ONE of the best dinners I have ever had was on a medieval theme. The memory put me in the mood to write this in Chaucerian English but having struggled through The Wife Of Bath for O-level English Literature, I abandoned the idea. All that “when showres soote” stuff is incomprehensible and the last thing this blog needs is to become even more incomprehensible.
I knew I was going to be in for a good night because it was at my sister’s house (the hostess with the mostest) with food by my nephew (the brilliant cook) and his daughters (following in his cookery footsteps and also a dab hand at decorating).
Fancy dress was optional but the dearly beloved and I thought we would make an effort. Inspiration failed us but he eventually dressed up in an old red dressing-gown with a big wooden cross painted gold he had made himself and went as the Spanish Inquisition. Nobody expected that....
I toyed with the idea of painting big red spots on my face and going as the Black Death - you can't accuse me of being tasteful.
In the end I searched out some ecclestiastical garb I had worn to a previous fancy dress party and went as The Prioress in Canterbury Tales. The dearly beloved looked at me in disdain, asked who I was and when I told him said drily, “I should have guessed," his sarcasm arising from the fact that he went to a secondary modern school where Chaucer was not high on the agenda whereas learning to smoke and snog girls behind the bike shed was.
His sneering remark was somewhat spoiled by being dressed in a red “frock” and a hat with a red scarf wrapped around it. I told him: "You lack gravitas," and he sneered even more.
I was given the task of finding some medieval background music - not exactly the Golden Age of jolly tunes. Even so, I downloaded some songs of the Summer is Ycumen In variety with instrumentals played on those well-known instruments dulcimer, cabinet organ and sackbut.
To my ears it was all pretty dire stuff. I’m surprised no one asked me to haul my sorry sackbut out of there - and take my music with me. Which they did, in effect. After a couple hours of depressing music plinking-plonking in the background, people asked me if there was anything else on my i-Pod. Cue the medieval Rolling Stones (well, the band is pretty old) and the equally ancient Elton John.
It was a great night - brilliant company and the food was astonishing, each dish surpassing the last. If this was how they ate in the Middle Ages, let me find a time machine.
- I have another blog in the A to Z Challenge, That's Purrfect. Have a look; it won't kill you!