Sunday June 19th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the family dinner.

Enjoyed breakfast in bed this morning, courtesy of Kat and Max, who also gave me a lovely card he'd made himself (with help from Kat). Then I hung out with the boys while Kat made the chocolate quinoa cake that would later serve as dessert for Father's Day dinner.

Took a family trip into town for lunch (was initially supposed to be for coffee, then lunch... but then we didn't leave the house until 11:30 and that was that). Had a Skype chat with Max and my parents. Went out to the garden with Max to harvest veggies for dinner (broccoli, carrots, peas, and a cucumber from the greenhouse).

Then it was time for dinner on the deck, with the four of us, Kat's parents, Kat's brother and his family, and Becky's brother and mom. Was a lot of fun, especially when Natalie and Max started telling knock knock jokes.

Took two dishwasher loads to take care of most of the cleanup which, I have to say, is a helluva lot nicer than doing them all by hand.

Overall a really nice Father's Day. How could it not be, with these two:

Lucky me.


"Pass the gravy."


"Pass the gravy... please."

"Maybe you should pass the bar before you pass the gravy."

"I wasn't asking you."

"You no good loser. What a disappointment you've become. Why couldn't you have been more like your old man?"

"Just pass the gravy, please."

"I bet you'd like that, wouldn't you? Have somebody else do all the work for you, like usual. You lazy bum."

"Would someone please just pass me the gravy?!?"


Greg said...

Miles looks grumpy in that picture: was he getting tired with all the activity going on around? But it definitely sounds like a great day for you -- seems like there's the odd advantage to this fatherhood thing after all. Although one day a year doesn't seem like a great return on an 18-year investment when I start really analysing it ;-)
I think I'd have enjoyed being there for the knock-knock jokes as well though.
Hmm, I think I've sat through family dinners similar to the ones you've just described. I don't think I can thank you for bringing back those memories, no matter how well written your prose!

The family dinner
The skies were grey and had been all week. At the end of the drive where the gravel turned into grass and then, very shortly after, sand and water, the sea growled angrily at the shore. Waves broke into showers of white spray, dashing themselves impotently and dramatically on the hidden rocks of the reef. The salt smell and rotting seaweed meatiness permeated all the way up to the doors of the house, where Anthony and Elizabeth were getting out of their Ford Mustang.
"The gardener died earlier this year," said Anthony, adjusting his shoelace-thin tie. His eyes ranged over the blank windows of the house.
"Good or bad?" asked Elizabeth. She wobbled slightly on her heels as she ground them into the gravel so she could stand safely.
"Good," said Anthony. "Mother's hated him for years, ever since he topiarised the trees to spell out rude words. She'll want to gloat, but I think that'll be over the pre-prandial drinks. I'm pretty sure the big topic of conversation will be Dahlia's nephew deciding that he's straight after all."
"...poor Dahlia," said Elizabeth after a moment. "Does your mother ever agree with her? And did the gardener really do that?"
"Not consciously," said Anthony. He walked round the car and held his arm out for Elizabeth, and they walked to the doors of the house. "And yes. But there's no way she could have seen them from the windows of the house so we don't know how she found out."
The butler opened the doors before they could knock and the smile on his face was the first real smile that Elizabeth had ever seen on anyone living in the house.
"I'm afraid everyone is dead, Sir," he said. "Welcome home."
"This means we leave and let the police deal with it, right?" Elizabeth's eyes lit up with anticipation.
"No such luck," said Anthony. Overhead the clouds thickened and thunder rolled in the distance. A flash of distant lightning threw everything momentarily into relief. "I've seen mother's will. We're going to have to go in and have dinner with the family regardless."
"They're all arranged at the table," said the butler with ghoulishness. "I'll serve drinks."

Marc said...

Greg - he had yet to reach his current smiley stage, so it was difficult to get a good picture of him. That was the best of the three I took, believe it or not :)

Sorry for the memories... hmm, maybe replying to this comment will only bring them back again... moving on!

I think that somehow, with all that's going on with yours, you've managed to make the butler the creepiest part of it. That's good work!