Our friends are addicted to generosity. A most enormous parcel arrived, to sign for. A gift from G&A, the main item commissioned and acquired before they came to visit but then inadvertently left at home. It proved to be a magnificent plate, of the kind whose magnificence is underlined by its being called a charger, from a pottery in rural Pembrokeshore. Its main glaze that shade of ochre gold to be seen on some very old ware, but its striking feature is the motif of stag beetles of various sizes embossed on its surface.
Wishing to put it to use straight away, I put such fruit as I had on the table into it, which consisted of three rather specky bananas and a pile of Brazil nuts from the winter (I like Brazils better than most nuts, but find them almost impossible to get into). As it turned out these were rather a good match:
The effect was that the beetles were emerging from below to snatch at the fruit and nuts,
a scene which changed as one shook and stirred things around, a veritable drama going on in the middle of the table.
And this wasn't all. As well as a large box within a box of clever polystyrene construction which ensured its safe arrival, there were all manner of interesting comestibles used as additional packing, doubtless the work of A, who loves to feed people. These included an enormous box of broken biscuits:
(pic taken on the webcam, as I forgot to photograph it). Tom's eyes lit up when he saw these, I think it's an austerity childhood thing. Though I must say they are rather wonderful, the act of dipping into them has something of the appeal of archaeology, careful sifting through for recognisable shards and fragments, a corner of a chocolate digestive here, half a Nice biscuit there, a partially defaced jammy dodger or mishapen choc chip cookie below... before carefully covering them over again.
Oh yes, and then there was this: