Sunday, 15 November 2015

Grattis på födelsedagen!

It means happy birthday in Swedish. I don't know these things; Google translate does. Etien and I memorised it before Katarina arrived for a - sort of - surprise dinner party organised by Tracey. Etien and I stood together in the utility room with our ears pressed against his iPhone, me repeating the phrase "Grattis pa..." again and again while Etien pulled away and winced at me. "Why?" I've always liked to make an effort with languages. I used to be able to ask for a beer in about twelve.

Tracey had said that wonderful thing: surprise us. There was one 'no nuts' but apart from that I had a free hand. Joy! I tried my two new meals on them. A winter salad starter of green beans and roasted cauliflower in a mustard vinaigrette and a main course of pork with barley, apples and blackberries (recipe link soon). Both were very well received.

And then as I wrote this on Friday night, I learned of an atrocity in France. Paris bleeds. The world weeps. Yet again we recoil in horror and lament our impotence. Time to recall another foreign phrase:

Liberté. Egalité. Fraternité. 

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