It was at the funeral of another school friend about five years ago that my cousin addressed me as 'Nelly' in the graveyard. I was surprised. Somehow I'd thought that my neighbours and relations from way back when wouldn't know about the Garden. I should have had more wit. Anyway he said he enjoyed it and ever since then I'd always thought of him when I was putting together a new posting. This following post is an old one from around that time and, I think, the sort of post he liked reading.
I'll miss thinking of him when I come to Nelly's Garden although, not as much as he'll be missed by the family who adored him.
Yesterday evening while excavating the freezer I found a bag of frozen eels. Bert was ecstatic for he'd forgotten we still had them. He has only recently discovered the joy of eels and he cannot believe he lived until the ripe old age of 48 before tasting them. Those of you who know him personally will hardly be surprised he took to the Lough Neagh delicacy, as eels, like most of Bert's favourite foods, fall into the category known as 'close to minging'.
That's not to say I don't enjoy a bit of eel myself but in moderation only. I couldn't gorge myself on them nor eat them on consecutive days.
Bert fried a huge panful of them, ate two helpings and set aside a large portion for today's lunch. I merely nibbled on two small pieces.
When I returned from work this evening I asked him,
Did you have a nice day darling?
No. I had a terrible day.
Why? What happened?
Well you know the eels I was keeping for lunch? I refried them and they were just perfect. My mouth was watering for them. I was even singing an eely song while I was buttering my sodas and making my tea.
The one that goes, 'Eels! Eels! we like lots of eels!' sung to the air of the Bavarian Drinking Song?
Aye. That one.
What happened? Did you burn them?
Pearlie rang over wanting me for something.
Oh God! Were you over there for ages and burned your eels useless?
No! They were out on the plate waiting to be eaten.
Oh dear. Not...?
Yes! I came back over and there was the plate sitting where I'd left it. Not an eel in sight. The plate was spotless!
Bonnie...? Aye! She's the only one big enough to have reached it. Not one solitary eel left....