Opinion: Janet Christie's Mum's the Word

Shout out for a socially distanced celebration

Crispy chicken wrap with cheese at Taza in Town, 69 Bread Street Edinburgh.
Crispy chicken wrap with cheese at Taza in Town, 69 Bread Street Edinburgh.

A birthday! As Eldest continues to race through his twenties it’s time to herd the clan cats for a celebration. And it has to be IRL - virtual’s OK, but we’re a family that likes to all shout at once.

Finding a date when everyone’s available is a head nip - they’re all working, and after redundancies and furloughs, now’s not the time to be shift dodging - but finally we have a time. Now for a place.

Outside was always good when he was younger - less destructive to property and people yet within driving distance of A&E, and he was born during a thunderstorm so when the torrential rain arrives it’s a nice touch. Trampolines were a hit too, but losing one through the springs once gave me the fear. Not so bad if it had been one of mine, but someone else’s child? No matter that he was beaming when I finally located him lodged underneath in the corner of the concrete well. He has two kids of his own now, so it turned out well, but still.

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    Pizza? We’re desperate to try Middle’s, the fruits of his second job to pay for the van in which he’s planning to escape me for a life on the road, but turning up en masse to watch him work while we scoff? Could be a flashpoint.

    Finally, I have it. Before the war in Syria Eldest visited cousins, saw Aleppo, Damascus, Homs, Palmyra, was awed by sites he knew from gaming - war damaged but now being rebuilt - and talked the universal language of football with the kids he met. And ate. A lot.

    So The Syrian Supper Club at Cyrenians in Leith is temporarily closed, although an upcoming online bakealong event - Syrian Baking with Noura Selibi - ‘kunafa, a glorious confection of soft melted cheese (mascarpone and homemade curd cheese) sandwiched with shredded phyllo pastry and drizzled with rose water syrup)’ has me drooling.

    Then Ben Sharrock, director of the must-see Limbo, the story of a Syrian musician and fellow asylum seekers relocated on a Scottish island, mentions Taza in Town, the Syrian restaurant in Edinburgh. Sorted. I’ll collect. All I need is everyone’s order.

    “Can anyone recommend something I would like?” asks Youngest on whatsapp.

    “High5 a chimpanzee,” says Middle.

    “Skydiving,” says Eldest.

    Silence. Not good. Eldest might be in for some bumps, IRL.


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