I was around 14 when it happened, after yet another smoking oven and a dish filled with something that might have resembled a shepherds pie (if I'd bothered to peel any potatoes that is) poor Mrs Davies had put her hand on my shoulders and whispered "If you want, you can just watch when the others cook. You just take notes." From then on you'd only really find me in the kitchen warming up fish fingers or following my mum around for scraps. (Kind of like a labrador) I never needed to cook properly, who even wants to sift flour anyway.
Suddenly living on my own aged 21 and 11.5 months I found myself having to step right up to the hot plate, practicing my favourite meals from home, trying to remember exactly how mum used to do it and feeling pretty happy with myself when I could. These days I'm a lot more at home behind a boiling pan and I always, always bother to peel potatoes.
Adam's dad had just moved to Malta and with flights over from Rome only taking an hour it felt like a perfect excuse to leave the busy city in favour of one last sun filled escape. Our flight had been nearly 6 hours delayed (I'd made the mistake of having a couple of beers as soon as we arrived at the airport, guess whose hangover kicked in with 4 hours to go??) and we landed in the early hours of the morning to a dark, silent island lit up almost entirely by fairy lights.
They say that Rome wasn't built in a day, but with just a few hours in the city we were certainly going to see as much of it as possible in one. With a free tourist map in hand we were going to spend the afternoon in the Vatican Museum with a fly by tour of some key monuments on the walk there, if only it was going to be that simple. In a single moment that we've only just started to see the funny side of, I misread the Vatican website as saying we needed to have covered shoulders (true) and covered knees (not true) to enter. Yes it was going to be over 30 degrees heat and yes we had 2 miles to cover but rules are rules so with a spare shirt in my already bulging Le Boy and him in ankle length cargo trousers and a long sleeved shirt we set off.