Saturday 10 May

A baby barbecue at the Makepeaces’ in Urmston but – fear not! – we couldn’t eat a whole one, nor decide upon which looks tastier, so settle for garnishing, rather than basting the little beggars. Where did they all come from? I am seventeen again, suddenly realizing that all about me friends have gained their carriage licenses and I – distracted by the first of my doomed love affairs – have failed to register a unique neglect of duty; am without wheels and lacking direction. When did these things happen to everyone? Who are these mini-peoples, some with hair, some bald, some shriveled, some expansive, much like their parents, or rather someone else’s parents; for whose is whose in any case, as lawn rats are passed round a circle of friends while Ted, his wife away, his teat-seeking son gently tossed into the mix, gets on with his fatherly supping? I have no doubt that in a couple of years, as characters form, it won’t only be the parents adoring each and every one of them – not least the Makepeaces’ own – but for now the kids are mere sausages to the hearty steaks and clever venison they will become.

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