I went in to the fish stall on the market today. I thought a barbecue would be good and I've bought whole sea bream all round, with salmon for the children. I'm not being mean, I think they'll balk at the bones. Everyone was out today and I stopped for several chats. When I was spoken to by name, the fishmonger remarked on it. "We called our foal Z" he said, "after my wife's grandmother. Her show name is S1lver L1n1ng." I said gratified sorts of things about both names. It transpired that the mare, the foal's mother, had died during the delivery but a live and healthy foal was some consolation. I asked how it was being brought up - apparently, someone else's mare had borne a sick foal that, after operations, was not going to survive, so it was replaced by the newly-born Z.
One customer was also buying for a barbecue, but some of the fish cost more than she was willing to pay. Then she said that her dogs were very fond of scallops, so she often bought them for a Sunday breakfast treat. I admitted that scallops are a treat for me, never mind for dogs.
Last night's barbecue was a success - Ro's idea, Dilly made salads, Al bought the meat and rolls, I provided a range of drinks, with cutlery and china and the Sage did the cooking. We remarked on Ro's powers of delegation, as well as of suggestion.
Squiffany politely asked me what I'd like to drink. "Wine, please," I said and then, after it was poured, "Cheers". She was rather enchanted at that and toasted the whole family. "Cheers, Granny, Cheers Daddy" - you get the picture. Pugsley repeated the salutations. Cheers every time anyone raised a glass took up a fair bit of the evening.
Just off for some Governor training. 20 years experience is by no means enough not to need to keep updating one's knowledge.