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Tucked into a pig roast?

January 19, 2013

God must be having a laugh at my expense. The Reverend Jeff must be to blame. The fall to earth started as soon as we left Tenerife South airport on a dreadfully cramped Monarch horror flight. To start with, being delayed for an hour was no real hardship as the temperature was 24 degrees, the sun was shining and the executive lounge (where us executives choose to spend their time at airports) was stocked with a rather good Rioja, to which I was paying my respects with some reverence.

Eventually though, we were invited to board the plane. I say board but being shoe-horned might be a better description. The leg room on Easyjet was generous in comparison. So I had just assumed the foetal position, the only option giving the seating, when the shrieking started.

I see it as a deliberate act of aggression. The stewards must have had a look in the lounge and identified me as someone who was having too much fun and looking too well after a weeks relaxation and sunshine and then decided where to put the kid from hell. One seat behind me.

Damien’s parents parenting skills were as developed as Josef Fritzl.
I could have shut the little brat up in 2 minutes given a bottle, a dummy and a sharp smack so he understood some manners (the child I mean, although maybe the parents as well) but because of a complete lack of any skills whatsoever the horrid little tyke managed to ruin and lengthen the flight for everyone within 50 yards of him who did not have earphones or earplugs. That Nice Lady Decorator had earphones, I did not.  Chloroform  should have been administered as basic human compassion.

Yesterday morning, having finally reached home at 2am, just to ensure we knew we were back, the snow gods decided to dump their load on Arundel. Had it remained all white and Christmassy then  I would have been content, but as so often in England, snow became slush and the brightness was replaced by a dull grey morass.

snow in Arrundel

The snow while it was still fun

So by the time Steve “yeah yeah yeah” Jackson and his wife, the lovely and impossibly high-powered Rowena arrived (an hour early – well they are from up north and I suppose entertainment and invitations, even though they invited themselves, are rare -) I was ready for a drink. They had brought not the Scunthorpe Chardonnay that I had suggested they might, as Scunthorpe is apparently not in Yorkshire as I had thought, but Lincolnshire, which I suppose raises its allure somewhat. Instead they brought another gem, some Ripley Rioja. Once we had removed the top layer of grease, mud and sticks, Steve pronounced it very drinkable.

So after a couple of bottles of prosecco to get rid of the aftertaste we headed into Arundel in search of a pub and immediately stumbled across The White Hart next door, where I was able to introduce Steve to proper southern beer. He is a lovely chap, able to deal with being outshone by his wife on every level, probable also on the cricket pitch should she ever put her mind to it,  but seems happy in his own little northern world, in the utterly mistaken certainty that northern beer is better than southern. He is probably equally as certain that the world is flat, indeed a flat cap might add something to his sartorial style. Anyway, we ended up in The Eagle after a very good meal in The Bay Tree where I tried to educate him, but although the lights were on as evidenced by the cheeky grin, there was no one at home.

They had come south “to get tucked into a pig roast”.  One could forgive  a rabid hunger given the lack of real food up in Yorkshire, but the way he used the expression “tucked in” raised my suspicions. Clearly there is not much entertainment up north. The last thing I remember is sitting in our inglenook with a large Havana and extolling to Rowena the virtues of using Currencies Direct, a service that she said would consider if only in the grounds that said consideration made dinner a legitimate business expense.

Chris France

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