In the first ever event of its kind, according to my parents – who should know, I took them out for a meal this lunchtime.

We went to our local Harvester pub to take advantage of their very good meal prices and superb unlimited salad bar offer. No, I’m not on commission.

It was nice to get out of the house for a bit, away from the rest of the family, just the three of us, able to relax and enjoy our surroundings. The place is lovely, out the way from the usual eating venues, and better still, somewhere we haven’t been to before.

And when the value is calculated, it’s pretty damn good. £10 a head for what was effectively a four course meal, starting with a large helping of salad, some pasta with garlic bread (with another big bowl of salad), then a giant chocolate fudge ice cream dessert (£2.99) and a cup of coffee to finish.

I had to pay for the lot, but I’ve been threatening to do that for years. In fact it had become a bit of a joke around these parts. “I’ll pay” was what I would quip before we’d head out to dinner. It’s not like we do this that often, maybe once a month, and that’s usually because it’s someone’s birthday.

But this time I really meant it. Out came the credit card. Like I said, it was nice to treat the family, and all without the rest of my brothers and sisters hanging on. Not that this is a game of one-upmanship, but, you know, I don’t think any of us ever show our appreciation for our parents… so it was nice to do that for a change.

We’re still all stuffed now, three hours since the meal. I probably won’t need to eat much later. Better that I just sit in this chair for a few more hours and let it all digest. Wouldn’t want to see my hard earned money again!

Meanwhile, it’s been a quiet week. No progress on the escape front. Just more hassle from the rest of my family, and more of me dearly wishing to get the hell out of here. It will happen. One day. Just not yet. When it does happen it will be a total nightmare, as the logistics of moving from The North to The South are horrendous.

But that’s yet another reason why I want to try to enjoy my time here, since it may not last for much longer. There may not be many more chances to treat my family, except for the odd weekend when I’m home.

This too shall pass – as I like to tell myself. The four most reassuring – and most frightening – words in language.

Boy, I sure do love depressing myself.

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