Monday, 16 June 2008

Koios's Visit

Had a lovely lazy weekend with Koios and, later, Pro coming to visit. Unfortunately it didn't start very well, with me picking up a nasty tummy bug - but luckily it was out of my system by the time Koi arrived, aided by an afternoon nap. A nap! I am SO old.

This weekend was part of Koi's birthday present, and so designed to be as relaxing as possible for her. I remembered how much she said she loves kedgeree, so I made some for supper and included an asparagus, cheese and ham tart (Fisher made the pastry base to help out). I think it all went down well. I'm not usually a huge fan of kedgeree, but I chose non-dyed smoked haddock which improved things on a visual scale, and the recipe turned out very well. Coriander seeds are a very pleasant addition, and I didn't put any curry in it. I was very pleased with the tart, and thought adding ham to the recipe was probably a good idea as it added just a little saltiness to an otherwise slightly bland concept. In future, I might add just the tiniest taste of mustard to the cheese sauce.

We yattered and nattered, but desipte my afternoon nap I was utterly wiped out by around 11, and had to call it a night. The bug was obviously still causing me some gyp - but Koios and Fisher weren't far behind me (figuratively speaking. Obviously we didn't all get in the same bed) which made me feel slightly less pathetic.

On Saturday we had a leisurely morning. Koi enjoyed tea in bed followed by a simple breakfast of scrambled eggs on toast. She then had a brainwave, suggesting we went into Dundee to buy a new game. Genius! This we duly did, popping along to Borders. The selection was poor, but we found 2 possibles - a game called Apples to Apples, and one called About Time. After giving them the sort of examination usually only undertaken by MEs engaged in autopsies, we decided they both looked potentially fun and got them both. Actually, Kio bought one as a pressie for us, which was lovely.

We then popped along to Matalan, because ... well, frankly, Fisher and Koi can't bloody help themselves. It was very successful for them, though, as they both bought at least one dress - Koi's being a Spanish-style, dotty/floral little number in very dark blue (black?), and Fisher snaffling a simple pink tennis dress and a full length print dress. This done, they meandered slowly to the till as I started to chafe. There's something about Matalan. It's fine for up to 20 minutes, but any more time than that and I start to feel the urge to grab the nearest semi-automatic and start firing.

Back at home we cracked open About Time and discovered it quite delightful. It's a basic board game, but involves guessing the correct date of each question. For example:

"In January, the Act of Union created the United Kingdom. When?"

You have to write down the correct year (Fisher - 1707, thinking it meant the Scottish one. Koios - 1801, spot on but only because she read it in a Sharpe novel. Me - 842, because I confused it with the famous Act of Onion, whereby Anglo Saxon peasants were no longer able to use the onion as a form of currency) and the person closest wins the next turn. The idea is to win tokens with each correct guess, and move your little historical figure closer to the centre. Koios won - a lot. I revealed a complete, utter ignorance about anything that has happened since the death of Henry VIII. Fisher only knows history in art form. But it was still good fun.
Apples to Apples is a simpler form of fun, and will only truly come into its own when we play with the whole Cheese Board - especially, I suspect, Blarney.

Pro turned up as we were in mid game and was immediately roped in, before I gave Koi a massage and we got ready to go out for supper. We went to The Seafood Restaurant in St Monan's, which is a little cuddlier than the austere, chic version in St Andrews. My main course of sea trout and mash was disappointing, being very much just trout and mash, but starter and pud were great. More importantly, both Koi and Pro enjoyed the meal very much and we had a bottle of quite sweet but flavoursome white wine (can't remember it, though), a glass of champagne, and a bottle of Sauterne to finish.

Back home, Pro and I finished the night on some whisky (Bowmore 18 year old - thank you Janus!) and then, again, I had to hit the hay. Pathetic, I tells ya.

Sunday kicked off with pancakes, bacon and sausages for brunch. We then took advantage of a little window of sunshine and sat in the garden playing About Time until it started to rain. Inside, we watched the Artois Championship final (Nadal beat Djorkovic in 2 sets, but it was a good, close game) and the cricket (England beat New Zealand in a 1 day international, and did so quite comfortably). We snacked on picnic food and barely moved all day. I hope this was just what the doctor ordered for Koios. Originally I'd hoped to go for walks and let exercise help with her stress levels, but she broke her toe and can't walk far, so it had to be a lounging weekend.

Koi and Pro left around 5, and I headed out to play some tennis. Unfortunately, Sunday club nights seem to have died a death. There were only 2 other people there - a teenaged boy and an old duffer - so we knocked up for 20 minutes or so, in the hopes that someone else would show and make up a 4, but no-one did. The old duffer then left, so I played singles with the teenage boy and spanked him soundly. Not that it was any of my doing, I assure you. He just couldn't hit any balls over the net, and served at least 2 double faults every game. This, I've noticed is a major aspect of the male learner's game. While girls will just make sure they get the ball in, regardless of how rubbish the technique may be, boys are more likely to want to do it right - which means they simply don't get it in at all. In the long run, getting it right is always going to serve you better - but it doesn't do a 16 year old boy's ego much good to be beaten 6-0 by a slightly decrepit woman in her 30s.

Speaking of slightly decrepit - my left ankle is no better, and now my right knee is extremely painful as well. This is a disaster, so this week I am completely resting. It will drive me crazy, and I daresay I'll crack - but I'll have to limit myself to swimming only. This means I'll come down with some nasty bug owing to the unhygienic nature of swimming in this country. Hey ho. Rather that than lose my fitness levels - such as they are.

So that's that. Today I must do some work on my massage course, do some planning, and generally try and plan the next few months so I stop feeling slightly dizzy over all the things we have to do.