You know what they say about life giving you lemons...
Unfortunately Amelie's already drunk enough lemonade to keep her spritely until she's 7 up. I think she's holding out for hot chocolate.
Anyhoo, as previously mentioned, yesterday was Mother's Day, and it's a well documented (but often forgotten) fact that Lisa's not the only mother in my life. There's another, even older one. Naturally, I didn't get around to organising anything for her yesterday, but as luck would have it, my brother did. So while I was busy wrapping up a giant biscuit for Lisa, my Big Bruv was inviting our mother out for a meal at the restaurant of her choice.
We got wind of this on Wednesday. And by Friday we were inviting ourselves along. On the assumption that my brother would pay. And let us take half the credit.
So at 1pm yesterday, we found ourselves here, at the Wish Tower in Eastbourne...
It's a unique combination of restaurant and sun lounge, making it the only café in Britain where Germans put their towels on the seats.
Much like traitors in the Tower of London, the Wish Tower is where hopes and dreams go to die. It's a bit like travelling through a time tunnel to the 1970s, but without the feeling of joy and discovery. The clientele still wear kipper ties though, and beige corduroy is definitely on the menu. In fact, the mere presence of Amelie and her cousin brought the average age of the customers down by a good ten years. To about eighty-four. The place is overwhelmingly populated by people who look like they're on day release from a care home, and attracts diners for whom Michelin stars are just a tyre rating.
Needless to say, my parents are regulars. And each to their own, that's what I say. It might not be my cup of tea (in a clear plastic cup), but there's definitely a market for prawn cocktail starters and banana longboats. Although it must be dying at an alarming rate. If life expectancy wasn't on the increase, they'd have gone out of business years ago.
But I digress. I actually had a lovely time yesterday. For a start, there was the company...
That's me with my Big Bruv, my little niece, my old sister-in-law, some woman I married, my daughter, my Mum and my Dad. Big Sis couldn't make it because... well, because we didn't tell her about it. But let's face it, she thinks Pizza Express is beneath her, so if she had one wish, it wouldn't be to visit the tower.
The food was surprisingly good though. They had a choice of only three starters: orange juice, soup or prawn cocktail, and two of those are technically drinks (while the third just sounds like one), so I skipped that course and went straight for the main. I chose the lasagne, which came with grated cheese, mushy peas and a slice of cucumber. The tomato's purely decorative. Personally I won't eat anything that hasn't been near a deep fat fryer or a microwave. So I pretty much cleared my plate.
And very nice it was too. To be honest, I think I made the right choice. My Mum had both the time and the plaice, and having taken a bite, I felt like throwing it back. I know they say oily fish is good for you, but I don't think that's what the doctors had in mind.
As for desserts, I'm not saying the choice was limited, but six of us went for the pancakes. It would have been seven if we'd asked Amelie what she wanted. They were six of the best though, and came with enough syrup to warrant a diabetes test with your post-meal coffee.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable experience, and I was particularly pleased that the flaking paint and dusty cobwebs on the ceiling above our table didn't fall into our food. Although the lightbulb had blown, so we might not have noticed.
After two hours of fine dining, we eventually made our way outside to the Western Lawns, where Amelie waved goodbye to her relatives by attempting to be a sundial on an overcast day...
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "Hang on a moment. Is there a frond missing from that rare, exotic and possibly highly endangered bush in the background..?"
I couldn't possibly comment.