Thursday, June 17, 2010

Learning to live in England, Part 08

Saturday, 12 June

James and Kim had his parents (David and Julia) and us over to their house for a barbeque. It was steaks with oven-roasted potatoes and a pasta salad, all very yummy. (I suspect Chef David may have been surprised at how good that steak was. As good or better than in your typical American restaurant. Julia had brought an apple crumble with custard, to top it all off. (Custard here is a thick liquid, usually served warm and poured over your dessert.) Kim, who was slightly under the weather from having been out boogeying until three or four this morning, served us some of her homemade wine, and it was good, too, if you like fruity, sweet wine, which we do.

We sat out in their small back lawn in the warm sunshine to enjoy our meal.

It served as a dress rehearsal for the larger party they are giving tonight. this is the night of the much-anticipated World Cup match between the USA and the UK. They have having about 14 people over, including children.

How they are going to accomodate so many people I do not know, as their apartment is as tiny as ours ir not tinier. As you come in the front entrance, you see stairs on your left and the living room on your right. In it are a huge, curvy sofa and a huge, flat-screen television, and that's all, or if there's more you don't notice it. Behind the stairs in the space with the sloping ceiling is a lighted terrarium housing a female Bearded Dragon named Torres, after James' favorite soccer player footballer. To the rear is the kitchen, newly remodelled, with black coutnertopsa nd black tiles, and past that, the sliding doors to the back yard.

Upstairs are two bedrooms, one serving as a home office for James, the wall of which Kim has painted in black, red, white, and yellow geometric shapes to look very much like a Mondrian painting.

Like young Elpida and Pantelis in Greece, James and Kim like decorating in black. The carpeting on the stairs and upstairs is black, as is some of the wallpaper, and the bathroom tiles.

In the bathroom is a square basin atop a wooden block, giving the whole thing a modern look.

Okay, just thought you might enjoy a description of one English home.

After about three hours or so, in the mid-afternoon, David and Julia took us to their house. We moved some light furniture from the conservatory out to the garden in back, and sat there in the warm sun and cool breeze, open fields ahead of us, and the sunken garden to our right,

At 5;30, David announced 'drinking time.' I had a nap instead. I stretched out on a sofa plus a footstool in the summerhouse and dozed a solid hour.

Supper was another gourmet affair, with shrimp and tiny scallops in a rich lobster sauce of David's concocting. This was followed by a surprisingly very good moussaka bought frozen from the grocery store supermarket. Dessert Pudding was a cream torte with raspberries. Yum!

It was nine minutes into the World cup match before we remembered we ought to watch it. Traitor that I am, I had come intending to support the UK, but I just couldn't do it. I would've been pleased had the USA won, but the tie draw probably the best outcome for us all in the circs. Actually, it was wonderful that the USA managed to hold its own, being the underdog, and widely expected to be trounced. The English goalkeeper is now the subject of much conversation. One commentator said, 'The only ones I feel sorrier for are the British soldiers in Afghanistan, who were forced to watch the match with American soldiers!'

Hint from Helen: It doesn't help for you Brits to play God Save the Queen at a football match against the USA.  It's a patriotic tune for us, too, called America.


elizabeth said...

as always, I enjoy your travelogue like entries; and the description - I had never heard of black carpet being used! Oh man, I could never have this... imagine how much Cleo Cat Hair would show up! ;) Blessed weekend to you!