Eat like a lion

the right kind of chops


Several weeks ago, Robin told L that he wanted to eat meat. L asked what he meant, as his limited diet does include ham and sausages. Robin explained that he wanted to eat like a lion. Cue an opportunity for me to see if he would join me so I was no longer the only eater of unprocessed red meat in the family.

I bought some lamb chops from our local butcher and grilled them for our tea. Robin’s response was swift. ‘Disgusting’. I encouraged him to try another morsel.
‘What are they?’
‘Lamb chops’.
‘But I wanted real chops, chop chops, not these.’


Eliza helped me prepare the mashed potato for this meal. She stood on a chair at the kitchen worktop and peeled the potatoes. I hovered around her, asking her to move her fingers away from the stroke of the peeler. On and on she peeled. I drifted from nervous to clock-watching. Five medium sized potatoes took Eliza 25 minutes to peel as she chipped away at their skin, eventually producing a very through job, and hundreds of flakes of potato skin for the compost.


Gabe asserts his seniority by coming downstairs after bath, usually to watch tv. It’s a status he adores, but one that he’s too nervous to take up if neither L nor I are downstairs. So when L is out and I have to put the other two to bed, Gabe feels the minutes wasting away as he waits in his room, or on the landing, or at my shoulder.

Last week, he found a way of speeding up his trip downstairs, as well as gaining my approval. While I read with Eliza, Gabe read a story to Robin, sang him a song and put him to bed. The ‘story’ comprised extracts from a children’s atlas. Gabe delightedly claimed to be angered by the atlas – it named an Eastern European country as Yugoslavia, despite being published in the last 10 years; and it identified the Nile as the world’s longest river, a title Gabe explained that has been handed to the Amazon after its source was discovered further into the South American continent.


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