Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Crowded House

Would anyone like to come and stay with us? Come join the throng!

In addition to the visits from Vixen and Cub, SD3 (the one who offers to stay while I go away, but who opined that one night with Persiflage is more than enough) arrives Thursday night and is planning to stay here for three days. The WSD, or SD2, is arriving Saturday morning and 'will come and see you, Dad, on Saturday morning'. She has to work for a couple of days elsewhere, but was to return until departing on 19 December. Now, it seems, oh frabjous day, that her husband and children are also coming from USA and visiting us, Perth, Melbourne and Canberra, and no date of departure has been mentioned.

I had mentally fixed my endurance to last for a week to ten days, but it will be longer. SD4 and family arrive on Boxing Day, but probably will not stay more than a couple of days. Vixen and Cubs will be away for a month, and that should help me relax a little.  I hope.

Vixen and Cubs were here yesterday and Dr P put on one of his most impressive lack of memory performances to date. Of course, they have no idea how to talk to him to stimulate him: their conversational skills are limited to the recital of their doings, and there is never any mutuality in their discourses. Even Dr P used to admit that they were heavy going. Other visitors manage to converse - con being Latin, of course, for 'with'. Dr P brightens up considerably during their visits. Naturally.

I am thinking of getting a T-shirt inscribed with the injunction 'Please continue to ignore the elephant in the room'.

I think my second daughter and children are making a surprise visit this weekend, and I hope my nursing sister will come during the following week, her work roster permitting.

Will it be possible to suggest, I wonder, that no one should stay for, or expect to be present for a meal? Even if they go out and buy it all? I expect not.

There is more than enough for me to do without having to worry about feeding them, or having my kitchen invaded.

In all my spare time, I have organised a handyman to come and replace the drawer handle broken when Dr P fell on it, to insert the light globe in  Dr P's bathroom, to install a new doorbell, to glue back the shelf in my shower recess, and a few other little things. On Friday someone is coming to inspect and give an opinion about getting Dr P a new shower recess.

Oh, and I made the Christmas Cake, which is now sprinkled with brandy, wrapped and hidden away, against the probable depredations of Dr P. The cake took most of the day, not to mention the time it took to find all the ingredients. Eventually they were obtained from about six different shops. I mentioned last year that the quantities packaged have been reduced, so that extra has to be bought in order to have the quantities specified in the recipes. Upon my growling about this yet again to friends, it was pointed out to me that this is actually due to a filthy capitalist plot by supermarkets and suppliers, to reduce quantities instead of raising prices. Ice cream, for example, now comes in 1.8 litre containers instead of 2 litres. When I whinged to the salesperson at one shop, she raised her eyebrows, but at another shop, the more pleasant and helpful assistant said she thought it was all due to the decline in the number of people who make Christmas cakes. And it is certainly true that years ago the health food shops would have a complete array of cake ingredients, according to several recipes, but now there is relatively little on display.

But back to the cake. This recipe uses semolina rather than flour, and I had almost got to the final stage before I realised that I had not added the semolina Almost a disaster, but thanks to my lovely spurtle and the risotto stirrer, all was added and well blended. The cake cooked successfully and smells fantastically good. and I have just remembered that because the cake contains 12 egg yolks but only six stiffly beaten egg whites, I now have 6 additional egg whites and thus will have to make a pavlova.

At least making the cake gave me a feeling of accomplishment, unlike most of the rest of my life at present, which is characterised by deep gloom, a heaving stomach, and a a plethora of nasty, mean and spiteful thoughts.

Being positive and pleasant is greatly to be preferred as a mode of being.


Pam said...

Oh dear.

A fixed smile is what you need, dear P. And firm tongue-biting. And some sympathy.

The said...