Dinner With The Affianced

Warning: This blog contains some flash photography and gratuitous use of the word crockery.

 There is an old wives saying that ‘Feed a cold. Starve a fever.’ I’m pretty open minded about these prescriptive teachings of folklore; however if there is any truth in it, following Friday evening’s troughing, I wont be inflicted with a raucous cough and sniffles any time soon.

After what I ate, during a meal to celebrate a family engagement, if this allegedly sagacious advice has any foundation, then I’ve probably had the equivalent of a flu jab.

We dined in the restaurant of a upmarket local hotel spa. Here we were indulged by attentive waiting staff as we dined on a mixture of steak, lamb, burger and chicken. Incidentally, that’s collectively not that we scoffed all of that individually. |Even though it did feel like it afterwards.

There was a calming, sedate ambience as the five of us (son Jonny, his fiancée Jenny, my wife Karen, daughter Rachel and myself) sat at the dimly lit table. The edifying silence only broken by the chink of cutlery on crockery by other diners, that is until Karen audibly exclaiming “Blimey, it’s quiet in her!” as we took our seats.

I’m sure I saw a lobster in a tank putting his claw to its mouth in a kind of ‘shushing’ gesture after hearing my spouses unnecessarily loud exclamation. Either that or he was signalling he wanted a cigarette, which was probably unlikely due to the obvious logistical issues of lighting a cigarette underwater.

Anyway, I have nothing but praise for the restaurant staff; their efforts to maximise our overall dining experience couldn’t have been bettered. It was well worthy of a large tip……. I didn’t give them one, but it was well worthy of it!

The evening was a major success, although Karen’s spiteful retribution of eating the lobster that shushed her earlier left a bad taste. Thankfully, the food didn’t.

It was heartwarming to see Jonny and Jenny so obviously happy, after becoming affianced earlier in the week. Even getting showered with lobster shell while Karen ate couldn’t dampen their spirits.

Photographs taken later in the evening displayed the sheer delight of the young couple at their news, not to mention I’d spent part of the evening with a lobster claw on my head.

In the cordial atmosphere of our evening, they spoke of when they planned to become betrothed, where they’d like to live and that there was a great 3 for 2 offer on Cheesestrings at their local Sainsburys.

I have to say seeing your offspring so contented is a real fillip to the spirits. It’s not an easy journey they embark upon, however I’m sure if Jonny masters the art of belching raucously they’ll be fine. It’s certainly done me no harm (I’ve been married for 28 years).

As parents, Karen and I have tried to instil many qualities in our children over the years. As well as belching raucously, we have advocated the traits of humanity, humility, pragmatism and to always look out for good Cheesestring offers.

Prior to departing the comforting atmosphere of the restaurant, I asked the question “Which five people in history (dead or alive) would you invite for dinner?”

There were many names thrown about like JFK, Robin Williams, Churchill (Winston not the puppet dog, I think anyway!), Frank Sinatra, the lead singer of the band Fine Young Cannibals and the Geordie bloke who does the voice over on TV show Big Brother.

As we left the restaurant and boded farewell to the affianced couple, I felt a warm glow as we journeyed back to chez Strachan in our modest car.

What did I take from the evening?……. Delight at my son’s choice of fiancée who clearly makes him very happy. I also learnt that if Karen’s dinner with the five guests of her mum and dad, Keith Harris and Orville along with late quiz show host Hughie Green comes off I’m going down the pub!

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