Thursday, December 20, 2012

An Aunty, an Uncle and a food escape.

The second time I met my wife's parents was also the first time I met her auntie and uncle (who were on a rare trip to Blighty having escaped to South Africa many years earlier).

The wife and I were living on a £10 a week food budget at the time, a budget we shared with the other three people we shared a house with.

In a big show of 'welcome to the family' (me not her; they already knew my wife) the visiting relatives took us to a local hostelry and insisted on filling us till (what in retrospect) was probably far beyond the 'fill to here' line.

Spending an hour getting outside of more food than we'd seen in weeks and drinking with the foolish enthusiasm of youth inevitably led to an unscheduled food escape.  Being the classy lass she is my wife gently resolved her over-eating discreetly behind a dense hedge.  Being a dumb young punk I felt no such need to shield the public from my nihilistic personal horrors and dropped to my knees on the spot where my stomach's urge to spill overtook me, which unfortunately for some nearby children happened by the entrance to a bouncy castle.

I rolled onto my back looking like I'd be wrung dry of my essence - I was 10.5 stone and 6' 2" tall, in some ways this look was my default setting before I discovered my wife's astounding kitchen skills.

My mother in law did her best to hide my shame by ferrying handfuls of bark chippings from a nearby herbaceous border, looking the other way as she piled them onto my leavings, while parents of aforementioned small children comforted their audibly upset spawn.

Just as I was willing my body to devolve to a state where I could become one with the earth I saw my wife's aunt and uncle bimble over to give their assessment of the sorry situation.  The uncle looked me up and down as one might freshly dispatched road kill - with a look of gentle sympathy and an air of one who is not cheered by the grim inevitable outcome of natures struggle to survive in a world of motor cars, a world not of their making.

"Well Indroo..." (I apologise for the poor attempt at an Anglo-tinged South African accent),

"Well Indroo, it does a fella good to blow out once in a while.  Would you like a brandy?"

The aunt is a professional nurse of some standing and after giving me a quick visual assessment offered me her prescription for a swift recovery - a cigarette.

Their gently non-judgmental reaction to my culinary outburst warmed me to them, and I've had a soft spot for them ever since.  It now occurs to me that they might have decided not to make a scene in the hope that I was a temporary bump in the path until their lovely niece received a better offer.  18 years later I hope they've come to terms with the fact their niece has well and truly cast her lot in with mine.

All these years later I'm still glad I didn't actually manage to actually make it onto the bouncy castle...


The photo of me and the wife on this post was taken on that day, I don't recall if we're smiling at the prospect of cramming our pie holes or out of relief because we no longer felt like lard Zeppelins.



All these years later I'm still glad I didn't actually manage to actually make it onto the bouncy castle... 

The photo of me and the wife on this post was taken on that day, I don't recall if we're smiling at the prospect of cramming our pie holes or out of relief because we no longer felt like lard Zeppelins.