19 days ago
I did not used to be much of a baker but in the past couple of years I have got fairly good at making cakes. So I am kicking myself for slightly overdoing what is known as a Grandpa cake which you can see below. The top is a little well done but inside it is pretty moist as you’d expect of a fruitcake soaked in Guniness. that is not to say that my father was mad, just a bit eccentric, or soaked in Guinness, he preferred cider. It is just that the recipe is Irish and my father always referred to Ireland as the Old Country.
54 days ago
Jaya never met Dad. She was born five weeks after he died. But she knows about the Grandpa who is in heaven not least because of a battered green arm chair in the corner of our kitchen where I slump between articles. It was and is Grandpa’s chair. Joshua used to visit my father with me as Grandpa lay bed-ridden in Shipston. My Dad always had chocolates by his bed so Joshua enjoyed those visits and could not remember Grandpa as anything other than a bed ridden old man being, oh so slowly, eaten away by cancer.
3550 days ago
On Saturday I wore my London Irish shirt from my playing days, I suffered for 95 minutes which seemed like an eternity and I thanked God for agreeing to my suggestion that West Ham lose but Ireland triumph. Today I am asked to celebrate St Patrick’s Day but I will not do so.
For this day is a day when the whole world becomes Irish, hundreds of thousands don ghastly fake leprechaun hats and everyone gets drunk. By midnight the streets of Britain will be littered with discarded fake leprechaun hats, piles of vomit and folks collapsed on the street singing Swing Low Sweet Chariots as they remember who they really are. St Patrick would no doubt be truly honoured.
Party of my Irish ancestry comes from the Mathew family who were great temperance campaigners. The last of the line (named after its founder) died of an alcohol related illness some years ago. I cannot say that I am a man of temperance, quite the opposite.
But as it happens I have made an agreement with my three legged cat Oakley. The vet suggests that, especially has he only has three legs with which to support his body mass, he is a little plump. In fact I think the word she used was obese. So Oakley is on the low fat Iams and is being forced to take some exercise. In sympathy I have been off the sauce since Friday and am also on a Spartan diet. The Mrs reckons, not unfairly, that I could do with losing a few pounds and so Oakley and I are suffering together. As such I have enjoyed three days of complete sobriety which is all rather a shock to the system.
I digress. The wholly commercial exercise that is St Patrick’s Day is not something I shall take part in. On any other day of the year I’ll happily sink a pint of Guinness at the drop of a hat. But today, I will as I now do every year, give the whole thing a complete miss.