I love a good soup. When I was teaching and miserable and cursing my existence, LSB used to say: ‘Why don’t you start a café that only serves soup? You’re good at soup.’ I was a whizz kid with a blender, forever blitzing up asparagus and butternut squash to feed the babies. They lapped them up with gusto, and I prided myself on my healthy meals. Now, of course, they wouldn’t look at either concoction, ESPECIALLY if I make it.
‘What’s for lunch?’ they asked the other day. ‘Soup,’ I replied. ‘Yuck,’ they said. ‘It’s homemade!’ I protested. ‘That’s even WORSE,’ said the older one, and off they trotted. The cheek of it, little blighters.
Happily my friends don’t agree, and have always slurped my soup with good humour. Every Friday, a group of us who met at baby yoga, used to take turns to host lunch. Well, first it was lunch, then it just became Friday, anytime. ‘Come at half 10 if your baby is melting your head; stay til 6 if you’re free.’ One such Friday I remember sipping a fine Sauvignon in the June sunshine at 5.30, upon upon a blanket in the garden, while the kids ran amok. It was all most convivial, especially as the children got bigger and started to be able to entertain themselves. The joy. Fridays were a highlight of my maternity leave and subsequent career break, and this particular group of ladies were a life-line when I was stressed-out and sleep-starved. I think we helped each other through what can be a lonely and often anxious time. There should be a collective noun for yoga mums- a ‘yoggle’ perhaps? Definition- ‘ladies who look out for you when you’re losing your shit.’
Anyway, it’s been a while since we met up and it was long overdue, so when I saw an ad on Facebook for ‘The Big Broth’ I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to catch up; have lunch and donate to a great cause. Of course I had taken myself off to Galway at the start of the week but, never fear, it was The Mothership to the rescue. In an effort not to be completely useless, I made my cream of asparagus and potato, and up she landed, with a veritable vat of pumpkin soup and a tray of coffee cake and some ginger buns.
‘Mmmmm,’ said my friends. ‘Did you make this soup Helen?’
‘Err, no, that was my mum, or maybe my brother.’ (He’s another dab hand in the kitchen.)
‘What a light and airy sponge! I never knew you could bake like this!’ (That was Claire from Harper’s Yard.)
‘I can’t, that was my mum. Again.’
‘You need to get her baking for the next HY morning,’ said Claire, chewing ruminatively.
‘Shall we have a soup competition?’ asked my mate Helen. ‘I’ve a DEFINITE winner. Hands up for pumpkin!’ All bar one person put their hand up for pumpkin. ‘Flip’s sake,’ I said, but at least the Mothership will be pleased, and smug as f**k.
We raised over £50 for Centrepoint charity and had a most pleasant get-together, so I’ll put my jealously and inferiority complex to one side and feel grateful instead. This is, after all, supposed to be the POSITIVE side of the Sour Wee Bastard Blog. But we’re only 2 days in, and bad habits and all that….
Tomorrow I’m doing something equally lovely, and as my ‘Do One Thing’ I’m heading to The Fine and Dandy Market in City Church in the Holylands to see what some local artists are up to. I’ll try and moderate the language, given the venue, (though I hear they’re a tolerant bunch 🙂