“In truth a family is what you make it. It is made strong, not by the number of heads counted at the dinner table, but by the rituals you help family members create, by the memories you share”
Thinking back about Trods and the way he brought me up, much of our relationship was based on the nurturing, the giving of food, the feeding of me.
I remember sausages on a saturday morning, browned under the grill then rolled in white bread, melted butter that dripped sunshine yellow. Ginger beer so fizzy it would sting your nose, bowls of salty peanuts on every ‘occasional table’ in the house. Helping him cultivate potatoes from the clods of garden soil, podding peas from the vine. We climbed the hills behind Rothbury and picked bilberries to put with pastry for tarts, sticking our tongues out at each other to see whose was the most purple.
For many years growing up, Trods cooked for me after school: meat pies, vegetables boiled to the last inch of existence, the flurry of excitement at the discovery of a new sophistication – chicken kievs.
Feeding someone is one way to show you love them. He fed me well. And left me with a taste for living.
A note – if you want to make it to 92, a sherry and a bowl of McCoys crisps around 5pm each night will see you right.