Ladies Lunching Yet Again!

Nothing like a girls’ lunch to keep the juices flowing and the mind agile. These girls were eighty two and eighty one. Eighty two years old has just got back from Europe, where she watched her grand-daughter win a gold medal at the Olympics, then nipped across to Germany where her son had restored an old building, and was giving a celebration thank you to all the forty helpers. Friend found herself cooking said dinner for the forty. After a cruise down the Rhine, she came home and popped straight into hospital for a hip replacement. Today she was hiding her white elastic post-op stockings under a snazzy pair of well cut black trousers, and wearing a beautiful turquoise French jacket with silver buttons.

She plays golf, walks her two dogs, attends endless lunches, dinners, and concerts, and is doing a thesis for the U3A on medieval medicine, reading Chaucer in the original Old Englische. If I meet her walking her dogs, and greet her with “Hail to thee, blithe spirit”, she’ll reply with the rest of Shelley’s verses, all twenty one of them, or any other poem I want to mention.

Eighty-one year old gave up sailing last year when her eighty year old husband had to give up judging international yacht races, but she still does yoga every day. She still paints and has exhibitions in a smart gallery, makes all her own exquisite clothes, the envy of her friends, and creates her own jewellery. She’s just finished re-painting and re-decorating in black and white, their holiday home on a near-by island. This included re-covering sofa cushions and chairs and painting furniture.

After much laughter as we consumed fresh salmon on puy lentils with a glass of rose, followed by fresh- out- of- the oven plum and almond tart and coffee, we talked about our lives. We discovered that we each envied the others aspects of their lives, and felt that everyone else had much better relationships than our own. When we discussed our own truths, amid more laughter, we found that our assumptions about each other were completely wrong.

This conversation cheered us all up, and put a lot of things in perspective, so we could count our blessings instead of comparing ourselves with others. Finally our mutual admiration society broke up and we went back to our husbands and children, dogs, painting, writing, golf, reading and grandchildren.

That night one of the loves of my life rang. “Hello,” he said. After we’d discussed his essays and lecture schedule, and covered the various 21st birthday parties he’d been to, he told me he was heading overseas to get a job before going to an overseas university. I had a moment’s inspiration, and said, “darling, you know you could make a fortune if you’d grow a field of hemlock and turn it into little pills for me and all my friends to take when we feel it’s time.”

He entered into this discussion with enthusiasm, replying, ”Yes, Grannie, I know euthanasia will be the thing in future, but I think there’s a better way than hemlock”.

What about Socrates I protested, all he had to do was drink, and then just let himself go cold from his feet up until the poison reached his heart. We discussed Socrates, but grandson was unsure that hemlock was the best way. They’re experimenting with all sorts of things these days, he told me – partly to find methods to kill animals so that people feel they can eat meat without feeling guilty. Really, I queried?

Yes, there’s a gas which expels oxygen, and when the brain is starved of oxygen, you go into a state of bliss, so you die blissfully he assured me.

Well how do they know, I asked, unconvinced? They’ve been experimenting with pigs, he said. (My hackles began to rise at the thought of experimenting on animals.) He went onto tell me that they filled two troughs, one with ordinary apples, the other with apples injected with this gas. The pigs who chose the gassy apples ate their fill, and then staggered off and collapsed. When they came to, because there wasn’t enough gas to actually kill them, they rushed back to the trough to get more of these bliss-filled apples, and they did it several times till the apples had all gone! They knew a good thing when they tasted it. Pigs in heaven!

I was convinced. If intelligent pigs had blissed out and wanted more, it sounded just the ticket to me.  And since my husband had just reported from a health board meeting, that an overseas geriatric expert had told them that today’s old never saw their children, because the children were all so busy still working; that it’s one of the biggest health problems these days that there’s no one around to care for the old, I tucked away the thought of those apples. Bliss – filled apples would be just the thing for a rainy day… we could die happy and go straight to heaven!

