Monday, 9 April 2012

The Raw and the Cooked

The ritual of daily life here begins with turning the heating on. No matter the modern facilities, the elder of the house prefers a condition in the region of primordial freezing. I have found this to be not unusual amongst elders, even if it seems peculiar, even detrimental. The elder will, of course, as soon as he can get away with it, attempt to turn the heating off. These are the rules.
On the occasion of great holidays, the elder females will congregate to form something I will term 'a ruckus' while the elder male settles down to watch football for a very long period of time, if not all day. A great feast will very slowly be prepared, in this case an exact replication of the famous Christmas feast (since there was a turkey left over). In the ruckus the mature females enter various forms of competition, while their associated males will slowly join the party and look on slightly aghast, or join the elder in watching the football. The youth of the tribe will eventually return from swimming lessons and various adolescent assignations to be teased mercilessly on their prospects for the future, such prospects being considered presently marginal given the evidence of 'lack of application' or non participation in wars against the Nazis (a long gone rival tribe). The feast will eventually be served amidst great merriment and occasional malapropism which can extend to physical violence if unchecked.
After the meal, at exactly 9pm, the elder will retire, leaving the tribe 'to it' and venture by prearrangement to the 'Rose and Crown' for the company of 'the lads' who will all sport the mark of respect, the 'Y' on the end of their name (in this way Scott becomes ordained 'Scotty' after the gods 'Scholsy' and 'Giggsy'). He will only return when fully satisfied at approximately two in the morning, despite, or perhaps as a direct result of this behaviour, having reached magisterial eighty two years.
The next morning many phones will ring in many blessed tones as each family member will attempt to 'calm down' and 'get on with their lives' with the heating once more secured in the 'on' position.

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