We spent most of the day after the games night at Gary’s slobbing around the house in our night clothes and watching old films on TV.
After all the recent exertion’s associated with renting out Dorcas’s house prior to her moving in with me, so it was really nice to have such a lazy day.
However we paid for it over the coming week as the deadline for Dorcas vacating her house loomed large and we spent every spare moment moving her and her possessions from Finchbottom to Bushy Down.
And so began a new chapter in our lives when we would no longer be two lonely single dwellers living half-lives but one loving couple sharing a house and home.
The Monday after our first weekend of officially living together was a normal workday for me but Dorcas had managed to book off a couple of days off work so she could unpack the last of her things and make herself at home.
A lot of her making herself at home seemed to involve rearranging the cupboards and taking over the majority of the wardrobes.
But despite that she certainly seemed to have spent her time productively and the house was looking more homely than it had ever done.
And as I walked through the front door on my arrival home on Tuesday evening I was greeted by the smell of home cooking.
“Hi Hon” I called “Something smells nice”
Her head suddenly appeared from around the kitchen door and said
I walked down the hall to meet her and gave her a kiss
“No its not you” I said “I can definitely smell something tasty”
“Cheek” Dorcas said and hit me with a wooden spoon
“Ow” I said “what’s cooking then?”
“Bacon and onion dumpling” she replied then continued in a very bad Italian accent “Justa lika mamma used to maka”
“And is yours as good as mamas?” I asked thinking that if it tasted half as good as it smelt I was in for a treat.
“Better” she replied “now go and finish setting the table”
I did as instructed and then opened a bottle of wine, I returned to the kitchen just in time to see the suet delight coming out of the oven and I’m sure that the oven sighed.
As I sat and ate the heaviest most indigestible dumpling I had ever experienced along with lumpy mash, anemic gravy and over cooked veg I thought to myself
“How bad a cook is her mother?”
I persevered and ate most of it and when she said
I didn’t have the heart to tell her the truth
“Lovely” I said
It’s a good job I wasn’t marrying her for her cooking.
Fortunately I could cook and I generally got home an hour before her so I would get the evening meal on the go so as to minimize the risk of having to eat her offerings.
It was about a fortnight after the night of the dumpling when we were summoned to the Fox-Martins for Sunday lunch which I had to say I was rather looking forward to.
Her father Edward was very easy company especially if you restricted the conversation to sport while Marcia thought the sun shone from my every orifice.
But the main thing I was looking forward to was a Roast dinner I wished I could have one every week.
How does the old saying go? Be careful what you wish for.
We were in the car on our way
“Are you sure you don’t mind?” she asked
“Of course” I said “I like your folks and I’m looking forward to a great Sunday lunch”
“Oh” Dorcas said doubtfully “Good”
We arrived just after two and we found Edward in the lounge watching football.
“Hi Dad” she said
“Hello baby girl” he replied and gave her a kiss, then he shook my hand.
“Ben dear boy” he said “sit down, they’ve just kicked off”
“I’ll just say hello to Marcia first” I said and Dorcas led the way.
The aromas emanating from the kitchen were mouthwatering.
“Mum?” Dorcas called
“I’m in here darling” a disembodied voice called back.
I followed Dorcas into the kitchen and kisses and hugs were exchanged between them and then Marcia turned her attention on me.
“It’s lovely to see you Ben” Marcia said “I’m glad you could come”
“It smells delicious” I said “I can’t wait”
“Oh” she said all flustered “that’s a really nice thing to say”
Then Dorcas kissed me and dispatched me to keep her father company.
Edward had a freshly poured beer sitting on the table waiting for me.
“Are there you are” he said without taking his eyes off the screen.
“It’s one nil to City, completely against the run of play”
Marcia called us to the table about half an hour later and we sat down at the table.
Edward poured the wine and Dorcas and Marcia carried the terrines in, then when we were all seated she lifted the cover off the meat platter to reveal the charred remains of what would once have been a very expensive joint of beef.
The vegetables and the gravy were a similar disappointment, the insipidness of the gravy was clearly a family tradition.
As Edward unceremoniously hacked his way through the charcoal he slowly revealed the undercooked redness at its core.
And as I struggled politely through the hideous meal I was left to ponder how two such beautiful women could be such ugly cooks.
So it was with a full stomach and a bad case of indigestion that we drove off from her parents place.
“Did you enjoy your Sunday roast then sweetie?” Dorcas asked
“Oh yes” I replied “it was ….”
“Horrible?” Dorcas interrupted
“No, no” I protested
“Yes, yes” she corrected me “Mums even more rubbish at cooking than I am”
“You’re not rubbish hon” I said
“I am, you could have beaten someone to death with that dumpling it was so heavy” Dorcas said and laughed
“Well maybe not to death, but certainly into a coma” I said and she punched me.