A Different Light - Northern Advocate Saturday, April 25th, 2017 'After a night of revelry and bloody-minded indulgence (no fool like an old fool!) my guests left fairly early, seeming decidedly less enthusiastic about continued celebrations.'

Ok I’m not going to not going to bleat and whine this time. Life’s been good. It was my birthday last Saturday so of course it’s been good.

My parents instilled in us a tradition of indulging the person in the family whose birthday it is.  Although I do remember pushing my mother to the end of her tether on the Big Day quite regularly, which ended with her announcing, “Right, birthday or not, you’re getting a smack!” 

Obviously I pushed it to the limit.  It’s a tradition I have handed down and embellished within my nuclear family.  They all enjoy having their birthdays but I do get the sense every year, there’s a certain fear and loathing around building up to my one. 

Birthdays can be a funny old thing, one doesn’t like to plan too much of a hullabaloo over it out of some kind of modesty however one can get disappointed if nothing happens for the day. 

So I suggested to Sally that we have a few friends around and she immediately took up the mantle and proposed to give it a theme.  She likes themes; she likes to dress up. 

The two themes she came up with were Peaky Blinders or Vikings.  Both of them reflect on just how much we’ve embraced internet based streaming TV. 

So the Big Day arrived and we had a great day, brunch in the morning with the girls and the ever angelic Moko, Isla, followed with an indulgence in cooking session.

So, what do you cook for a Viking theme?  Meat on meat of course!  I cooked a whole fillet on the BBQ and made a Bacon Hock and Beef Cheek meat ragout to accompany it.

My guests did not disappoint. They arrived bright eyed bushy tailed (and bushy backed!) enthusiastic and in costume to boot.

After a night of revelry and bloody minded indulgence (no fool like an old fool!) my guests left fairly early and were less enthusiastic about continued celebrations. They declined my offer off fried black pudding sandwiches and Bloody Marys, they’d had enough and they were off. 

The only thing for me to do was to lounge back and explore my birthday present which turned out to be a communal family present – a smart TV.  For the last two years I have been infuriating my family by insisting the connection of my iPad through a cable was just fine even though each time we connected it, it took half an hour of holding one’s tongue in the right position trying several variations of the sequence of turning things off and on and general begging and shouting to make it work. 

Now it’s all steamed directly, with mind boggling clarity.  I spent the day watching Peaky Blinders and the Vikings series.  I even started watching Sons of Anarchy for some bordering-on-retro material.

I reflected as I overindulged, in a digital sense, on just how similar all three of the series are:  the family gang mentality, the protagonists are all blonde, blue eyed, hero-like males and all of them struggling with the moral backdrop of good and bad, while staying loyal to their rules of family order. 

I could relate to that ... well, maybe the adherence to family traditions anyway.  So this tradition appears here to stay - the good old Wilkinson Birthday Blow out.  Only 51 weeks to go....

Downloadable pdf below:

Available Downloads Type Size
Toast to viking revelry pdf 264 KB

Published 05/05/2017

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