“E” for excitement


The letter “E” is significant in the English language but recently it has taken on a whole new dimension. Just over three years ago we welcomed our granddaughter Ellie into the world. Today the power of “E” has increased as we now welcome the newest addition to the Wilks/Matthews Clan..Erin. “E” now stands for so much more! I have not been able to see Erin yet as I am away on business but I intend to make up for this that is for sure.
This ever expanding family is phenomenal. We cross two seas (Atlantic and Irish) and multiple countries. As if the arrival of our newest member was not enough to rejoice we also have the pleasure of welcoming another new family member, by marriage, Amanda. Two new family members in as many days…wow, how lucky are we?

Congratulations to Matt, Sarah and Ellie and to Mark and Amanda! Thank you for writing the preface of the next chapters of our family history.

Simple Pleasures

If you follow this blog you know that I travel quite often for business. Normally I have such brief stays in ant one location that it is not uncommon for me to only travel to the customer site and the hotel before going back to the airport. However, when time permits I love to take in the local culture usually through its cuisine. This week I am in lovely Milan, unfortunately I brought our UK weather with me once again. On the bright side my colleague and I have the opportunity to enjoy our first evening’s meal in a wonderful local restaurant. It was so good that we had to return for the second night in a row. The food and the staff are incredible! At the end of our meal we were enjoying the last of our wine and suddenly the waiter appears with a small plate of tiny pastries sprinkled with powdered sugar and a bottle, yes, not glass of, Lemoncello. I was immediately throw back to my childhood, (which is getting to be a much longer throw), I said to my colleague “strovalli”, he looked at me and said “what?” I said “I’m sure my grandmother used to make these for us and we called them strovalli”. Our Italian side of the family had names for things that you couldn’t always trace back to its Italian roots. I popped one in my mouth and I knew I was right. So when the waiter whizzed by I said “can you tell me what you call these”, pointing to the plate. He said “we call them strovalli”. Score!!! I knew it.

Almost 50 years on and one taste sparked a flood of childhood memories. The only difference I told the waiter was that my grandmother used to drizzle honey over them. He said “ah yes, that is the way we have them at home”. I guess sticky honey could be quite messy in a restaurant setting. So here I am 4+ decades and more than 4,000 miles from my home town and I rediscover one of life’s simple pleasures. Grandma, here’s to you “salute!”