When will you get here?
We've had lots of weekend visitors over the summer. Friday night dinner needs to be the sort of forgiving dish that allows for unexpected roadworks, train and plane delays, getting lost..
It’s almost exactly a year since we moved into this house of my heart. Yesterday, I counted how many people we have had to stay, sharing eccentric bathrooms and noisy tables. The answer is: thirty-two. Some are repeat offenders.
In the winter, I sent visitors hasty texts and WhatsApps. Bring sweaters! Scarves! Slippers! We had no central heating, just the fire in the study, and the tiled floors were freezing. When Vanessa came for Christmas, we instigated The Shuffle Club. If we weren’t sitting on the sofa under heated throws and snoozing dogs, we shuff-shuff-shuffled round the house in sheepskin slippers. The sound they made against the tiles made it impossible to sneak up on anyone, even if you wanted to.
This afternoon, Vanessa arrives for the weekend. She calls to say she’ll be a little late. She has a problem with her car and has to stop off in Sète to visit the mechanic. Most Friday afternoons this summer, I’ve found myself cooking something that allows for late trains and planes, for car trouble and traffic jams, something forgiving that will be just as delicious at 9pm as at 7pm.
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