In my dreams the Sunday Roast will forever be prepared to the sound of my Dad crooning along to "If You Happen to See the Most Beautiful Girl In the World (Tell Her I Love her)", and the clank and clatter of pans in the kitchen.
Helen and I would argue about whose turn it was to lay the table, and Mum would appear hot and flustered through the dining room hatch to play umpire to our ongoing war. It was always Winter in my childhood. Our bare legs sticking to the leather sofa roasting in front of the hideous electric fire and a glass of milk, neither Helen, nor I,wanted to drink, appearing as if by magic next to every meal we ate.
Thats all I remember. Not what we did on a Sunday morning. Nor a Sunday afternoon. Just that one hour when the whole house seemed to be steaming and country music was the only option at the dinner table.
It's probably the same for all of you, but for me, no other roast dinner compares to that cooked by my Mum. No other meal holds such significance. No other meal tastes like home.
I stopped cooking Sunday roasts when Mark started doing shifts. But today spurred on by a basket full of organic veg I refuse to waste, I cooked the roast from scratch, getting hot and bothered in the process, and quietly enjoying listening to Mark and Finley tell each othe Thomas the Tank Engine stories as I worked. We finally sat down to eat at five o'clock: honey glazed carrots, lemon and parsley stuffing, organic chicken, sprouts and roast potatoes. We laughed at Finley putting carrot hats on sprout faces, drank wine and watched the world go by our dining room and it was lovely and the dinner was fine, but it wasn't my mums and the whole experience would have been much improved if my dad had been there to tell me I was the most beautiful girl in the world and he loved me...
I keep forgetting that I'm not a little girl anymore and it's time to make our own traditions...
Or maybe thats just how traditions are made, organically growing from precious memories and gently weaving their way into our lives.