PAIGE 56 - IN WHICH I BECOME A PARENT

Mom, Dad, I just want to write and tell you how much I appreciate your having patience with me as a child. Thank you for never bringing up the incident with dog food in the coffee grinder, bouillon cubes in the shower head, or stilton in the air con vents, although the last one did mask the musky smell pretty considerably. The reason I bring this up is Mary, who is generally the reason I bring up memories of being a kid.

You see, she's due for her mechanical service this month, actually exactly this time next week. So I thought, all routine, I'll just ring up the Dylanator (he hasn't given me permission to use this name, but L thinks its funny) and book in a time for next week. All of that was ok, except for the fact that I off-handedly mentioned it to Mary. Oh boy. And oh girl too. She was all asking me why it was a WHOLE week ahead, and why can't she just go now, etc. etc. etc. So I said Mary this is a scheduled thing, and it costs me money. I want to make sure you get it at the right time, and all so that you're a healthy happy car. She went on about wanting to go, and talk to Dylan, and are you sure there's nothing wrong with me, and I just said Mary that's enough. Apparently though, it wasn't enough. She went on for quite some time. I left the garage, went and made some dinner, and came back and she was still harping on about needing to go. So I said Mary the closest thing, which I'm happy to do for you, is to ring Dylan and L and see if they want to catch up tonight for dinner. She quietened down after that, and I always like catching up with the soon-to-be-couple. I said I can't change your appointment Mary, but I'll give them a ring now. Then I realized.

If they were coming for dinner, I had to make it.

No big deal, Livi. I mean, you're not accident-prone or anything, you have an oven* and know how to use it. It's all good. By the time they arrive it'll be all ready.

I'm practising my lines for stand-up. Am I getting better?

So I rang them, and all the meanwhile while the ringer was ringing, I was thinking hmm do I actually want them to come over? Yes I do. But do they REALLY want dinner? Maybe they've eaten already.

Then they answered, and they wanted to come over. They hadn't eaten. All good, I said, I've got dinner on the way!

I had practically dug myself a hole to Australia by this time. But I thought to myself well what can I make that I know? Spaghetti napolitana. I have spaghetti. I have neapolitan, but it comes in chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. So I cracked open some tins of tomato sauce. They call it passata. I think that's Italian for DOES NOT COME OUT OF CLOTHES. Then I cracked open the spaghetti. Then I realized spaghetti is not meant to be cracked. But I was getting into the whole cracking-open thing, and now I had a package of spaghetti bits. Then I remembered that the Italians have lots of different sorts of pasta, some big, some small. This was just an artisan form of filini. Filini napolitana. I looked at the time. I whipped out my jars of salt and pepper, put a generous handful into the sauce, and chucked it into my beloved oven, for 103 seconds on high. Then as I was going to put the salt and pepper back, I saw salt and pepper containers in the cupboard. As it turns out, it was pseudo-salt and pseudo-pepper, also known as sugar and poppy seeds. Hm. Well the whole new culinary scene is all about fusion, I told myself. Hopefully D and L have similarly adventurous tastes. The filini was by this time boiling, so I turned off the pot, drained it, and served it into three bowls. Then I put the sauce generously over top of each.

They came at just past seven, and the food was hot, so they ate. They didn't comment much on the food, but we had a good and lively conversation. By we I mean myself and L. The Dylanator had to go downstairs because of La Cucaracha, and we heard laughing from time to time, interposed with my name whispered, and then laughing again. I think there's some kind of conspiracy going on between them two, and it involves me.

- Livi