5 Down – Plenipotentiary

My favourite holiday memory? (so asks the NaBloPoMo prompt for today)

I don’t like it when I’m asked forĀ oneĀ favourite of anything.

Once I was asked, when being interviewed in front of an audience, what my favourite food was? One favourite? Really??

Fortunately, earlier that day, I had been given advance notice of the questions they would ask, including the unanswerable favourite food question. My sweet, gentle, quiet hosts who had listened to me chatter away earlier that day, reminded me that, while I was chattering over breakfast I had mentioned that I love porridge. I do love porridge and we were eating it that morning! They also reminded me that while I was chattering over lunch, I had mentioned how much I loved sandwiches. I do love sandwiches and we were eating them that lunchtime!

‘So,’ he suggested, ‘There’s your answer!’

Needless to say, the answer was not one the interviewer or audience expected that night.

If I have to think of my favourite holiday memories, I would have to say they are ‘porridge and sandwich’ memories. Not literally. But they are wonderful and comforting, like said tasty morsels.

Like sitting on a park bench trying to take a group-bench-selfie and me laughing until I cried – which was a bit awkward – but lovely nevertheless.

Like drinking a beer and eating an Austrian sausage while sitting with friends on a hay bale in a harvested sunflower field, surrounded by sunflowers yet to be harvested.

Like a table with candles, a pot of stew and friends sitting around it eating, until the dog barked to remind us he hadn’t had dinner yet.

Like the peace and safety of the kindly offered house of dear friends – and the mid-afternoon naps I availed of there.

Like the day where I read a book that made me laugh out loud in a cafe and cry out loud in my room as I finished it. Then falling asleep again – because I could.

Like a chapter of a book read each morning with an espresso, in a cafe, in the piazza of an Italian village.

Like a letter written to my old friend of 35 years while sitting in the Pump Room in Bath and listening to a string quartet. My friend and I have been writing hand-written letters to each other for 30 of those 35 years of friendships and we try to find locations for writing that we’d both enjoy.

Like the many times I’ve completed a crossword on holiday with friends. With coffee, with onion bhajis, even with porridge topped with a little whiskey and cream.

I especially love the memory of three days of holiday with a good friend before her marriage, a crossword completed each day (that was a holiday record for us!) and the one day where we hit the jackpot:

5 Down: Plenipotentiary


‘Plenipotentiary’ is the answer. I can’t remember what the clue was and it’s covered by the pen in the photo.

All my favourite holiday memories are ‘porridge and sandwich’ kind of memories. They’re also pretty recent memories…because my memory is generally not great!

What are your favourite holiday memories like?

And does anyone know what the clue for ‘5 Down’ would have been??