Wednesday 23 March 2022

Eat Out To Meet Out

Hello, dear readers!

Right, no politics this week, I promise.

Instead, I’d like to transport you back to a happier, more carefree time. I’m talking about those halcyon days of endless sun and carefree fun. Days of yore, in which things like eating out and socialising could be undertaken without a full cost/benefit analysis.

I’m talking about last Sunday.

Family Feast
Yes, even in these frugal times, this last weekend saw yours truly, along with my perpetually amazing wife, Tina, get in the motor, say ‘bugger the fuel prices’ and make our way to my native Leeds for a meal and a meetup with the fam.

This wasn’t just some random whim, you understand (I mean, who can afford whims these days?). No, this was a special meal for a special reason, and that was not one, but two family birthdays.

A Month In the Life
To put you in the picture, the month of March is somewhat of a busy one in our family. There are not one, not two, not three, but four family birthdays to remember (ish). Add in Mother’s day, and at least one good friend’s birthday too, and it’s what I would call a lot. It was, therefore, somewhat of a blessing that for my mother's birthday, Mother's day, and my niece, Holly's birthday, the aforementioned meal was arranged so that the tribe could meet up, and presents, cards, and all the rest of it, taken care of in one fell swoop.

As I indicated, we set off in the car, leaving a good hour to get there in order to allow plenty of getting lost time. Our destination was toward the bottom end of Leeds city centre, and although I was born and raised in that fair city, the centre is a different place to drive around than it is to walk (you know what I mean). The one-way loop system alone can be frustrating, especially with the odd extremely well-placed camera (No, of course I’ve never been caught on film. How very dare you), but with a fair bit of planning, a helping hand from google Maps, some cavalier parking, and a little luck, we got to Ciao Bella pretty much bang on time, with cards and prezzies to boot, and we weren’t even the last to arrive!

Double Talk
We settled in and settled down for a couple of hours together, long overdue and, as we did, the familiar patterns of banter and counter-banter settled in too. The company was excellent, the setting pleasant, and as for the food, well, it was tasty, although I could have eaten a little more (that might say more about me than the food), but all in all, apart from my order being taken wrong, and my food arriving some time after everyone else’s, it really was a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The only real negatives were Holly's sister, Gabby, coming down with Covid the day before and missing the meal (get well soon, Gabs), the messed up order, and me patting my dad on his very sore back (sorry!)

Now, as I might have mentioned in passing, times are increasingly hard right now (no politics, no politics, no politics), but, thanks to a voucher offer, the meals and the drinks were more than affordable, and such extravagancies are not, by any means, the norm for us. Not that it mattered all that much, because, food and drink to one side, I would have paid double, just for the company.

Until next time


Hey, folks! If you would care to take a look at some of my more creative writing, then the links below will transport you to the magical worlds of two anthologies my short (and in one case, very short) stories have been included in. Feel free to check’em out!

New Tales Of Old: Volume 2

Death Ship


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