Yesterday marked my own fourth full day in our new apartment and our ninth day here. You see, after abandoning Ian so I could swan off to Phuket on the day we moved in, I only got properly ‘home’ five days ago. This made yesterday our first Sunday. And according to tradition that has survived living in Dubai, Oman, Norway and the Netherlands, on Sundays, the Parfitts eat roast dinner!
I’d already spied a supply of rather tasty looking pork joints, with proper crackling-ready skin on my first ‘trip out’ two months ago, and so Jason’s at Bangsar Shopping Centre was the first port of call on our first ever real shopping expedition yesterday. Shopping for food always excites me, providing I find what I like, and yeah, I know, Jason’s is expensive, but they also sold organic quinoa, millet pasta and other weird things I happen to prefer, so that was where we went.
We’d had to give away all our food items before we left The Hague, as they were not allowed in the shipment, so it was a sad day when I was forced to say goodbye to the contents of my vast ‘spice’ and ‘tea’ drawers. To be able to replenish stocks was a joyful experience, made more so because Ian was there to carry the heaviest bags!
The reason for this long-winded explanation, is that just as roast dinner goes together with Sundays, so too does sharing our first proper meal (created in our own kitchen, using pots and pans that have now been extracted from the 256 boxes we brought along) with special friends.
It had to be Joe, Emma and their girls, Jessica and Laura, we invited. No family has fulfilled the role of ‘great friends’ more than they. They’ve answered our questions, shown us around, fed us when we were sick of hotel food and reminded how to be silly and play again, with their girls. We knew Joe and Emma over 20 years ago when we lived in Oman, and we were the couple with the young children.
Then when they arrived, bottle of Prosecco in hand, last night, we knew we’d definitely got some good un’s there. But there was more. The girls had made us a cake and not only taken photographs of the stages of the process that they’d made into a poster, but Jessica had also written me a poem about food. Now, that was ingenious! Luckily, I had also unearthed the fridge magnets.
So, we toasted our new home for the first time on our new terrace. We tested the oven for the first time, and discovered it worked, even though I did need an upside down tin as a bottom shelf. We found a table cloth and the wine glasses and enjoyed roast pork, crackling, apple sauce, three veg and roasties, followed by homemade chocolate mousse (there should have been strawberry ice cream but I learned that rather than setting it gets more runny than ever in this heat – note to self, ice cream maker goes in the freezer to mix next time). Could there be a more perfect way to christen the apartment? I don’t think so.
However, there was more good news to come… young children go to bed by 7.30, particularly when there is school the next day, so we’d (sorry, Ian had) cleared up in good time to watch a film. As I continued to clear the table, I went into the kitchen to see Ian had cut a fat slice of the cake. He couldn’t possibly have been hungry but he just could not resist. The best news of all was that the cake was delicious.