I was sauntering back from Mercadona this evening with an ecoligical bag full of last minute veg for Christmas, before stopping off at Consum for a couple of bottles of their pretty well-priced Rueda. To be honest, the veg weren’t particularly for Christmas, it was just that I wanted something to go alongside the chicken I’d roasted earlier today (with shaved ginger and slivers of garlic slid under the skin, in case you want to know).
It was a blow when they closed Marks and Spencer in Valencia about four years ago, and I lost the only place I could buy a Christmas pudding for one. Laugh if you will, but that meant a lot to me, the good old M&S Christmas pudding for one. I’ve had a cardboard carton of Birds Custard Powder in the cupboard for years, which gets spooned out now and again when I serve up a – usually – burnt apple crumble. Yes, I know, it’s almost impossible to bugger up a crumble, but take it from me, my oven can, and does regularly.
Anyway, we’re not here to talk about puddings.
I was taking a detour around a bulky old granny when her phone rings. I hold up my hands, it still strikes me as strange when I see an old biddy take out a slim-Jim telling-bone and chat into it as naturally as if she were jawing over the wall with a neighbour. I’m a throw-back – I admit it.
So there I was, skirting the old dear with her shiny patent leather handbag and iphone, when I hear her say,
“Hijo, ¡que pasa! No te preocupes, estoy en la calle muy cerca de tu casa y…….”
She thinks it’s her son, wondering where she is. Not that far away, apparently. And she continues yammering on.
“Dos minutos, nada mas, y tengo un botillo de vino para la comido y…..”
“¡Padre! Lo siento muchísimo.” It’s the vicar, not her son at all.
“Es un miraglo. Tu voz tiene lo mismo sonido de mi hijo.” The fact that the vicar and her son have a similar sounding voice seems to be something of a miracle to her. It may well be, but she gets stuck in and tells him how lovely it is to hear from him, but she can’t chat for long because she’s late for pre-Christmas lunch with the son and family, and she thought that was him on the phone wanting to know where she was, even though she was only a few minutes late, and you’d expect that wouldn’t you because the queues at Mercadona when she popped in for a bottle of tinto were terrible, but you’d expect that, wouldn’t you because it was Christmas Eve day and everyone was getting the last few bits in for the family dinner tonight and her and Javier and his family had decided to make it a family lunch instead of dinner, what with her Miguel having passed on last year but one, and to be honest, she couldn’t take the late nights like she used to so……..
I didn’t find out what the vicar called for, and I suspect neither did she. But it was a lovely little moment, nonetheless; an old dearie, done up to the nines, on the way to her family for lunch, and she gets a call from God’s local rep, just before his son’s birthday.
It’s more than I bloody get!