POSTCARD FROM A LONG LUNCH TABLE

Did we mess around yesterday?

Of course we did not.

As usual, we did the makhula thing. A repeat of an intensely long-running tradition, starting early on the morning of 25/12, accompanied by the sound of church choirs singing carols on a crackling old FM radio. Obligatory Pimms cocktails on tap.

My sister’s incredible prawn salad won Man of the Match. A flavour fest of sweet lime and ginger dressing, mango, coriander, avo and flash-fried prawns did a line dance in our mouths and the long table fell silent while we partook. Only the sound of the odd champagne bubble popping could be heard while the starter held all 13 of us spellbound.

Sis’s other tour de force was the trifle which borrowed a thought from Nigel Slater – or was it Nigella? – using hardly any of the childish stuff like jelly and sponge cake, and whackloads of droolsome cherries, lychees, blueberries, biscuit, sherry, whipped cream and five kinds of nuts. Oh my aching duodenum.

Good thing this only happens once a year.

Today we’re going for a long, long beach walk. We will walk until our bodies have forgotten that 25 December ever happened.

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