One Friday night when my Archie was at boarding school and in Year 9, I was tucked in bed at home. My mobile rang and it was Archie. ‘What are you doing Archie? It’s so late’.
‘I’m at the hospital.’
‘The school’s hospital?’
‘No, I was there, but matron drove me to the one out here’. And I knew it must be serious. I sprang out of bed.
‘What’s wrong Archie? Are you okay?’
‘Oh don’t worry mum, I’m fine. I just thought I should tell you, that’s all’.
‘Tell me what? What’s wrong with you?’
‘They don’t know yet but my hand’s all black so I’ve probably broken a bone?’
‘A fracture? Do you need me to come out there? I could leave in a few minutes. Where’s the doctor?’
‘Mum, it’s fine…it’s nothing…I just can’t move my thumb, that’s all’.
‘Your thumb? You can’t move your thumb?’
‘Yeah, but don’t worry mum, it’s only a thumb’.
On one of the rare Friday afternoons when Archie didn’t have a school detention, he was asked if he’d like to participate in a friendly game of dodge ball. He played right through the game and when it was over he went to shake the umpire’s hand and realised he couldn’t move his thumb and actually, was in a lot of pain. He looked down and noticed his hand was black. He was taken to the school’s hospital where he was told he most likely had fractured his thumb and so matron drove him out to the local hospital.
A few hours later it was time for matron to bundy off duty. As Archie hadn’t thought to notify me, the matron made the call to Archie’s long-suffering House-Master. As the House-Master, it was his role to step in wherever and whenever required so on his evening ‘off’ he had to drive out and sit with Archie while Archie continued to wait for the doctor.
The house-master just couldn’t believe that a friendly social game had resulted in a fracture and of all the people to get a fracture, why did it have to be Archie. Because without necessarily meaning to, Archie got on the house-master’s nerves, and now here he was on a cold Friday night, having to sit in a crowded Emergency department with a boy who irritated him. Archie has always been high on life and LOUD and not shy and so instead of sitting quietly and patiently waiting he was up and on his feet and talking to all the other patients and asking why they were there and showing them his black hand and then his phone would ring, so he’d wander off outside to take his call and meanwhile the nurse would be asking the house-master where he was so he’d have to get up and look for him and he’d be getting more and more infuriated while Archie just couldn’t see why there was a problem.
And after the thumb had been x-rayed and the fracture had been diagnosed and the hand had been plastered, it was time to drive back to the boarding house.
In the car on the way home the house-master turned to Archie and said, ‘You know, for the past four hours I could have been at home in bed with my wife but instead I’ve had to look after you’. Like there was no justice in the world.
And Archie said, ‘Oh, right, well I’m really very sorry about that sir’. And nothing more was said.
Forever having to send appeasing gifts, I think we gave the house-master a bottle of wine to thank him for his trouble but an equally good thank you gift would have been this Rocky Road.
Serves: Now that’s a bit challenging. Definitely more than one.
Degree of Difficulty: This is child’s play (as long as they don’t get a steam burn). 1/5
Cost: Not cheap but definitely comparable with buying a quality box of chocolates.
- 750g (1.6 pounds) dark good quality cooking chocolate
- 3/4 cup dessicated coconut
- 3/4 cup roasted hazelnuts
- 150g (5.3 oz) marshmallows, halved
- 150g (5.3 oz) Turkish Delight, chopped
Grease and line 2 x 27cm (10.5 inch) x 9cm (3.5 inch) loaf tins.
Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl sitting on top of a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut, hazelnuts, marshmallows and Turkish Delight.
Pour into prepared pans.
Refrigerate for 3 hours or until set.
Cut into large pieces. Serve.
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