I’m taking my daughter Rachel for lunch today – Accompanied by her grandma (my mum), we’re venturing to a local Italian restaurant. Getting my mater to eat something which isn’t English fare is always a challenge. However, after assuring her the eatery will’ve something containing potatoes amongst it’s Mediterranean menu, I’ve persuaded my forebear to join Rach and her eldest offspring.at the trattoria.

As a contingency for the menu being bereft of the spuds, I’ll take along a Maris Piper for Mrs S senior to gnaw upon whilst her granddaughter and me enjoy a pasta or pizza dish.

Rachel is spending a week in Leeds; visiting from her current fixed abode in Tunbridge Wells, catching up with family and friends; from her base at my marital home. Time where my estranged wife will no doubt ensure our youngest offspring’s positivity levels don’t get higher than two on the euphoria scale.

As an aside,, it was great to see both my adult kids at the weekend, during a surprise party for their grandma, of which I write about in Surprise For The Birthday Girl. With the prevailing restrictions on planet COVID, I’ve hardly seen either of them in 2020. To incorrectly quote a much used adage, we’ve been social distanced ships which haven’t passed in the night

As are the circumstances with numerous parents of kids of all ages, the void left by not seeing my children has been cavernous. As I’ve alluded to in previous prose, I think upon the 30 and 27 year olds as younger siblings. My brio levels always reaching a higher plateau in the duos company. This euphoria consequential of the pride I hold at how they’ve grown into loving, caring individuals, along with the obligatory laughter which accompanies these familial rendezvous.

Jonny and Rachel’s company, either face to face or telephonic, the only guaranteed cure when I’m stricken with depressive episodes…… Unless they’re asking for money!….. Or, it was anyway until I got power of attorney of their grandma’s bank account.

As I commence this element of my diario literario, I’ve recently returned sporting a burgeoning belly after demolishing la mia festa da trattatore. Like the father of a young child, yours truly ending up not just consuming my meal but also half of my mum’s.

I didn’t succumb to this challenge of troughing a pizza and a half. However, as a consequence of this gluttony, my chinos waist is currently being put through one hell of a stress test. GJ Strachan’s trousers the victim of collateral damage manifesting from his mater wanting to leave some space for her consumption of a potato cheesecake dessert.

Yours truly still managed to consume a dessert after my man verses pizza contest, but I chose the lighter, palate cleansing, option of lemon ice cream. As it turned out, Maggie also left half of her stodgy potato cheesecake. A submission which, when announcing, I’m certain led to my stomach rumble the words “You bloody dare, Strachan!”

Rachel ordered the pork and beef meatballs in a chilli sauce. A fact I can relay with some certainty as I heard her conveying to the waitress “Can I have pork and beef meatballs, please?”….. Unless, of course, they brought her the wrong meal.

At least Rach managed an incident free ordering of her food….. My mum, whose cataracts are causing her a few sight issues of late, originally asked a customer returning from the ladies room for a Margarita pizza with potato topping.

The trattoria’s patron politely informed my mum she was unable to facilitate that request: prior to returning to her seat.at an adjacent table…. Leading Maggie to suggest “The staff are a bit rude, aren’t they?!” to her dumbstruck granddaughter.

Anyhow, my first restaurant tarry since COVID reared it’s ugly head in the UK, made for a pleasant lunch in the company of Mrs and Miss Strachan. They were a host of laughs and good food, the only downside being losing my chinos waist button after, under the strain of my expanding gut, it jettisoned under wall secured seating at the far end for the restaurant.

A potato pizza