Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Parenting - TRIC KEAR­NEY

I’M by na­ture an un­seemly healthy in­di­vid­ual, who rarely gets any­thing worse than a headache. How­ever, In the past few days I’ve been de­cid­edly un­der the weather. Dur­ing this time, I’ve learned two things. One, is that as long as I put din­ner on the ta­ble, no one cares. The other, is that it might be pos­si­ble for a woman to get man-flu.

If I’m com­pletely hon­est I’ll ad­mit, while I’ve cer­tainly not been 100%, I’m nowhere near dy­ing. How­ever, you’d never think that if you were to lis­ten to me.

“Waahh, I’m so un­well,” I’ve been say­ing on a loop, in a moany voice, to any­one who will lis­ten, in­clud­ing my re­flec­tion in the mir­ror.

I’ve even spent time ly­ing on the couch, like some­one from a Jane Austen novel, wait­ing for hot chicken soup and my fever to break.

How­ever, the worst side ef­fect of this man-flu has been my poor me­mory. I’m for­get­ting ev­ery­thing.

“I can’t wait for Fri­day,” said my youngest.

“Oh yes, that’ll be won­der­ful. En­joy.”

“Do you even re­mem­ber what’s hap­pen­ing Fri­day?” “Sorry, no,” I ad­mit­ted. I’ve not been sleep­ing or I’m not well,

As you may know I’m no foodie, but the won­der­ful cook who is my mother, man­aged to teach me one thing — how to make a good pavlova

are some of the re­as­sur­ances I’ve been of­fer­ing my­self as ex­cuses, most es­pe­cially when re­cently I met a lovely gen­tle­man who greeted me like an old pal but as yet I’ve still no idea who he was.

To­day my poor me­mory struck again.

I woke early with a long to-do list swirling about in my head and a time clock for most of the items on it tick­ing loudly. Not to worry, with an early start I’d be on top of it in no time and at least my man-flu had be­gun to leave my body.

Top of my to-do list was a pavlova I’d to make for a friend’s din­ner party. She was cater­ing for a large num­ber of us that evening and I’d promised to pro­vide a dessert. As you may know I’m no foodie, but the won­der­ful cook who is my mother, man­aged to teach me one thing — how to make a good pavlova. On more than one oc­ca­sion this has caused my foodie friends to won­der have they mis­judged my home­mak­ing qual­i­ties? They have not. I re­ally am a one-trick pony.

With an empty house for the first time in six months, I was se­ri­ously tempted to sit in si­lence and read, but the list and pavlova kept call­ing. So, I reached for the box of six eggs. It was right about the mo­ment I opened them that a me­mory re­turned.

I’d eaten egg num­ber six the pre­vi­ous day. Not to worry five large eggs would have to do.

With a de­cided shake in my hands, I be­gan to separate the whites from the yolks, not an easy task be­fore 8am, es­pe­cially with the sound of my mother’s voice ring­ing in my ears: “If even the small­est piece of yolk goes into the whites it will be ru­ined.”

Min­utes later I stared into the bowl of five egg whites, suc­cess­fully sep­a­rated. On the plus side, there didn’t seem to be any rogue yolk present, on the neg­a­tive, yes­ter­day’s lunch was def­i­nitely a mis­take. I needed one more egg.

Dress­ing quickly, I drove to the lo­cal shop in a less than per­fect mood. Twenty min­utes later my mas­ter­piece of a pavlova was in the oven. As I stood back to ad­mire it and con­grat­u­late my­self, I spot­ted the egg I’d gone shop­ping for, sep­a­rated and sit­ting in a cup on the counter.

I needed a lie-down, my man-flu was re­turn­ing with a bang.

Later I sol­diered on to the party. But as my friends ad­mired my pavlova I may have for­got­ten to tell them it was miss­ing some­thing.

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