We went out for tea, which we had at a carvery. Or dinner, depending on what you call your evening meal. We had reservations for 6.30, which I always think of as tea time. Dinner should, I feel, be a little later. I’m also inclined by class and geography, to call it tea.
They had food on the floor under the table, no desserts to eat in and no horseradish sauce. The absence of dessert was probably due to external problems. The food under the table was sloppy. But the absence of horseradish sauce, in an establishment that centres round the eating of meat, was unforgivable. They did have mustard (from a plastic bottle) but I had to ask for that.
The meat choice was beef, gammon or turkey and they had cranberry sauce and stuffing for those but no horseradish or mustard on display. They even had mint sauce (but no lamb) and apple sauce (but no pork). But no horseradish. Unbelievable.
As for the Yorkshire puddings – they were impervious to knife wounds. They could sell the recipe to the Ministry of Defence as a cheap alternative to Kevlar. You could protect soldiers and policemen from explosions and knife attacks quite cheaply, though they would, of course, be left vulnerable to an attack by a violent criminal armed with a jug of gravy.
Number Two Son was in good form on his first trip back in just over three years. He currently works in a bank call centre, sorting out customer enquiries, and describes customers in much the same way that I do. He doesn’t get enquiries about “rare” coins, and says it’s important to be helpful as he’s dealing with people who are generally having a bad day.
You can afford to be nice to customers when you have the ultimate answer – the ability to put them back in a queue that can take up to 45 minutes to get back to them. He doesn’t use it often, but he was happy to use it in one recent case. Someone told him they wouldn’t deal with him, they wanted someone who spoke proper English. He pointed out that, having been born and brought up in England, he considered his command of the language to be sufficient. Then he put the man to the back of the queue.
His girlfriend is very much like Julia – patient and with low expectations. It has worked for us for many years, and looks like a winning combination once more. It is nice to see him, albeit for just a few days, and amazing to find that the tiny baby I remember as a small, wrinkled Winston Churchill lookalike is now a grown man with a job and a girlfriend. Life is such a strange thing.
The picture is the closest photo I have to a meal at a carvery.