Tips for the Tree Hut

It’s been one of those long, slow Sunday’s at our house. I did a bit of gardening this morning which I felt justified a long, long, long read of a novel after lunch. In case you’re interested it was The Castaways by Lucy Clarke – and once I had everyone on the deserted island sorted out, I was hungry. They were only getting a fish every second day until someone stole the knife and…anyway, I decided I’d make a quiche with the leek I bought last week. My hand went straight to Annabel. Most of us do not cook alone. We have cooking buddies. Mine are Annabel, Allison, Nadia (if I’m thinking thin thoughts) Jo and Biba. I’m an equal opportunities buddy. Alongside Jaime and Yotam I also I also have the Two Greedy Italians Antonio and Gennaro. The grubby page of Annabels Favourites more or less opened on its own and I started measuring my ingredients. I’d just finished the butter when my Messenger app burst into life and it was the Bangkok crowd checking in. What are you doing Nanny? asked the almost 6 year old. Making pastry. What’s pastry? Ummm. Luckily that question was followed by a request to be taken outside.

It was so wonderful hearing her ask to see the next thing and the next. It’s been almost two years since she’s been here. When something remained in it’s place I’d hear a satisfied sigh. Take me to the swing. We went to the swing. Now take me over the bridge. And through the wee gate – why have you got a gate? Then from the other side of the river (it’s really a creek) she spied the tree hut. Take me up to the tree house Nanny! There is a proceedure for an aging adult to climb a perpendicular ladder into a tree hut and it’s all in the dismount. I put the phone up the top and began. What’s that Uggh noise Nanny? Well my darling it was your grandmother hauling her fat arse over the top step and onto the ricketest boards I’ve ever seen. We did the tour of the facility and discussed Christmas lighting which I thought was a wonderful idea. Thank goodness the climb down was easier.

We then retired to the kitchen where I whirred the food processor and made pastry and she whipped up a batch of pancakes on the stove in her bedroom. My pastry was followed by leek chopping and her pancakes by green cereal. For a moment with the time difference, I thought the cereal may have been real. Look Nanny! She poked out her tongue and there was a hard, green lump of plastic which was a relief of sorts. But it was a lovely half hour baking with my grand-daughter half a world away. Now all I have to do is show her what pastry looks like. But if she knew what it smelled like….

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