Skip to main content

A Big Friendly Giant thank you. And a hello.

Bonefish Grill - BFG




And the occasion? It was twenty nine years ago, on 3rd February 1985, that I met Tony on a blind date. I knew by the time my main course arrived (Lobster Thermidor - you knew I'd remember what I ate, right?) that I'd fallen in love with him and could feel a small whirlwind of panic spinning around my solar plexus as he told me about his future work and travel plans. I'm not going to see him for over 3 months! Why are you being so stupid? a rational brain cell responded. You've only just met him.  

How many more years do you think we'll have? I asked him last night. 

I think I'm going to live until I'm 88, he said.

Can you make it 91? I asked. Then we can celebrate 50 years together.

Okay.

Of course, neither of us can really know the when. Or the how or why. There's a pop-psychology/philosophy question that bounces around the internet: if you could know the date of your death, would you want to? The argument for is that we would fully live every moment known to remain. The argument against is that we would fully live every moment known to remain in a state of anxiety.

It's impossible to keep up that original level of all-consuming passion and enthusiasm for each other after years and years of living with another person, with the snips and irritations of daily life, the griefs and upsets, the blames and resentments we have to negotiate. But something else arrives: something quieter, something deeper. John Armstrong in his book, Conditions of Love, The Philosophy of Intimacy says: Our collective understanding of love is beguiled by love’s first moments; and yet it is continuing, long-term love that we all want. Real love is love that lasts and withstands the difficulties which a prolonged relationship inevitably brings. 


Happy Anniversary, Tone. Hello, I said to you when I opened the door 29 years ago and knew in the moment I looked at you that something momentous was about to happen. Hello again. 

Popular posts from this blog

Pie, pie glorious pie

So often when we talk about food we are talking about family. In fact that was how the hungry writer blog began, nearly six years ago: weekly memories or life stories linked by the theme of food. Food is nurture and love. It can be celebration and anxiety too. It can also be a battleground, as the parents of young children know so intimately! Which is rather a satisfying segue into the family featuring in this week's blogpost: The Radfords. Because if anyone understands the feeding of children, really, really understands, it has to be Sue Radford who, with her husband, Noel, has 19 children. You can read about the family on their website but don't rush off yet as what I really want to talk about is pie. And specifically Radford's pies.
Noel Radford has been a baker for 25 years and opened his own bakery in 1999 in Heysham, Lancashire and makes pies with locally sourced ingredients. That, along with his skill as a master baker, means that the pictures of the 'filled to t…

Eat, laugh, cry, remember: Baked Camembert

Once, on a holiday in Malta, I dressed Tony up in my gypsy skirt and stretchy white vest, used two satsumas for breasts and made up his eyes and lips with the brightest colours I had with me. Then I took a photograph. He didn’t seem to mind, in fact he seemed quite tickled by the fuss and attention to detail, but the quantity of rosé we’d shared at Snoopy’s restaurant on the seafront in Sliema earlier in the evening might have had something to do with that.

This was 1988. There were no digital cameras for instant viewing (and, praise be, instant deletion). The only instant photographs at the time came courtesy of Polaroid, with their packages of square film and box-like cameras, and slid out of the front of the machine on shiny thick card that everyone huddled over and watched develop. But they tended to be party cameras, appearing at Christmas, birthdays, engagements. You captured your holiday photos on a proper camera, one you had to load and feed film into, then unload and drop off…

The Mythic Biscuit: Oreos

My childhood biscuits were mainly plain but had lovely names: Marie, Nice, Rich Tea. Quiet biscuits. The kind of biscuits that would never interrupt a conversation. Polite, not pushy. At the other end of the spectrum, and only irregularly present, probably a result of practical economics, were cheeky Jammy Dodgers, irritable Garibaldis, and self-contented and reliable Bourbons. And even more irregularly, the flashy inhabitants of a Christmas Box of Biscuits: Pink Wafers. I ate them at the same time as not liking them very much, a bit like Miss World Contestants in sparkly dresses, too much eye make-up and a saccharine idea of world peace. 
I'm in the mood to think, and personify, 'biscuits' because the lovely team at Oreo sent me some samples of their new Oreo Thins. I hadn't heard of Oreos until the early 1990s when a friend asked if I would bring him back a packet from a Florida holiday. I forgot and pretended I couldn't find them. 'But they're everywher…