Thursday, 5 April 2012

Operation Sunday Dinner


It’s a Sunday. The kitchen at number 9 is full of steam and heat. Windows are all of a fog and the worktop is a mad clutter of pots, pans, and roasting trays. Runner beans steam away in a colander and the oven blasts like a furnace when the blackened joint is taken out. Wisps of smoke curl around the oven light. This ritual was gone through every week as if it was set down as law in a tablet of stone. Despite the frequent opportunities for practice, the result was always the same. Something had to be burnt, something had to be boiled to a pulp and the gravy would come in slices. But no-one seemed to mind.

Grandad played a major role in Operation Sunday Dinner. After a bath and shave, hair Brylcreemed in place like an old-time concert pianist, he’d put on a fresh shirt and tie. There would always be some kind of enamel badge pinned to the tie relating to his regiment. His shoes would be buffed up. This was respectful and appropriate attire for wearing in The Crown & Anchor. With a couple of pals, he would have a few pints of foaming Dorset Bitter to help fortify him in readiness for the long afternoon of eating and sleeping that lay ahead.

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