Before lunch yesterday, I had a thought. I shared this thought with a man with a most excellent coat, and he concurred it was an excellent thought. So we hopped into Caitlin (roof down, given the, erm, stature of aforementioned gentleman, and the erm, close-to-the-floorness of Caitlin’s canvas roof) and tootled off a little down the road towards Newmarket.

Our destination was River Farm Smokery, which I have been intending on visiting with a view to purchasing what I hoped would be goodies.

Some winding bends later, driving along in the fresh late autumn sun, we reached where we were intending to be. And what a glorious spot it turned out to be. Being a long-time reader (and drooler) over Dan’s weblog, as he describes the most exquisite foodstuffs, I was hoping it would be a shining example of edible goodness. And it was. This being the case, the man with a most excellent coat and I purchased lunch. And dinner. A fine (and large) loaf, some English mustard, Jersey butter, smoked ham, smoked kippers, smoked bacon (there is a theme here), lightly smoked cheese, feta-filled pickled peppers and probably more I have forgotten. Oh, yes, the spicy sausage. That as well.

Back into Caitlin, potter to the office, and set up store in the kitchen. And to the point I wanted to make in this post. The breaking of bread together, the sharing of a meal. It is always a very fine thing. (Just a quick aside, but we, as a family, still (and long may it continue) have dinner together every day of the week. At the table.) How great it is to sit at the table, with fine friends and fine food? (As even though it was just Robbie and I who went out, it being lunchtime, others were there as well. Looking enviously at our stash. Which, of course, we shared. Heather took some bread for her own homemade soup, as did a few others I think.)

It was all so civilised, the (very) decent food, the intelligent chat and witty banter. Really, all that was missing was a fine bottle of wine. And to not be in work, but out in the country somewhere, with no having to return to work.

It was all so different. It changed the ambiance of lunchtime, something as simple as not having my lunchbox on the table, not watching others eat pre-packed sandwiches. Nothing startling or new, it just all worked. It did help the food was superb, of course, and I recommend everyone buy something from River Farm Smokery.

Life is more than work, and for a moment, you can forget the state of the world, and just be there, enjoying the pleasures of life. Friends, food and conversation. Driving in the sun, roof down, wind on your chin. Momentary lack of worries, cares and woes.

Sitting down and sharing food is as old as humanity itself. Long may that continue. People need to take time to enjoy their food, to enjoy each other’s company, and to step sideways from their lives for just that brief session. The world will still be there when you finish the meal, with all its attendant troubles.

και μη συσχηματιζεσθε τω αιωνι τουτω αλλα μεταμορφουσθε τη ανακαινωσει του νοος υμων εις το δοκιμαζειν υμας τι το θελημα του θεου το αγαθον και ευαρεστον και τελειον

  1. Some may say you were merely having lunch, but as your beautifully written words reveal, you had so much more. The most magical part about it all is not only that you had a feast both physically and emotionally, you also have shared that feast with us. It is very good, thank you.

    Fri 30 Nov, 9:53AM

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