It wasn't a culinary affair by any means. Mother's Day yesterday. I suggested we try the new Italian down the road, the one with a view over the parking lot next to the railway track. The one neighbouring the building that the council says may fall down any second due to bad building practice. It was a sunny day, lovely for a walk.
And a lovely walk it was, along the railway track, marvelling at what gets thrown out of trains or perhaps what happens next to railway lines. Many condoms over a short distance. Ugh. Despite the yukkiness, deep down I'm grateful they're being used in this beloved country of ours, riddled with HIV. The sun is wintery, the wind has a bite but it's clear and the sky is brilliant blue. Mothers are being appreciated all over the place.
We sit next to the window so we can make the most of the view of the parking lot. The table next to us have two little girls, a jolly father, a pinch-mouthed mother, probably so exhausted even a smile is too tiring, but she's being a mom, being treated to lunch, in-between making sure the 2-year old doesn't run into the parking lot. Said same 2-year old smiles and waves at us, two-minutely, as she makes for the door.
The menu is basic, with pizzas and pastas reticent of the Italian place we went to in the '80's, the bar is big and has a few hangers on. The brochure on the table proudly announces R10 beers on rugby days. I realise I've brought my mother out for her Mother's Day lunch to a drinking hole.
And she loves it and that's why I love her. She revels in the blackboard menu, the over-cheesed pizza, the slightly cold pasta, even my dad's dry chicken roast. She wants to come for the live music on a Sunday afternoon. And she gets free pudding for being a mum - ice cream with chocolate sauce sprinkled sparsely over it.
I under-appreciate her, often. But really, she's an amazing woman who has gone through some tough things and always dealt with them with the utmost grace and strength of character. I'd be lucky to have inherited even a fraction of that character.
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