“What’s that famous line from Richard III?” I ask NW, as I get up to clear the children’s plates from the table. “Something about a Kingdom. And a horse.”
It is just after lunch and NW is taking out the rubbish. Our table is only big enough for three people and, at six months, NC is in a high chair. This forces one adult ALWAYS to be up doing things whilst the other sits down to eat/spoon food into a child. But it means I can indulge in Houzz porn to satisfy my cravings for a kitchen extension, which we MIGHT manage to afford before they both leave home, so it’s ok.
“Mummy, where’s my duck?” says NG, slipping quietly off her chair and smearing bolognese on the radiator as she slides down the wall. “OOOWWWW.”
“Did you bump your head?”
“Yes.” She pouts. “So I need some chocolate.”
I think about the cupboard, wherein lurks a headless milky bar rabbit and feel a bit guilty.
“Do you want a little piece of my Kingdom?”
There is a sharp intake of breath and NG’s eyes shine. NW materialises from outside. Even NC stops banging the mustard lid he’s been sucking. The kitchen is silent for, ooh, four seconds.
“YEEEESSSS!” NG shouts, delightedly. I sigh.
Since the Kingdom range arrived yesterday, I have had a few days of bliss, when I managed to hide in the bathroom and scoff a WHOLE dark chocolate lemon and lime centred bar and nearly all of the milk chocolate with rhubarb and vanilla centre. But I knew it would be short-lived.
Kingdom chocolate bars are ‘delicately decadent’ and an example of ‘modern British creativity’. The range is produced by the drool-inducing Montezuma’s. British-owned, the West Sussex-based chocolate company works with a Ugandan charity which has provided a new collection centre so farmers can bring their cocoa beans to be dried hygienically and get paid fairly. The packaging is riotous and distinctive and the flavours are sublime.
NG is placated with a square of milk chocolate with peanut butter centre, but then she stiffens like NL when he sees a cat. “Want my duck, Mummy. I do LOVE MY DUCKY.”
“A duck, a duck, my Kingdom for a duck,” I say wittily, handing over the last of the rhubarb centre, but it’s lost on them all.
NW looks at me thoughtfully from the sink where he is washing up.
“I think this chocolate has helped you lose weight. You’ve been up and down all morning and what with the hiding subterfuge, it must all be quite tiring.” He throws a tea towel over my head.
I walk over with purpose and flick him on the temple. “Ow,” he says.
“Don’t worry,” I say. In the Kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”
KEY TO CHARACTERS
Characters are abbreviated as follows:
NW – not William (husband and father)
NG – not George (daughter, sister and two and a half year old)
NC – not Charlotte (son, brother and six month old)
NL – not Lupo (a Labrador)