I was just eating lunch and had one of those moments, which included a clear and happy memory of my dad – who is currently very ill in the UK.
My mum and dad come from working class origins – my mum the daughter of a farm labourer and my dad from the roughest streets of Nottingham. The amount they have achieved in life – our burgeoning and spreading family, kids as far flung as the US and South Africa but most of all that close and abiding family – is a story in and of itself.
When I was growing up, whenever mum would roast meat, dad could be found after dinner in the kitchen, with a doorstop of bread, which he would dip into the still warm ‘drippings’ and savor like a connoisseur – and truly it is an experience and taste like no other, especially if the meat was lamb. Sweetness!
Different times, different times – the calorie-police wouldn’t condone such behavior now.
But there were good laughs with dad when we gathered about the dripping after dinner.
Today, I ate a light lunch of salmon and chicken with carrots and cucumber, dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and ground black pepper. It doesn’t get much better and this is one of my staple meals as I’m cutting my weight healthily rather than through fad. Lovely. Afterwards, I ripped the end off a fresh-baked loaf of wholemeal bread
[can you tell we went to the supermarket yesterday?]
and wiped the olive-oil/balsamic/pepper mix up. It had the taste of the salmon to it. It was scrummy.
And I was suddenly back with my dad and his drippings.
Seeing myself behaving just as he did – the food being the only change – I felt oddly comforted, knowing that he’s here in my everyday.
So, while things change, some things don’t – and it’s nice to know that the presence of love can shape us and stay with us over years.
Heal well, dad.