I had the best meal today that I have had for some time. But it wasn’t in some fancy restaurant or the end result of hours of slaving over a hot stove. In fact, it was a cheese sandwich, a bottle of water and a piece of carrot cake. So what’s the deal? Are my culinary standards really so low that this qualifies as something special?
Far from it. I’d be the first to admit that this isn’t a particularly salubrious meal. In fact, it’s pretty much my regular lunch (minus the cake). But the thing that made this particular Sunday lunch great was the company of my family.
After a fairly hectic week in which we’d seen each other for the sum total of about six hours, my wife and I bundled the dog in the car and headed for the nearby city of Bath to do a bit of shopping. But before we disappeared into the shops, we grabbed a takeaway lunch from a local deli and found ourselves a patch of sunshine in front of the imposing Georgian architecture of the famous Royal Crescent.
And here we sat, playing with Molly (my Labrador dog, of ‘Gratuitous Labrador photo of the week‘ fame), eating our lunch and chatting about our week. And it was brilliant. We have pretty hectic lives, and there’s always something going on, so we seldom take the time to just chill out and enjoy each other’s company. But loafing there on the grass, we just sat comfortably with each other, sharing our thoughts, our concerns, our hopes and our ideas. In fact, I think we probably talked more over that one sandwich than we have in the previous month.
I tend to struggle a lot in life to set priorities and to recognise what is important and what is not. But this simple meal in the sunshine brought it home to me just how important my (admittedly quite small) family is to me, and that I want to spend more time with the two of them, no matter how busy life gets. And anything that gets in the way of that is, well, something that I’m just going to have to change.