(Mr Pomo warns: Includes references to daytime drinking, children, the weather and apartheid crocodiles.)
Yesterday was All Saints’ Day, and a public holiday in our province of Germany. It was like having a Sunday in the middle of the week. Good Catholics went to church. Being neither Catholic nor good, we went kite flying. It was sunny, but very windy and very cold, so after we tired of running around the meadow, we went for hot chocolate. This made us all start to feel pretty saintly.
I love Sundays in Germany. The shops don’t open, except for the occasional bakery, so you are forced to spend time at home with family and friends. In summer, we usually barbeque, but now as winter approaches we have taken to having brunches. These are easy to prepare and child-friendly, and as our local bakery has just started opening on Sundays, we get gorgeous fresh bread: flaky croissants (chocolate ones for the children), rolls of many hues, crunchy loaves. I love the slow meditative feel of a Sunday, and preparing a meal at my leisure while other grown-ups attend to the various needs of my children, so yesterday morning, I made a lasagne. My saint-quotient increased.
Then, since it was Grandma’s last day with us before she flies back to South Africa, we walked to our local Italian for lunch. Everyone behaved impeccably, ate their lunch, refrained from climbing under the tables or pinching the person next to them. And that was just the grown-ups. However we did drink with lunch, and in Germany, a glass of wine means a carafe. It was delicious at the time, but impaired my ability to concentrate during the afternoon. My husband went off for a nap (he had got up with the human alarm clock at 5:30am to take said alarm for a run in the jogging pram, he deserved his saintly rest). I allowed my three children, including my 18-month-old to watch Monsters while I slumped on the sofa. He clung to me, muttering “scwary”. My halo slipped slightly. Daytime drinking just doesn’t suit me. It’s fun at the time, but I always pay.
Later, after the children were in bed, we ate the lasagne and drank more red wine (oops). While Grandma and my husband watched some TV, I caught up on the blog-a-rama and some world news. I noticed that former South African president and apartheid tyrant PW Botha had died, appropriately enough, on Halloween. Known as the Groot Krokodil for his thick skin and bad temper, his name alone sends shivers down my spine, so creepy and scwary was he. His reign of terror saw innocent people jailed, tortured and murdered. However, Nelson Mandela, a saint if there ever was one, said that Botha’s death should “remind us how South Africans ultimately came together to save our country from self-destruction.”
I also saw that Harvard scientists have recently proved that a compound found in red wine can reverse the damaging effects of a high-fat diet and extend life! I collected up my tattered halo, dusted it off and replaced it. I am going to be a happy, long-lived, red wine-drinking saint. I just know it.