Friday, 15 December 2006

A veggie weekend

A friend of Ro's is coming to stay for the weekend. I've met him briefly a couple of times, delightful lad, but it's at times like this that I notice how odd we are and how people might be a bit puzzled by the way we live. However, no point in glossing over this sort of thing, this is how we are and we just have to be matter-of-fact about it.

I was a little more taxed about feeding the boy. He is Muslim and only eats Halal meat. In effect, that means that he eats no meat when away from home. He is also teetotal. I have been asking Ro, anxiously, what other things I have to take into account. Fortunately, that's about it. Apart from vegetarian cheese. And he does eat fish. And he is extremely polite, said Ro helpfully, so he will eat whatever you give him anyway. As long as it hasn't touched meat. We had spaghetti carbonara last night, to use up the bacon and, apart from a jugful of stock, the fridge is now a meat-free zone.

I'm going to London tomorrow to spend the day with my sister, who lives in Wiltshire. She will come to Waterloo by train, I'll go to Liverpool Street, and we are going to meet at the National Gallery and decide what to do. We're meeting other friends, who are up from Somerset for the weekend to visit their son, for lunch and so, apart from the sheer stupidity of visiting London a week before Christmas, it should be fun, as long as we can move for the frenetically shopping crowds. My sister suggests visiting Fortnum & Mason for old times' sake - she used to work in the Millinery department back in the late 60s, but I have been there at holiday times before and it heaves with humanity.

She sold hats to all sorts of people; she served the Aga Khan (she tied his helpful finger into the bow fixing the hat box), Michael Caine (he gave her peppermints), Dame Flora Robson (she was her favourite assistant and Dame Flora always asked for her). Awfully low pay, but there was commission and it was fun. In those days, my parents always used to have a big order sent from Fortnum & Mason for Christmas. A few years ago, my mother said, wistfully, "we used to spend about £25. What would that be now?" We though about it, and decided that it would be at least £600, after inflation. Actually, I suspect it would be more.

10 comments:

me said...

Got sent a F&M hamper from a supplier this year. Very nice, though I distributed the largess to staff. I did briefly consider getting one of their ham shoulders, but my butcher does one at a quarter the price from a chap down the road who smokes his own, so shan't bother...

Good luck with the veggie weekend. It makes a nice break but is a bit of a pain.

Z said...

Hello Me. When my sister came home for the weekend she always brought some of their sausages, which were particularly nice.

We eat lots of vegetables and veggie meals usually, so it's not a problem. Just needs a little more thought for guests.

Wendz in France said...

Sometimes it's really good to just eat vegetables and one can so some fantastic veg dishes. I had a vegetarian friend years ago and when we entertained I always did something for her and it was often sought after by non-veggies too!

Enjoy the weekend Z....almost running out of time for Christmas preps, aren't we! 10 days to go....phew.

stitchwort said...

Hope you find time to go into the National Gallery, or even better, the National Portrait Gallery round the corner.
Far more interesting than shops!

Z said...

That's just where we did go - the National Gallery, anyway. We were intending to go to a museum after lunch, but my sister is a confirmed shopper and we ended up in Piccadilly after all.

Chiya said...

After reading the first paragraph of the post, I immediately starting misisng my mother, she always use to be so much thoughtful whenever I had my friends coming over to stay. She would plan for a week asking me thier likes and dislikes in food.

Kudos to you and my mom it really takes so much thoughfulness to do such a thing

Z said...

Chiya, we really feel we have failed as hostesses if our guests can't eat the food we prepare. Especially with young people, they can be nervous about visiting older people for the first time and we want to put them at their ease and not make them worried about not liking the food.

It's a mother thing, we can't help it!

Pat said...

Clearly your sister will have to start a blog. Does she know about yours?

How do we know said...

So , Zoe, how did it go?

And hows the festival prep coming along? I know, your next post is a little about that.. but am sure the whole job is way more than this!

Z said...

Pat, my sister does know about this blog, but I'm not sure she's ever read it - she keeps forgetting what it's called and asking me again. She is not allowed to use the internet privately at work and she doesn't feel like firing up the computer in the evening after staring at it a lot of the day.

HDWK - Zain's a really nice boy and as polite as Ro said he is - he's eaten everything I've cooked and chatted away interestedly. Ro's taking him to the railway station on his way to work tomorrow.

Christmas preparations are doing all right, actually. No doubt I'll write more as the week goes by...