But, please don't eat anything. What???? O.K. It goes like this. Two lovely friends came round for supper the other night and between the four of us we made pretty good inroads on the nosh I had rustled up. THERE WERE LEFTOVERS.... Suitably covered and placed in the refrigerator, all was hunky dory. Until spouse got up the next morning. No, that's not strictly correct. He got up at the crack of sparrow-call and was off to the photograph the Flying Scotsman as it made its way through our rural North Yorkshire countryside. The pals he met up with had already feasted at MaccDonalds. The talk was of breakfast muffins, bacon and eggs and the like. By the time spouse returned home, he was salivating like a caveman who had just dragged his latest wild boar kill miles home to the cave and couldn't wait for it to be roasted and set before him. Whilst I set about producing the Saturday morning 'full English', spouse, unable to wait a nanosecond longer for sustenance, investigated the refrigerator for emergency rations. His eyes lit up at the sight of the previous night's leftovers. One minute later he was sitting at the kitchen table happily spooning down microwaved cauiflower cheese as the overture to his main breakfast. 'Mmm,' he cleaned the plate and licked the last sauce off the spoon, 'you can come to dinner again Liz and John, just don't eat anything.'
As you might by now realise, spouse has a healthy appetite and that's being polite about it. He didn't acquire the soubriquet, 'Mr Hollowlegs' for nothing. Many years ago I remember meeting a friend as she staggered to her car, laden with bags of food. She had a teen-aged son who was at the eating like a horse stage. Mary was looking forward to the days when he would be fully grown and would not cost her a king's ransom to feed. I could not bring myself to disillusion her and sidled quietly away. From my experience, I am still waiting for that day to arrive.
Here is a 'for instance'. Spouse enjoyed clay pigeon shooting and was a member of a team. Every year they would all troop off to a shooting competition at Beverley, near Hull. On the last evening a special meal would be laid on and the various silver cups and awards dished out, for individual and team efforts. One year spouse's team sat down for dinner and it so happened there was spouse - then a space - spouse's friend - and another space. The waitress cam along to take their orders. I think you know what's coming. Oh yes they did - spouse gave his order and the waitress asked what was the chap next to him having. Spouse duly ordered the meal for the empty place and his friend did likewise. They scoffed their starters and main course and each time swapped the plates over and scoffed the next lot. The waitress came to take the dessert order. Spouse made his choice. The waitress pointed to the empty chair. 'What's he having?' she asked. 'Oh, him? He'll have the cheesecake,' spouse answered without missing a beat. His friend followed his lead. So, two starters, two mains, two puddings and lots of cheese and bikkies, coffee and liquers went down the hatch without them hardly drawing breath.
Spouse's love of life and good food has not waned with the passage of the years. I am the supermarket's favourite customer and stagger home with industrial quantities of food to sustain life and limb. In fairness I have to say it can have its upside, this feeding of a sturdy Yorkshireman. When a tree needs felling, he bounds out of doors with his extremely large axe and despatches the poor old tree in no time. Our friends and neighbours do not hesitate to call on his services when large pieces of furniture/freezers/refrigerators/ etc. need to be moved or loaded into vans. And, God bless their cotton socks, there is always a juicy morsel as a reward when the deed is done. Plates of buttered scones, his favourite Victoria sponge cake or bacon butties all find their way to him.
So, I suppose I will continue to haunt the supermarkets, bakers and greengrocers on an almost daily basis for some long time to come. One day he might require just a little less fuel, but it doesn't look to be anytime soon. So, if you come for supper with us make sure you've had a little snackerel beforehand. With spouse on hand, the pickings may not be rich.