Much as I love the children, I have to admit that having single, childfree time, is great…
Last night I went to Brampton’s newest and most classy restaurant for the fourth time in about 5 weeks (see my review and others equally as enthusiastic and complimentary on Trip Advisor – Capernaum Bistro). I was early arriving – Nicola was a little bit late. I hasten to add that I didn’t mind in the slightest – I was quite happy sitting there day dreaming and doing nothing for a change while Chef-Proprietor Anthony and his team rushed around looking after people. By the time she arrived I’d almost finished a gin and tonic and had munched my way through the delicious crudities (tiny slices of toasted (?) ciabatta with ham hock terrine and – I think – tapinade (sorry Anthony but I can’t remember!). Both were lovely, the ham hock terrine being so delicate that it almost didn’t taste meaty.
Having scoffed the lot, when Nicola arrived we were generously provided with more crudities in the form of little cubes of ham hock with pistaccios. Yum… we then shared a starter of caprese, beef tomatoes and mozzarella with a lovely pesto dressing which I could have just eaten loads of on toast. In fact a large helping of that entire dish with some salad leaves would make a fab. lunch… and fresh pesto is so much better than the stuff in jars. The Co-op started selling fresh pesto at one point but sadly they’ve stopped again. I’ll have to either make my own or keep my fingers crossed that Capernaum opens a delicatessen. In fact one of my ambitions has long been to open a delicatessen in Brampton, and the block in which Capernaum is situated has always seemed the right location. Any funders out there?
Between courses we were served the heavenly surprise of a complimentary palate cleanser. I’m dying to use the term amuse bouche as I think it’s such a great one – lit. ‘amuse the mouth’ – but I’m not sure that’s strictly the right expression and in fact of course it would apply more to the crudities. I choose the word ‘heavenly’ deliberately: the first mouthful of this damson sorbet with a champagne topping had my taste buds dancing with delight. Superlatives aren’t adequate to describe that first mouthful (and the second, third…). And aren’t its colours beautiful?
Nicola then progressed to Beef and Ale pie, which looked lovely, and I had a sirloin steak. I love the straw fries with parmesan and we also shared seasonal veg. with new potatoes and root vegetables. I had said I’d share a dessert with Nicola but in fact by then I was feeling far too full, so I had a liqueur (amaretto) coffee while she had crumble.
Post-dinner we sat and chatted upstairs in the lounge area with a glass of port each, continuing to put the world to rights. This mostly entailed discussing how Brampton was a good place for ex-city-dwellers who want a truly rural life but with facilities (decent wine bars/bistros) as good as those in a city; talking about her forthcoming move to Holmfirth (her husband moves ahead of her and the girls tomorrow); and the reasons for my marriage break up (or should that be breakdown…). I eventually rolled home feeling good about life, and about myself. I have some of the feelings I had when I was single – the excitement of having a social life, potentially doing some travelling, and being able to go out with friends and feel no pressure to get home by a certain time – but with the fulfillment and satisfaction of having children. Sadly, David leaving has given me the space I need from time to time just to relax, unwind and do my own thing. I guess it’s partly that I don’t feel guilty – if the children are being looked after by him I have a few hours or a couple of days when I can switch off to a large extent from being a mother and, guilt-free, just be me.
One question which has come up in the past few days in my conversations with both Kath and Nicola is ‘would I get married again?’. The answer is, I don’t know: there’s a lot to be said for feeling young, free and single at times: on the other hand a good marriage or settled relationship can be an especially close support and companionship. At the moment I’m even in two minds about the whole internet dating thing, though it’s fun to get messages and ‘talk’ to some new guys online: part of me feels that just to do my own thing and concentrate on my writing and singing and some exercise would be enough in addition to my children, work and friends.
In the spirit of temporarily reduced responsibility, I sat down this morning to apply for two jobs – but have decided not to as the deadline is tomorrow, the application form has some difficult questions on it which I don’t want to think about right now, and I’m just not sure enough about the organisation and type of work to want to apply at the moment. Instead I’m off out for a run up the Ridge, to get some kindling for the wood-burner, and then to start some decorating or gardening and to do some writing-related stuff: plus a good hour of singing practice this evening after I get the kids to bed.
Life is good.
Footnote: while running in Ridge Woods I came across a new stone memorial to a Lorna Graves (2014). It was rather lovely: roughly hewn with a relief of a cow and the moon on it. I don’t know who you were Lorna Graves, nor the significance of the cow and the moon, but your memory lives on in a glorious spot.