The Shortest Day

So, here it is,the shortest day of the year – in the northern hemisphere, at least. I am quite sure that it didn’t feel like the shortest day for Carol who, once again, was destined to drive down to Alicante airport and back, this time so Steve and Rosemary could fly home. Now Carol really would be home alone; apart, that is, from two demanding dogs and three somewhat less demanding cats. Was it that Shakespeare chappy who penned the line, "parting is such sweet sorrow"? What complete nonsense. Whoever it was should have had their quill taken away and their ink well tipped over their head. Happily, the trip went well and, though emotions were naturally running high, Carol, Steve and Rosemary all arrived back at their respective destinations without mishap.

To further soften the blow of Carol’s flying entirely solo, friends Chris, Yvonne and Scamp (el perrito) had invited Carol round for dinner after the airport run. Carol’s Tuesday will also have something to look forward to because she has a lunch date with Jim and Hazel, et al. It’s comforting to know that there is an impromptu support group for such times of stress.

My Sunday was once again spent as chef for myself and mother. I had lashed out a rather princely sum amounting to about £1.50 on a pork shank from Morrisons supermarket. The Germans are very keen on their pork shanks (hocks), particularly with sauerkraut, and I’d been eying them up for some time hoping to duplicate a German feast. My plans seemed to be regarded with some suspicion by mater so I went a lot more conventional and saved my jar of sauerkraut for a more fitting occasion. I simply slow-roasted the shank which turned out to be excellent, both very tender and very tasty. I even managed crackling, though one of my teeth doesn’t really like such things so care is required.

Mother seemed to be in grand form and keen that I return to Carol and Spain in time for Christmas, bless her. There does seem to be a suitable easyJet flight at "oh-dark-thirty" on Christmas Eve – expensive but suitable. If the other necessary arrangements, transfers to the airport and transfer of mother to cousin Mark for Christmas, can be made, I’ll shorten Carol’s term of solitary confinement.

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