There are always unexpected expenses when moving house. One we hadn’t bargained for was caused by the discovery yesterday that none of Jackie’s carefully collected saucepans – not even her precious pressure cooker – can be used on the Neff hobs. Naturally therefore, the most expensive kitchen installation requires the most expensive cooking utensils. Off we drove to John Lewis in Poole to by some with a magnetic quality. Jackie knew what she really wanted, which was Tefal non-stick pans, but hovered and havered over the price, until I took the bull by the horns, picked up a range of pots, thrust some into her arms, and carried the rest to the checkout. Even the man who served us carried a magnet to check the equipment.
I’m no fool. Microwaved meals and eating out are all well and good, but they cannot match my lady’s culinary prowess.
On our return, I just had to photograph them amassed on the surface where they will be used in the creation of delicious delicacies. There are a couple of unplanned bonuses in the resulting image. Firstly, Jackie is seen reflected in the oven as she passed behind me. As was demonstrated by an earlier photograph, this would not have been possible before she painstakingly cleaned and polished the Moben installation. Secondly, in the top left corner, Norman’s parrot can be glimpsed on its perch suspended from a hook in the ceiling.
We had a welcome visit from Danni in the afternoon. She is much-loved niece, and it was gratifying to hear her say she felt the same way about the house.
When, in 2008, I gave up my consultancy role with Parents for Children, I was given a number of presents from different groups in the organisation. One was basket containing an array of plants in a pot. The main feature of this was a very young azalea. Neither London soil nor tap water was suitable for the plant, so I repotted it and fed it on rainwater. Miraculously it has survived, having continued to be nurtured in Michael’s Graham Road house for the last few months. It was a joy to see that this, together with a pieris I had also bought for Sutherland Place, had, unharmed, been first off the Globe Removals van. When we get around to it, we will find permanent resting places for each of these.
Parents for Children was a specialist adoption agency set up in the 1970s specifically for finding homes for children who by reason of disability or emotional difficulties were difficult to place. With the changing financial climate, the cost of such intensive specialist work, and the development of Social Services own fostering and adoption sections, the agency’s survival became more and more precarious and closed down not long after my involvement ceased. Whole generations have reason to be grateful for their existence.
This evening, courtesy of Tesco and the microwave, I dined on chicken jalfrezi whlist Jackie ate lamb rogon josh. These were followed by treacle puddings.