A while ago my brother invited me to pencil in my wife and I to join him at a curry-evening dinner party he planned to host where he would again demonstrate his pretty-good culinary talents. As I had not heard anything to confirm, I dropped him an email earlier in the week to check if it was on or not. I was told that for him pencil-in meant it was definite. Weird. Must watch out for that in future as I have never known anyone else use it in that way (and most diary packages including Outlook and Notes use "pencil" for tentative appointments.
Had it been anyone but my brother, I would have backed out because I was feeling so unwell from the constant coughing I had been suffering for a while. He takes offense more easily than just about anyone else I know though so I do everything I can to avoid misunderstandings (I feel that I have become very good at swallowing my pride, biting my tongue and being nice. My wife often feels he has insulted her but realises that he rarely means to. For all I know though, he is doing exactly the same thing. Siblings have better emotional buttons to push on each other than just about anyone else.) We decided to dose me up with lots of drugs again and to drive around as walking around in the cold evening air would have done me no good at all.
He had advised us that we would be eating early as one of his guests was not a night-hawk and asked us to be there for 7pm. I automatically (oops) read this as 7 for 7.30 and planned to get there for about 7.15. Just enough time to watch Doctor Who before heading off.
He rang early evening to check if I was happy with the sweet he proposed and he also took time to ensure I understood that we needed to be there by 7pm. In fact, he advised, we would be sitting down to eat at 7pm. Damn. No Doctor Who. My guess is he had rightly judged that we would not turn up "on time" without prompting and the discussion about a sweet was just an excuse to call.
My brother is diabetic whereas I am on the way – sugar intolerance – and as he was putting a very sugary sweet on the menu it was kind of him to check. His own attitude seems to be that he takes the tablets he needs and eats what he likes. Sounds risky to me. Given my weight though I can hardly give advice – I am certainly not setting an example.
When we arrived, he was surprised we had driven and seemed upset that I was not going to drink. He said he had got some beer in for me. This kind of contradicts his concerns about the sweet. He also does not seem to have yet appreciate that I drink very little and rarely these days. I keep telling him this. In fact the only time I drink beer is on the rare occasions he asks me out for a beer (I never ask him out as he is almost always out at the weekends when I am home). Actually I would much prefer a large glass of Merlot.
We were the first to arrive but only by a few minutes. There was some confusion as the hall-way blocked up as we wondered which room we were supposed to wait in. My brother’s girl-fried did quick introductions – the guests were all relatives of hers with the exception of our mutual friend DR from Nepal.
Apart from DR, we were the youngest there and felt welcome but very young. The atmosphere was pleasant and friendly but I do not think we really gelled with anyone.
The food was superb. To help those a little less familiar with Indian food than himself (and people like me who eat out several times a week), he had gone to the trouble of preparing and printing of a small menu explaining exactly what was going to be put on the table. He was like a mother-hen at the part making sure everyone liked the food and had enough.
Bottom line: we enjoyed ourselves despite my feeling so ill.