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Exeat: Day 154/84: Back Home and Beyond Quarantine now ...

Dolphinstouns home from windy Weymouth. Yes, they had four days there and quite a lot of sunshine but the winds they did blow from the SW and the waves were far bigger than usual behind Aunty Vi's. Message was that as ever it had been most enjoyable although almost all eateries were fully booked. Toby Dog remains un-keen on the sea, indeed water in general. Good news was that the electrics in the bunk room have been successfully replaced with the benefit of Avril's No Nails technology and some inspired re-wiring! They came to supper tonight. It was Avril's invitation on Saturday that it would be more than welcome as they'd just be getting home but I'd doubted it. Sunday morning I had doubts about my doubts but on sharing them I was told they'd been invited anyway … which was very good, because Laura made an unsolicited point of saying how helpful it had been. It was incidentally Sunday pork with own garden runner beans and courgettes and, although it's officially National Sponge Cake Day*, Avril's pudding was Blackberry & Apple Crumble - without custard because of our milk scheduling across 7 days! The pork was to be offered with Apple Sauce crafted from windfalls in the Manor House Orchard but alas there was mildew on the surface but Julian able to conjure up shop-bought sauce and 'Mr Rogerson's Yorkshire blended sauce' could still be achieved with either Taylor's or Coleman's mustard - or a French mustard just 3 days after Eat Before. [I'd proudly detected the necessary blackberries to the west as I'd walked back from the letter box on the Village Green; Avril's search to the east had been unsuccessful.] Red wines were on offer - South African Pinotage or Chianti Classico Reserva. We also had the White Pinot Noir 2018 from Dorset's Furleigh Estates - which was their preference. A new discipline appeared for Julian - 'no coffee after 2pm' so I drank alone although the grandsons had spotted the Kilo of Peanut M&Ms Avril is sharing 4 per day and they both took advantage of the special growing boys allowance of 6. What was most noticeable, as it had been with the Ilkley crew the previous Sunday, was how noisily boisterous they were. Just starting to wonder whether breaking out from immediate familial isolation might have that affect. Henry was somewhat dismayed at Manchester City's trouncing in the Semi Finals of the Europa League Cup but I was able to get him to shake hands on a bet of £5 that City would win the Premier League in 2021. With Leeds United now promoted that's going to be tough call ….

* Sponge cake is believed to be one of the first non-yeasted cakes and thought to have originated in the Caribbean. The earliest printed recipe for sponge cake comes from an English poet and author, Gervase Markham. In 1615 he published his recipe in The English Huswife, Containing the Inward and Outward Virtues Which Ought to Be in a Complete Woman. The central image is of a take-home slice of Julian's Birthday sponge cake given to me earlier this year by Laura … a fine example.

Published Date: August 23rd 2020


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