Easter Monday has been a productive day for yours truly. Shopping for food essentials, the penning of a blog, garden borders tended, cooking of a second shepherds pie in two days and a phone call with a friend being amongst my itinerary. Not to mention watching a dramatisation of the Titanic enquiry; all of which occupying GJ Strachan through his incarceration by COVID-19 pathogen.

Ordinarily, I’m not inclined to cook the same meals two days in a row. However, as yesterday there proved too much mince for just one dish, along with the fact the meat had already been frozen, I wasn’t going to waste it. Consequently, I prepared two separate shepherds pies; the second of which provided this evening’s culinary sustenance.

Actually, if truth be told, I’ve a terrible habit of naming this dish incorrectly. My understanding is that shepherds pie actually contains lamb mince, not the beef I chose as today’s filling. Apparently, the similar recipe with minced beef should go by the moniker of cottage pie.

However, with knowing that recipe under the label of shepherds pie from childhood, I stubbornly refuse to succumb to referring the dish as decreed by antiquated cuisine edicts….. Much in the same way I maintain a boyhood naming convention of vacuuming carpets as hoovering. This despite using a Dyson cleaner instead of a Hoover for well over a decade….. Old habits die hard as the adage goes.


This mornings wander to obtain food essentials saw me, while still employing appropriate social distancing, bumping into a few people of whom I was acquainted. One an old colleague who for many years worked at the same financial institution as GJ Strachan.

He seemed genuinely pleased to see me after so many years. When I say that my flimsy evidence is borne from him smiled at me on meeting, along with keeping his intimidating dog Tiddles on a leash to negate against him savaging me!….. Sometimes it’s small thoughtful acts which mean the most!

Later on, while homeward bound, I’d fleeting verbal exchanges with three family friends. Our conversations a bunch of calmly delivered hellos, with none of the angst of Simon & Garfunkel’s refrain Homeward Bound…… With the possible exception of the verse:-

“Tonight I’ll sing my songs again,
I’ll play the game and pretend.
But all my words come back to me
in shades of mediocrity
Like emptiness in harmony
I need someone to comfort me.”

Paul Simon’s composition above, along with numerous other melodies from his back catalogue, the music of Elton John, The Who, ELO, Rick Wakeman and sports commentary from David Coleman, Barry Davies, Bill McLaren, Eddie Waring and Richie Benaud, the soundtrack of my 1970’s.

That a decade free of worries before the 80’s kicked in, which despite providing many great times, was an era I misguidedly allowed my life to be heavily influenced by a few toxic, half-witted individuals.

A decision that led to the next three decades of being a meal ticket to an affection-less, loveless, ungrateful individual incapable of even providing a modicum of support when their partner lost a parent, or suffers heart attack.

That being said, all of that was self-inflicted by yours truly. As Paul Weller wrote in The Jam song ‘Going Underground’:-

“…..What you see is what you get
You’ve made your bed, you better lie in it…..”