Reading the Sunday Times this morning in bed, an article about rituals, so I stop to ponder if I have any and realise that that is the first one that comes to mind. The papers, on a Sunday, paperless now on tha iPad which has done away with the usual arguments about who'll go to the shop to get the print version of yore, which I love but which I now forgo for the handiness of this way. I no longer have to beg and bargain in my PJs, a trip to the local shop does not equate six hours on the PS3, I no longer endure hatefull door slamming from the youngling as he fires the paper on the kitchen table amid a stream of under his breath curses, ah domestic bliss, don't be fooled.
No, that's all gone with the advent of online subscription. Anyway, I'm digressing, which is keeping me from reading the papers. And onto other rituals. Apparently due, to our lack of religious structure, we no longer have the best-laid plans of things to do, on weekdays or on the sabbath. No more must-do going to mass, although I go when I feel like it. Unless you're a bona fide Buddhist you're probably not going to do daily meditation, though I give that a go too. My Sunday ritual is simple, breakfast, well it would be wouldn't it?
One fateful Mother's day, I requested that I get breakfast in bed. My favourite breakfast is simple; coffee, a boiled egg and toast. You don't have to be a brain surgeon to make it. My sons made a parade up and down the stairs first presenting me with an egg in a cup, an eggcup, which was a good start. I sat up in bed as there was no fore-warning.
'That's great", I mumbled "Will I wait for the rest of it?"
Incrementally, and in bits, the other components of breakfast appeared up the stairs; toast, soggy but no matter, I waited for a spoon for the egg.
Any chance of some salt and pepper?
And did you make coffee?
Reply: Shouting down the stairs "Put the kettle on, Jesus", very religious here.
Eventually, after ten or so trips up and down the stairs and declarations of exhaustion and exasperation, I nibbled forgivingly away at my vittles.
By now I have the team of two instructed in the art of the simple breakfast, which I generally make myself. Still, Mother's day comes but once a year, this year I'm going to the pub.
Ritual getting ready of simple breakfast.
1. Fill the kettle with enough water to make a small pot of coffee, put on the gas hob
2. Fill a small pot with enough water to boil an egg
3. Get a tray and put the salt, pepper mill, cup and spoon on it
4. Snore. I feel like I'm Sheldon in Big Bang Theory
5. The kettle for the coffee will boil first, so I switch the eggy pot to this ring, cos it's bigger
6. I have a little device that I got when I lived in Germany, its called an Eier Pixer, which means it makes a tiny hole in the bottom of the egg so the air comes out and it doesn't crack. The hole gets holed and I pop the egg into the water. I love duck eggs and always get them from the same seller at the Milk Market, the veggie guys from Ballyhoura. If their ducks don't lay, I don't get. I've bought other ones from other people and they're never as fresh. Otherwise some of my farmer friends give me organic eggs from time to time, from hens. The egg goes in.
7. The toast goes on, not just any toast. Usually from my own spelt bread, or if I haven't made any I get it from Vi Russell who sells the best baked goodies at her Sunflower bakery stall also at the Milk Market. The toast goes on for 3 and a half minutes, enough time for the egg to cook.
8. Coffee, the kettle goes back on the boil till it whistles, I love a whistley kettle. I clean out the coffee pot and warm it up with hot water. In goes two large spoons of Badger and Dodo Yellow Bourbon coffee, got from Harpers cafe at the Milk Market, again. No this isn't a sponsored post. The milk market shopping is the Saturday ritual.
9. The toast pops up and the egg is turned off. It goes into the egg cup. I butter the toast, Kerrygold, duh. If I have jam, Nature's Bounty, made in Limerick, I'll put that on the tray too. And up the stairs I go, to download the Times. Style section first, because to me it's more real that world news.
Sometimes I'll break the ritual and write a blog post, but not too often, as it discombobulates me. Are you asleep yet?