 

Food for Threadbare Gourmets

Apples, as we know are cheap, and if there are no bliss-filled apples around we might as well make a heavenly apple tart!

The good thing about this recipe is that you don’t have to cook the pastry blind. Line a pastry dish with short crust pastry, and sprinkle the base with a quarter of a cup of fine white breadcrumbs. Peel and thinly slice four apples and arrange in overlapping circles on the pastry. Combine one cup of cream with half a cup of sugar and two eggs, and pour over the apples. Sprinkle with quarter of a cup of almond slivers and bake at 180 degrees for half an hour or longer until the custard is set. The jury’s out on whether we need cream or not!

 

Food for Thought

There is something that can be found in one place. It is a great treasure, which may be called the fulfilment of existence. The place where this treasure can be found is the place on which one stands.                                                      Martin Buber  1878 -1965  Austrian-born Israeli philosopher

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42 Comments

Filed under animals/pets, cookery/recipes, great days, humour, life and death, life/style, philosophy, The Sound of Water, Thoughts on writing and life, village life

42 responses to “Ladies Lunching Yet Again!

  1. I felt like I joined you for lunch. I could hear the laughter in your words. Nothing better than time spent with old friends. 🙂

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  2. Amy

    Love these two 80s ladies! The filled apples would be just the thing…

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  3. What a blog; it has a wonderful story, a delicious recipe and even some Martin Buber philosophy. Fabulous!

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  4. Love the life those young gals are living. Wow that I may be like that in ,my eighties. Ah girlfriends- how wonderful they are.

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  5. Wonderful, wonderful post!!! The first quote that came to mind (you know how I love quotes) was by J.R.R. Tolkien: “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above horded gold, it would be a merrier world.” An afternoon spent in the company of friends is the greatest gift of all!!! Thank you for sharing…

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    • Thank you Rebecca, lovely that you enjoyed it. I loved Tolkien’s quote, and must remember it. I love quotes too – other people’s wonderful words preserved in amber – what’s not to love!!!

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  6. That was a very nice story. There is no reason we can’t all be so lively in our eighties. It’s a state of mind and whether you have money for travel or not, you can still play golf, have sleep overs, lunches, read, write, or whatever else you’re into. My grandmother was still doing those things at 90, until she got really banged up in a car accident.

    She was a good role model in that way, and I hope to be just like that.

    Sunni

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    • Hello, Sunni, thank you for that. I absolutely agree about the money – not having any myself – but still enjoying every moment of life!
      But then I’m not old yet, just a young one going on 75!!!!

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  7. I loved reading about these women who are still happy and energetic in their 80s. It’s inspirational!

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  8. They sound wonderful … just the sort of ladies I would love to have lunch with and joined in the laughter 🙂 Great post

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    • Yes, I bet you’d have fun with them Dory, Don’t know how you find time to read my posts – but it’s lovely that you do – d’you snatch a little time between subbing supplements???

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  9. I love that you and your friends are living every day that you have to their fullest. It is honouring everyday with joy and happiness. I must remember to do that and stop getting wrapped up in the boring and mundane. Plus you are making me look forward to getting “mature” enough to retire and really live! 🙂
    Cheers,
    Laura

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    • Hello Laura, lovely to hear from you, I thought your comments were beautiful… but you don’t have to be ‘mature’ to retire you know – some of us never mature!!!!
      And don;t stress to much about writing those posts before you leave for Spain, we’ll just have to l;earn to get dressed without your good advice!

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      • LOL!
        I’m pretty sure you are all well capable of getting dressed without me! And maybe even the better so! 🙂 I made good progress today so I am starting to feel better about getting everything under control.

        I will need to be “mature” enough to get my house paid off before I start dreaming too much about retirement. But with any luck, that won’t be long.

