this man has spat in my face. I think his wife was very embarrassed, but not a word from her husband.
Now I am still seething away and indulging in a little fantasy, in which they buy me flowers in appreciation of my hospitality. Oh No, I could say. I hate roses...