Reflections After The Dust Has Settled 

The dust has now settled over Sunday’s family get together and it’s time to reflect on the success of the meticulous planning by my siblings, wife and I.

My sister Helen and Karen planned a rigid itinerary which thankfully went off without a hitch. I still maintain, though, that drawing up a toilet rota in which each guest was allocated a slot was unnecessary. I was just relieved that I needed the loo at 3.27pm or I could have been in trouble.

It was sterling work by the two ladies. Our Ian and my contribution was washing up, braising the mahagity and looking scruffy with our unkempt beards, along with strange aroma of creosote.

I’ve no idea what the mahagity was, however, I’m told we made an admirable attempt at braising it by our Helen. Call me suspicious, but I suspect the old sock looking mahagity we braised was in fact just old socks.

A cunning ploy by our younger sister to distract her clumsy brothers and keep them out of the way……. This suspicion was further fuelled when our Helen threw the mahagity straight in the bin a matter of seconds after giving Ian and me plaudits for our braising skills.

I’ve just googled ‘mahagity’ to gain an understanding of its composition. It has returned the answer of “Old socks. Often given to siblings to braise to distract them from creating culinary mayhem.”….. So it appears my suspicions were correct after all.

Braised mahagity


I’m not sure if our Ian has cottoned on to Helen’s ploy yet as yesterday, in his endless mission to find a hair brained business opportunity, he was talking about opening a mahagity restaurant in his home town of Gateshead!…… I have several friends up there who are in for a real treat (if they like eating braised old socks) should Ian’s plan come to fruition.

As I say, luckily we were led by two ladies with good organisation skills and a strong work ethic. So despite the guest’s disappointment at the lack of mahagity, the situation was not irreversible and the £100 of crisps we’d bought for the buffet saved the day.

I think Helen and Karen’s only faux pas was the napkins, which they ill advisedly purchased from the Tourettes Society. No one said anything, but I noticed a few eyebrows were raised when greeted with napkin comments like “Happy 80th, you old b*****d!” and “Stop reading this f*****g napkin and eat the mahagity!”

As I said before, our Helen is the brains behind the family, although that might have been different if our parents adoption of Benny from Crossroads hadn’t fallen through in the 1970’s. Adoption services pulled the plug on the move when my mum and dad couldn’t guarantee a separate room for Benny’s wool hat.

Despite a life that would break many people, she still managed to selflessly juggled priorities to remain very hands on during dad’s 80th birthday party.

Not to mention, for the birthday itself she single handedly arranged 1st class train travel, a overnight hotel stay and tickets for our parents to see the musical ‘Sunset Boulevard’.

She is an absolute marvel, who maintains her mum’s great strength whichever imposter darkens her door. That being said though, she might be more erudite than our Ian and I, but she hasn’t achieved our level at braising mahagity yet!

Right, I best get off as I’ve a long drive to Gateshead to have a look around restaurant premises with our Ian.

Helen (middle, obviously) thinking – “I hope those two idiots are keeping an eye on that braised mahagity!”


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