Dark Lady still at work so it was up to me to ferry the brood over to see some friends and their children for Steak Night.
I have blogged about visiting the BBQ paradise at Fran and Greg's in April of last year and, with their busy lives, we have been plotting a rematch for some considerable time.
Last Friday it was on so into the car:
"We're leaving at 6.50pm sharp," said I in my best don't-mess-with-your-Victorian Stepfather voice (which normally is ignored).
However, at the appointed hour two children were in the car all strapped in and waiting for the off. They were looking forward to the evening as much as we were not only because of the excellent company but the meat feast that is provided by "Mr Steak" Greg who, once again, provided a fabulous hunk of meat for me to gnaw on. It fell apart as I brushed knife against it, exposing a juicy red centre. Cooked to perfection.
“The secret is in the sauce,” he said; the result of a marriage between a Chinese woman and a Jewish man (or maybe the other way about). The sauce is worth it for the name alone without even starting on the taste…
We were there for hours surely outstaying our welcome and headed back home in the small hours and fell into bed. (Well, in our case fell up into bed. The bed we have is rather tall and is at waist height so it has to be clambered into.)
Saturday and it was up to the Midlands to see my Dad and to catch up with mates at Halfpenny Green airfield where I learned to fly. Too windy to get airborne so spent three hours drinking tea, eating biscuits and just yarning about all things flying and a lot of stuff not concerned with flying.
Beer O'clock and into the pub for my first alcohol for a fortnight.
Dark Lady doesn't drink during January and this year I have been sort of accompanying her in that when we are together I won't drink either. I am delighted to report it is not a hardship and the bonuses in money saved and weight loss have been quite an eye-opener.
I made up for it: beer, newspaper and fish and chips ended a very pleasant but solitary evening.
The following morning I hurried back to London to the bazoom of the family
Dark Lady was out with Jamie at his football. Everyone arrived back at the same time and it was time to set to shovelling the Lasagne that she had made for us. Excellent! She is such a good cook and I am such a willing helper in terms of helping her dispose of these creations. This is what makes us the perfect team in my view.
We like a DVD or two on a Sunday afternoon at home. Part of our routine and, often if the film is right, we will watch one together all four of us which makes me feel all warm inside and very grown up as I never expected to have a family as such. So to be a Stepfather is quite an honour and a responsibility not to be taken lightly.
I have even enjoyed saying to Ella, who is a very self-assured and mature 15 year old as she was going out one day, done up to the nines for important event in her teen social calendar:
"Where do you think you are going dressed like that? Wipe that muck off yer face!”
I was ignored in the nicest way.
As she'll soon be 16 we have decided that this summer will probably be the last time we have a family holiday all 4 of us so we are going to push the boat out.
This means Dark Lady has organised 2 weeks in Florida which includes 3 days at the theme parks in Orlando. The main reason for visiting is the Harry Potter experience.
I once saw one of the films and wanted gnaw my legs off with boredom. However, I am in a minority of one in this. So in order for me to get the most from the experience it has been decided that I should watch all of the films.In order.
So we sat down to watch Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone.
It is going to be a very long time ‘til summer!