I had lunch with my family yesterday. ‘I haven’t been mentioned for ages,’ my Father said wistfully. ‘I’m happy to be mentioned,’ my Grandfather interjected. ‘But only in the most flattering of terms. Truth-telling is not welcome.’ I nodded meekly. My Grandmother poked me. (It is treacherous, sitting next to my Grandmother. No part of the left side of my body has been left unbruised). ‘I expect you to drink this,’ she said firmly, thrusting a bellini in my face.
‘Well, let me finish my one quickly,’ I replied. I began to drink from my glass. ‘Do hurry up,’ my Grandmother exhorted me, jabbing me in the ribs. Safe across the other side of the table, my little sister smiled smugly. I downed my bellini and grasped my Grandmother’s. ‘Do pour your Grandmother some wine,’ my Grandfather told me sternly. ‘The poor woman. Oh, and you’ve taken her cocktail too. Gosh.’ My little sister laughed indiscreetly as I tried to explain. ‘Oh for goodness sakes lovely, all this chatter isn’t any closer to pouring your Grandmother a glass of wine. We’re 75 years old. Do you think we have endless time?’ my Grandfather replied. I sloshed some wine into my Grandmother’s wine glass. ‘Congratulations,’ I tell my little sister glumly. We’re here to celebrate some new and imposing achievement of my little sister. It’s starting to wear a bit thin. ‘Here’s your gift,’ I say, passing a package across the table. She loves it. ‘Toast!’ my Mother shreeks from her end of the table. ‘Well done. We are so proud of you,’ she says loudly. ‘And well done me for getting the best present,’ I add cheerfully. ‘And also drinking the most bellinis.’ Well, it’s unlikely I’ll be getting one of these celebratory lunches of my own, isn’t it? I might as well make the best of it.