There has been much said and written in the media recently about ending lives that are coming to an unfortunate but lingering conclusoan.
Yoof in Asia seems to get people at the BBC more excited that civil rights abuses in Africa while assisted suicide has really opened up a can of ethical worms.
Still, I’m not talking about either of these things, I am talking about murdering your parents. Or to be specific me and fatsally’s Dear Old Mum, our Dad having shuffled off this mortal coil already.
It is a topic my sister and I have blogged on before.
Let’s be right though, we really do love our Mum but sometimes, just sometimes …
Yesterday for example. We went up to Morecambe to buy Mum a lunch as it’s her birthday quite soon. Now the thing about Morecambe is whenever you go there, to quote a club comedian of the 1960s and 70s, it’s closed. So finding somewhere to buy Mum lunch has been a bit of a bugbear. We would be seeking a classy restaurant or bistropub and turn to her for advice as she’s the one with local knowledge.
Unfortunately that local knowledge only exends to places that do a ‘pensioner’s special’ three course lunch for £1.99.
But anyway, thanks to a feature in The Guardian a few months ago which I’d bookmarked for future reference, we found a promising looking place. The Hest Bank Inn, built in 1543, a traditional English public house complete with uneven floors, low ceilings, several legends (concerening highwaymen, witches, public hangings and Bonnie Prince Charlie), probably a ghost, and a decent menu at what I consider reasonable prices. It is is about three miles out of town towards Carnforth in a delightful and secluded setting. Ideal for a Brief Encounter one might think.
We examined the menu. Cleo Hart who was chauffeuring us to work off her debts to the Boggart Blog crisis fund and who likes seeing her Grandma almost as much as she loves driving my car, it still catching up on her eating after another winter on pasta and tomato sauce in seasonal workers’ shared accom. in the alps and so opted for a steak. Teri and I made our choices and then I turned to Mum who was grizzing about prices.
“Look, I’m paying and I’m not bothering about the price I told her.”
“Well I fancy a hotpot but it’s £11.95. Twelve pounds for a hot pot, that’s outrageous, I told you we should have gone to the Shit Shoveller’s Arms for soup, sheperd’s pie and sticky toffee pudding. It’s only £1.99 for three courses.”
“Mother! If you fancy a hot pot have a hot pot. Have two hotpots if you want. It’s your birthday treat.”
“I’m only thinking of you, you’ve always had more money than sense …”
“This is not a poor persons dinner in the Great Depression mother, it’s a gourmet Hot Pot served in a bitro pub that features in good eating guides; traditional English dishes are all the rage at the momen with foodies.
“Yes but it’s made with the cheapest cut of lamb or mutton with a few potatoes, carrots and onions.”
“Just shut the f-f-f… … … … just order.”
Eventually we ordered the Hot Pot
It looked delish. It smelled delish and if Jesus had had access to such a portion he would have fed 50,000 instead of 5,000.
Cleo was so enraptured with her steak she looked ready to shed all her clothes and ascend to a higher level of being, my steak baguette was wonderful and Teri’s roast beef was about half a bullock’s worth of prime Cumbrian meat.
Mum wasn’t entirely happy however. Her Hot Pot was made wth prime tender lamb fillet and not ‘scrag end’ as proper Hot Pot should be.
“But people will not eat scrag end now, it’s all fat and bone and gristle. Poor people used to eat it because they could afford nothing else,” we all told her. It was to no avail, she was off on a misty eyed reminiscence about poverty, hardship, badger’s arse stew and rickets – none of which affected her family as it happens, although Grandad Redfern could only afford to drive round in a bull nosed Morris Oxford rather than a Rolls Royce throughout the great depression. Yes Mum has known real hardship.
For all it’s lack of scrag end Mum polished off the Hot Pot, leaving nothing on the plate. She did insist on lecturing the waitress about the joys of scrag end however. Teri notoced my finger start to twitch as I gazed affectionaltely at Mum’s neck and gave me a sharp kick. The poor serving wench who was about 18 hadn’t a clue what the mad old woman was on about. She did pick up on our rolling eyeballs and stifled laughter however and ran away giggling hysterically.
As we made our way across the car park Teri commented that as we’d left the £5 tip in cash to get rid of some coins she hoped the same girl cleared the table.
“Five pounds,” Mum said, “You left five pounds tip? When I was that girl’s age five pounds was a weeks wage for a grown man.”
She turned and set off like a whippet to retrieve the week’s wage and leave a more reasonable sixpence but fortunately Cleo deftly tripped her and pinned her to the ground with an armlock.