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#1 Son, Online Shopping & English Food In England

Yesterday and today are Bear’s days off. Yesterday, nothing got done because of college work. Today, nothing’s getting done because of politics. At some point around 8pm, he’ll be disappearing off upstairs to partake in what I’ve been informed is a political committee meeting… if I hear laughter, like I did during a ‘conference call’ last week, there’ll be trouble. He spends enough time every day glued to political debates, chat forums, messenger chat groups etc. etc., without taking up the only time I get to spend with him on that stuff as well. Even when we do sit down together to watch something, he’s got his phone or iPad to hand and it’s starting to piss me off… again.!

Last night #1 son called just as Bear was deciding whether he needed an extra few minutes to finish whatever was so important he had to still be doing it at 9pm. I was glad he called and grateful for the distraction from my rapidly rising temper and spent 3 hours chatting to him, while he was trying to multi-task with making a cheesecake for his distant fiancee. He finally got to see her two weeks ago… but hasn’t seen her since, then two days ago she agreed to come by and see him, so he’s making dessert for her, because she loves cheesecake apparently. I had to ask if she knew about the cheesecake before or after she’d agreed to honour him with her valuable time. He said he’d decided to make it after she’d agreed. Clever boy.

It seems to me she’s deliberately distancing herself from him, making plans to go out with her friends once the lockdown’s over, rather than spending time with him, her fiancé. Unfortunately, he’s smitten and won’t get the message until she dumps him despite my best efforts to make him see sense without being as subtle as a breeze block. I just know this is going to end badly and I really don’t want to have to pick him up and put him back together again… the last girl who ripped his heart out nearly killed him. 😦 Anyway *big sigh* last night he decided, having never made cheesecake before in his life, that he wanted to try to make a flapjack cheesecake base… following a recipe he found online.

Well, sort of following it. He made sure he had everything measured out first and some idea of what he was supposed to do with it and then didn’t bother looking at the recipe again until I’d asked him for the eighth time what the recipe said to do… by this time he’d put the syrup in a pan with the sugar and was then left with 150g of frozen butter that needed melting before going in the pan, so he puts it in the pan, where it separates and looks stringy, but he doesn’t have a whisk… Oh my life… so in steps Mum with a suggestion to use two forks face to face and see how that works. Apparently really well, because said butter once properly melted and beaten, incorporated into the syrup mixture perfectly… now for the rolled oats mix *rolls eyes*.

Does he have to chop the chopped fruit smaller.? He didn’t use the mixed fruit the recipe recommended because his fiancee doesn’t like raisins, so he used cranberries and apricots instead, should he lessen or add more than the recipe says.? How do you roll oats.? This is a 25 year old grown man whose worked in busy restaurants and easily passed three levels of college courses on cake baking and confectionery. Which is strange because he hates cooking with a passion. I won’t describe the cheesecake mix itself, suffice to say he used a fat-free cream and cream cheese instead of the full-fat versions the recipe recommended. I’ll wait until later to find out how it went…

Before #1 son’s call last night I was looking for an appropriate toy for my grandson’s 2nd birthday on Tuesday. This morning I started looking for a summer outfit instead, as I was duly informed that #2 son had asked for clothes instead of toys. He and his fiancee live in a tiny two-bedroom flat and don’t have the storage space needed for all of their son’s toys. So I found a gorgeous dinosaur patterned shorts and shirt set and a pair of bright orange monster clog-sandals that he’ll look adorable in.

The problems started when I went to pay. It was a UK clothing store (website) that apparently only delivers to the UK, which is totally fine as it means they deliver within a decent time frame, unlike European stores shipping to the UK, but because that’s the case they don’t accept European phone numbers or addresses, which makes it damned difficult to buy anything for someone living in the UK if the buyer doesn’t. Which I don’t. So after trying our address twice and being refused, I tried my eldest son’s… still refused. Huh.? He lives in the UK, so what gives.? So then I tried my parent’s address and it was accepted.

Bugger.! So then I had to message my mother and let her know I’d used her address as a billing address and given her mobile number, so there was every chance she’d receive delivery times and dates via text next week. For fuck sake.!! After that I then had to put my youngest son’s address in twice before it would accept it and finally managed to pay. Had I had more time I would have looked elsewhere and not put up with all that buggering around. I hate online shopping.

All that talk of cheesecake last night had me thinking about other desserts and whether I could make flapjacks too. Would you believe you cannot get glacé cherries in Dutch supermarkets.? Seriously. No glacé cherries, no mixed peel, no sultanas. Apparently there’s no call for them as the Dutch don’t eat fruitcake or make anything that would contain mixed peel or sultanas. Weirdos.! They don’t have blocks of Jelly either. Yes, I know I’ve lived here for nearly ten years, so should have known that by now… but I’ve only done a proper Christmas cake and pudding once since I’ve been here, and all of those ingredients were brought back from England the month before, because we were in Tesco’s at the time and Bear suggested getting it all, so I haven’t needed to look for them.

It now looks like I’m going to have to make a list of all the awesome English foodstuffs that can’t be found over here so that we can get them when we go back to England in October, like Scotch eggs, sausage rolls, crumpets, chicken kiev, Eccles cakes, sausages… mmmmm.! making me hungry just thinking about it. 😀

claytoonz

Nationally Syndicated Editorial Cartoonist

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