I stretch my arms across the table and your hands find mine. Glasses topped up with beer sit happily on the etched wood.
You look at me and smile.
Your week sounds so busy. You explain who you have seen and where you have been. You tell me outcomes and plans for the next few days. You sip your drink. You grin.
We talk about what we can do, together, with friends on approaching dates.
Coffee with Charlotte, a fry up with Claude, a luncheon with Fran. A swift half with Bill, a curry night with Alex and Rachel, sushi with Katia. Each conversation a treasure. With Sara, James and Jim we drink martinis, with Daniel we devour roast dinners and wash them down with red wine.
Food and drink are central in our lives.
Every day can be Shrove Tuesday if you want. It really can.
Cupboard doors open and close, cats meow, mates convene.
Friendships are made with the accompanying ease of clattering glassware, silverware and laughter.
“Could you pass the gravy boat?”
“Another round? Same again?”
The Basketmakers Arms, The Pond, The Bee’s Mouth. Then down to the seafront for a blast of fresh air. Or back inside for the warmth and comfort of tea, crumpets, a blanket and a film.
Children in checked pyjamas, who still draw faces on the morning window panes of our home, watch and learn.
Donning denim, we wander to The Foundry for a game of cards. We sit now, palms on pints and watch as the children deal out each hand with clumsy glee.
Here we are. Just a family. Ups and downs. Rainy days and sunny ones. Upon picnic bench or bar stool. We’re sitting at the pub table where an excited child has blown out the tealight like a birthday candle. A wish was made.*
And we don’t want for anything.
*Except football stickers.
I stretch my arms across the table and your hands find mine. Glasses with a laced frosting of beer sit happily on the etched wood.