        Cheers to the ladies who lunch!
        Laura

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  10. oh dear, you keep topping yourself! This was an amazing post. I love the way that you write. Love to dare, don’t you! Imagine a field of hemlock….straight out of your mouth!!! so funny! I laughed and was in great awe of the wonderful ladies as well. All too, too good. Thank you for another wonderful post!!! love, Linda

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    • Linda, you are a darling – your comments are nearly as good as your poems, – this one was anyway. So glad you got the point of the hemlock..
      It is fun to push the boat out isn’t it.
      I once went to the first meeting of a new group growing herbs, and we were all asked why we wanted to grow herbs – so just for fun I said I wanted to to grow hemlock etc. You should have seen their faces – some were shocked – especially the born again Christian type people,, and some were tickled … but I didn’t last long in that group!!!

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  11. My BFF and I made a deal that if the other developed Alzheimer’s we would liquidize Oleander leaves and serve it as luncheon desert… My husband’s ex wanted to join our little club. We told her she would have to qualify…we would ask her the magical question “Do you like Danie(Her ex and my current)?” If she replied “Yes” she would be invited to lunch… Sadly my BFF renegaded on the deal and died of a heart attack.
    Wonderful post! Loved it!

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    • Thank you so much for your sad and funny comment…
      Oleander leaves- of course – I was forgetting how poisonous they are…’Know what you mean about the Altzheimers – one of my closest friends and neighbours is coping with her lovely husband, and it’s heartbreaking to watch.
      Thank you for your enthusiasm, lovely to hear from you …

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  12. Pass the apple pie on a bed of hemlock please as my teeth are soaking and have been for days. 😉

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  13. I think if I could harness the positive energy from your friends I could live forever!

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  14. Well if we are going to be eating bliss filled apples then we may as well have the cream i say!! c

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  15. Marvelous lunch. Keep me posted on those apples! Pat

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  16. I’ve been fortunate to have wonderful friends in their eighties, and nineties! At whatever age, I love getting together with my friends and just hanging out together. It never occurred to me to have a custardy apple pie. The weather is finally cooling in New York so I can turn my oven on with impunity, and it’s my sweet husband’s birthday this week. I think he’ll enjoy it – with cream! xoxoM

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  17. Perhaps I shouldn’t say this, but if Pepi could have met you and your friends, he would have considered you all ‘his kind’ of elder folk. Even at his age, he was dancing ’til the last! And if he’d had a choice, he would have been in full support of bliss filled apples, too. Thanks for keeping me smiling, Valerie 🙂

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  18. Food always opens up wonderful conversation. In our busy lifestyles I think we are sometimes to busy to keep appointments with each other, grasping at online statements and quick TXT messages to keep in touch or get a point across. I meet one of my friends for a fairly regular breakfast date and we have a delightful time. The bacon and eggs are very nice too.

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  19. I do so miss my ‘Lunch Bunch’ when I lived in FL. We would meet once a month and it was such a joyful time.

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    • Love that nifty name – Lunch Bunch – yes, I bet you miss it, you can’t make something happen the same again, when you move, can you,
      Maybe as time goes by, you’ll find a substitute, I don’t need to tell You how life moves on..
      And please give the cats a tickle behind the ear from me..

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  20. This episode helps us udrsnetand how Regina gained her powers. Considering I thought she was born with them, I liked that they explaind that. I am also curious about why Rumple held Regina as a baby. Now onto the StoryBrooke timeline, everyone there is freaking out, which is udrsnetandable. Prince Charming to me though seems a little boring, so Im not to big of a fan of his. Snow White though I like, she is a fighter and has spunk. But my favorite is Regina/ Evil Queen, she has so much depth to her, she is so evil but inside all that hate is still good, which emerges in rare cases .You tend to love how evil she is but also are pulled in by her pain and want it to help her. As she gained her powers back in this new episode you saw her true colors return. Letting you know trouble is on its way. Overall, I liked the episode and have high hopes for the remainder of this season.

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  21. Your posting really straightened me out. Thanks!

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