I'd never eaten African food before- that is if you don't count what they serve in Egyptian hotels- but now- with Ourdert coming round all the time and loving to cook- I'm eating it two or three times a week. Yesterday she made a dish with potatoes and mushrooms and lots of spice. We call it a stew; she calls it a soup. Also she directed us in the roasting of peanuts and the making of peanut butter. Tonight we're reciprocating by having her and Peter round for a traditional English weekend roast. I'm a little afraid they'll find it bland- but there's always mustard.
Ailz's parents met Ourdert yesterday- and proceeded to regale her- as they regale all our friends when they get the chance- with stories about what a horrible kid Ailz was. If I'd been in the room I might have protested, but I wasn't. And maybe my not being in the room was a protest avant la lettre- or- better still- an acknowledgement that we've both of us stopped allowing ourselves to be wound up by the incorrigible, old pests. I chucked them out of the house once- many years ago- for dissing Ailz to my face but they eventually came back and now I'm on (perfunctory) kissing terms with her mother.
It's very quiet this morning. It was very quiet last night as well. This has something to do with the Easter holidays- and is a sign that the recession hasn't stopped people- even poor people- from jetting off to find the sun- and a lot to do with the very noisy family having moved out of the white house at the end of the terrace. We spoke to one of them - the girl called Storm- who is actually the quietest of the bunch- and she said something- while gesturing down the street- about "the other house"- so they can't have gone far. As long as the Friday night courting and drinking sessions happen out of earshot I don't care. Building materials have been delivered to their former home- so it looks as if the landlord is giving the dump a makeover- another sign of ordinary life carrying on in spite of the bankers.
Talking about noisy kids, I went out into the backyard to hang clothes on the line this morning and found we'd acquired a football. My first thought was to boot it back over the fence, but then I remembered how we're honorary grandparents now. Fabrizio isn't old enough for a kickabout yet- he's still at the age when any toy is basically a teething rusk- but it won't be long....