Sunday, December 16, 2007

I think my brother has a problem with me...

I think my brother has a problem with me... But I am not entirely certain why. In fact, in truth, I haven’t got the foggiest notion what crap he is pulling through him! Seriously I would like some input on this one as it is a puzzle to me. Can you please comment on this problem I have? I think there might be multiple causes.

Firstly, I think he might resent the fact that I am out of TSCC. I mean, let’s face it? What will I do this Christmas?

After a leisurely and late breakfast with a mug of Irish Coffee, or freshly brewed coffee, we will enjoy mince pies and a glass or two of vintage Port or Sherry.

We might enjoy a glass or two of 10 year old single malt and settle down to watch some Carol service on the TV. We might even take in a Carol service at the local church. (We probably won’t, but we could, if we wanted to.)

With our Christmas dinner we will enjoy some suitable white and red wines –perhaps a Rose?- to go with the various courses. And afterwards we will open up a bottle of Champagne.

We will then sample various beers and with our supper (turkey and stuffing sandwiches) we will drink a little more wine and go for a walk in the cold air here on the English/Welsh border. When we get back we will enjoy glasses of Smoking Bishop and more mince pies!

(Here’s the recipe for Smoking Bishop which is basically a mulled wine punch.)

And what will my brother and his family enjoy?

Breakfast with Barleycup. (A vile concoction that many people have a life-threatening allergy to).

Mince pies with Welch's Grape Juice. (I tried Welch’s grape juice at a food show recently. It has to be one of the most evil-tasting drinks I have ever tried. Any Mormon who expresses “love” for it is a liar, in my opinion.

And then it’s a case of “Anyone for another drink of Hemlock... err... sorry!... Barleycup?

With Christmas dinner there’s either Welch’s Grape Juice or Schloer grape juice which is just a little more palatable than Welch’s. But not by much!

My bother did not want me to know he was emigrating to Canada with his family. And seemed really put out when our mother mentioned this to me in passing.

Even more galling only months later it seems his darling wife who was pushing to emigrate to Canada now decides she doesn’t like Canada, so is pushing for them to move back!

He came back home for a week –he stayed at our mother’s flat- but not once made any effort to contact me. I phoned my mother on Monday to check if he was alright, he came later that day and he left late Friday afternoon, just before I phoned my mother again.

He clearly wants nowt to do with me. But why?

The summer before last my aunt had her 90th birthday. I was holding a plate and a can of lager when my nephew asked me to write down my email address. I asked him to hold my plate and drink whilst I wrote it down. At this my brother came running over, knocking an elderly relative out of the way in his haste. He realised what had happened –that I had not been offering my nephew (who is 16) a drink and looked very, very foolish indeed. (I’ll add here that under UK law it is perfectly permissible for children to drink alcohol within the home, and also for children 14 aqnd up to consume alcohol in licensed premises with a meal.)

What my brother did not know was that I had been giving my nephew the kind of talk HE should give him! My brother is under the impression that his son does not drink alcohol because “the church teaches that we should not drink alcohol.” WRONG! Sadly, my nephew drinks like a fish. Not wisely or sensibly, mind you, but spirits and he and his friends guzzle the bottles down until they are empty.

I pointed out that this was not sensible as it would make him feel very ill. He admitted that it did, I advised him to either keep of spirits altogether, or to mix water or soft drinks with them. If you want to drink alcohol, I told him, stick to small amounts of lager, or beer. I told him about the advantages of drinking real ale over other alcoholic drinks (highly carbonated lagers will make you drunk much quicker.)

Actually, my brother –who is a couple of years younger than me- has resented me for quite a while before that incident, so I don’t think it could be that.

At another family party my mother had found me in the kitchen chatting about various types of real ale that we had tried. She looked at me, looked over at my brother (who had his “smug git” expression on) and she surprised me by saying: “Talking about beer with the lads, are you?” To which I proudly acknowledged .

She looked at me, looked at my cousin, patted me on the arm and said: “Well, thank God ONE of my boys has turned out normal!”

As she walked off, a smile on her lips, my cousin –who is a nevermo- said: “What the bloody hell was all that about?” To which I replied: “I haven’t a clue!”

My brother also has a problem with my wife. She is a Catholic and that has caused some friction.

So… any ideas? Please post your comments!

No comments: