I had planned to skip my birthday celebrations completely, but my godmother saw it fit to invite herself and her husband for a cup of coffee. Mother thought we ought to give them a drink first, but there really wasn't anything acceptable. She brought from the cellar a bottle of cheap fortified wine, mainly suitable for winos, that some of her friends had given her. I don't consider myself a snob, but I just couldn't think of serving it to a retired physical training mistress and an ex-judge. "But we don't have any champagne", said mother. And in a fit of pique I went to buy some. In the shop I changed my mind and decided that sparkling wine would do for people who invite themselves, and finally bought some ecological cava which I suppose was good enough, although the taste was somewhat unusual, grass-like.

In the end it was a nice visit and I felt sorry for having been so grudging.