Alison Goulding: Sandwiches, lots of sandwiches

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I LEFT the house early on Sunday morning to go and see the horse and run the car through the wash.

All was peace when I left, with the bf tidying the kitchen in preparation for a family visit.

One hour and 45 minutes later I returned to a surreal version of the magic brooms from Fantasia.

Where the brooms carry pails of water until there’s a flood, I was greeted by the bf seemingly unable to cease making sandwiches.

Every square inch of the kitchen was covered in sandwiches.

Sandwiches were bustling for space like mutating cells, climbing the walls, filling the microwave, the bread bin, the coffee maker ...

Everywhere I looked I could see sandwiches. In the centre of the multiplying sandwiches was the bf, making more sandwiches.

“My family really like sandwiches,” he said, as if that explained everything.

“How big is your family?” I said.

The only relief in the sea of bread was a small, yet hardy, bowl of miniature scotch eggs, like a tiny island of protein.

Fortunately, before sandwiches took over the leasehold, the doorbell rang, and the family began to arrive.

I stemmed my social anxiety by clearing a space amongst the sandwiches to make cups of tea.

I shouldn’t have worried. The ice was melted with a blowtorch by the bf’s nephews, who ate some sandwiches before unearthing our gym ball and taking it in turns to bounce on it while the other lay crushed below like a rabbit trapped under a vibrating boulder.

Before they could squeeze the sandwiches out of each other we took them to Hamsterley Forest.

Soon they were zipping about on small luminous bicycles, peddling furiously past overweight labradors and anorak-clad toddlers.

We reached the woodland playground and immediately identified that one kid who watches all the others and decides he wants a go on whatever they’ve just set their heart on.

The nephews bore it stoically, which gave us all hope.

If a five-year-old can stay calm in the face of a fledgling Napoleon then World War Three may be further off than we think.

After we’d removed all the good stuff from the gift shop and had a cup of tea it was time to go home.

The youngest nephew didn’t want the fun to end and went a bit quiet.

I knew what he meant.

We eased that Sunday night feeling with a super of sandwiches a la sandwiches.

You can never have enough sandwiches.

In an uncertain world, they remind you where you stand i.e. at the start of a working week with all the packed lunches spoken for.