Britain's COVID guidance allows two households to form a support bubble when, for example, a new baby has arrived in one's family. Consequently, since Baby Phoebe arrived in our lives there has been much to-ing and fro-ing between our house and Frances and Stewart's house - perfectly legitimately. They live a mile away from us.
I don't know about you but for us the preparation and consumption of nice meals has been one of things that has kept us going during these difficult times. For the past seven weeks, Frances and Stewart have come round for Sunday dinner and a midweek meal. We have been round to their place for a few meals too. Of course Phoebe is always present, gradually developing, snorting, thrashing about in her Moses basket, crying out loud, cooing like a dove, looking into our eyes with her sparkling blue eyes and wondering: What's it all about Alfie?
These are precious times that I am sure we will only truly recognise when the agony of COVID-19 has been carried away by the tides of time. We have been privileged to support our lovely daughter and to closely witness the early weeks of Phoebe's life. Tragically, this has not been the case for Stew's parents. They remain in their house in Bristol, yet to meet their only granddaughter.
Yesterday, the menu I prepared was roasted loin of pork with golden roasted potatoes, roasted carrots, asparagus tips, buttered leeks with parmesan, apple sauce, homemade gravy and of course Yorkshire puddings in beef dripping. Dessert was a banoffee pie. To accompany this meal, we had a bottle of chilled prosecco while Stew drank a bottle of "Black Sheep Ale" - from Yorkshire of course.
Afterwards, we again slouched in the front room for a while, watching "Countryfile" on the television.
Oh - by the way - long before dinner we had our first Bosh! Ultimate Chocolate Slices - now available in all branches of Costa Coffee. It is by far Britain's favourite coffee shop chain with 2467 branches. It also has 1400 international outlets. It has been quite a coup for Bosh! to get their vegan bars in there.
It's a bit miserable outside this Monday morning with a light grey blanket overhead. I am going for my shower very soon and then I will type up a couple more pages of my father's Kashmir adventures. If I can't think of anything else to post tomorrow, I shall share a couple more extracts with you. 31,000 words typed now. I am getting there.