Return of the Strach

Sunday 20th May – Yesterday, chez Strachan’s lunchtime was graced with the presence of my son Jonny and his fiancée Jenny. Their arrival enhancing the already aesthetically pleasing late spring views bestowed by my modestly sized garden. A chromatic sight for my sleep deprived sore eyes.

My boy greeted me with a hug and a chirpy “Alright, dad?” to which I responded “Yep ok, Jon.”…………… It wasn’t the most illuminating verbal exchange we’ve ever had, but it broke the ice – Which I later used in a glass of cider.

On their arrival Jenny joined my diminutive spouse in the living room, where Karen was engrossed viewing the live broadcast of the royal wedding. Although bearing no ill towards Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, West Yorkshire’s solar rays beckoned my offspring and me outside. Consequently, Jonny and I left the ladies cooing over Meghan’s dress, while we took up a patio seat outdoors.

Recently Karen and me purchased a outdoor pizza oven. An appliance we intended to give a second outing that afternoon in honour of his and Jenny’s visit. It was no royal wedding cuisine, but nevertheless would hopefully be an agreeable alfresco meal under east Leeds’ azure skies.

An impulse buy, the sheer weight of the bloody thing has limited it’s journeys from the garage. It adorns two wheels but, barring a onerous long walk around the alleyways of my landlocked abode, the only way to get this monster of an oven into the back garden is for me to lift in through our kitchen. A logistic nightmare for only one person.


Yesterday though, with the help of Jonny, the pizza oven once again resided dans mon jardin.

After lifting the cooking appliance through the garage door, via kitchen and back door, we finally laid it to rest on the patio. As we lowered the oven my son felt moved to opine:-

“Blimey, dad that’s heavy!…. How the hell did you lift that on your own last time you used it?…… It’s really bulky.”

“It wasn’t easy, but your mum held the back door open for me, which helped no end!” I responded with tongue firmly in cheek.

Jonny smirked at my comment of whimsy, before asking “How did the pizzas come out when you used it on that occasion?”

“Hot!….. They’d been in a chuffing 200 degree Celsius charcoal oven for 20 minutes.”I sarcastically countered.

“No you idiot!….. I meant what did they taste like?” my son berated.

“Tasty…… However, it’s questionable whether they were ‘worth getting a hernia carrying the oven’ tasty!” I cynically continued.

“Anyway thanks for the lunch invite, dad. Jenny and me really appreciate it.” Jonny expressed gratefully.

“Don’t go overboard about my and your mum’s warmth of welcome, lad….. I only invited you over to help me lift this bloody thing (pizza oven) out of the garage!….. You can go now!” I quipped.

Knowing I was kidding, my offspring smiled – Prior to muttering “Miserable bugger.” 

Changing the topic to his mother’s health, Jonny queried “How’s mum been since the problems she had on Monday?”

“She’s been fine. Owls (his mum’s nickname) knows next time to cook them for five minutes less.” I teased.

“Not her burning the fish cakes at teatime, you berk!…. I mean from all the hospital tests she had on Monday looking for root cause of her stomach pains.” my son admonished.

“God bless her, she’s been tired, sore and vowed never to eat fish cakes again!” I continued inanely.

With this, the long suffering Jonny tersely barked  “I’m off back in to watch the Royal Wedding!…… It’s like drawing bloody teeth trying to have a sensible conversation with you!”, prior to heading back inside his childhood home.

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