When people come round to my house, it gives them stress because they find themselves itching to tidy it up and throw things away. So my friends, like circling vultures, detecting my compromised immunity, moved in on my kitchen on Saturday. Five of them, for five hours.
I must say, it looks rather lovely. Like a show home. Nothing on the surfaces. Cupboards ordered and neat. Piles of paper gone or sorted into box files. One of the hubbies brought vittals for the troops and another lovely hubby brought spinach soup for supper. So very very kind. And now, can we find anything? No. Not a thing. We have had to put post-it notes on every cupboard. So on Sunday, the next day, I spotted on Facebook that it was Claire’s birthday. OMG I thought. I bet what with slaving away helping me all day yesterday she never arranged anything for her birthday. She hadn’t even mentioned it. So, there being a big blue sunny sky, I decided on impulse to go to town, buy a bottle of Pimms and take her a big jug of the stuff. After all, it is the most optimistic of drinks. With Pimms you really feel like winter might be over. Fred looked up the recipe online. ‘One measure of Pimms, two of lemonade, cucumber, strawberries, orange, apple and ice,’ he said. ‘Ooh, look here. Turbo Pimms
: add half a bottle of gin to the mix.’ He omitted to say that if you add the half bottle of gin you are meant to change the two measures of lemonade to five measures. We couldn’t find a jug big enough as all the jugs in the house are strangely full of flowers. So we took the big cauldron. In went the Pimms, in went the gin, in went the lemonade, with ice, sliced cucumber, strawbs, apple and orange. We covered it with cling-film for going in the car, tied a red ribbon round it and headed off at around three o’clock. You do understand, I was meaning to hand the cauldron over, not, definitely not, drink any of this rather lethal concoction. What I should have done, of course, was take another container with non-alcoholic healthy berry pomegranate juice also with lovely fruit floating in it. That would have been clever. Claire’s face absolutely lit up on the doorstep. ‘Come in the garden and drink it with us’ she said.’No, no, it’s for you,’ we protested. ‘Oh all right then.’
‘You’re not allowed any though, are you?’ she remembered.
‘Well, it’s your birthday. I’ll just have one little one.’
Oops. After one, I was saying ‘Look at it. It’s a flute salad, for god’s sake. Allowed flute salad. Healthy healthy strawberries.’
After two we were shouting slurred truisms across each other. After three, Sunday walkers going along the path next to Claire’s house were peering worriedly through the hedge at us. After four we were on the trampoline and Claire said ‘This has absolutely made my day.’
We had an indian takeaway. Lots of turmeric, so no worries there.
We paid the cab a tenner for a three minute ride. Must have been drunk or something.
Was worried the next morning. Hangover and sore throat. Probably from all the shouting. My friend Janet made butternut squash, sweet potato and chilli soup which made it better. We also drank three cups of TeaPig extra strong green tea wot Susanna gave me. Despite the unfortunate incident being during my ‘nadir’ or low point of immunity, I have recovered, phew.
It would be ill-advised to recommend such fun to other cancer patients, and my instinct is not to declare it to the Thessalonikian without a fight, but, truth is, wickedly good times do remind us why we don’t want to die.
(Ps. if you do decide to make Turbo Pimms, please remember, it’s five measures of lemonade to one of Pimms.)