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Eat, drink and be merry

IF, as a trade off for getting your house in order, you were offered fifteen more good years on earth, would you rise to the challenge? We’re told in the Bible that King Hezekiah, the 13th King of Judah, while seriously ill, received a visit from Prophet Isaiah.

Grilled pork chops, chips and salad take away from Queen of Hearts

‘Put your house in order’, said Isaiah, ‘because you are going to die.’ Turning his face to the wall, Hezekiah prayed to the Lord. Before long, Isaiah returned with this heartening message from God: ‘I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you, and add fifteen years to your life.’

For King Hezekiah, putting his house in order involved cementing his relationship with Yaweh by restoring worship in the temple, defending Jerusalem from attack by the Assyrian army, and naming his successor. Similarly, Zimbabweans forced by surging coronavirus infections to confront their mortality, are attempting to put their houses in order, in a variety of different ways.

Before tackling important issues like sorting out personal problems and attempting to get your business affairs on an even keel, remember that a well-stocked pantry and a clean house can give you peace of mind, reduce stress levels and improve your mental health. All of this will stand you in good stead, should you fall ill. If you’re happy with the grocery shopping you’ve done, use the extra time you have during lockdown to tidy the house and do a spot of deep cleaning in the kitchen and bathroom. I do have an aversion to doing housework, but confess to finding inspiration from checking out American mother of three Jessica Tull’s YouTube channel, and watching her clean her house.

Feeling relaxed in your clean house, turn your attention to legal matters. Bearing in mind Daniel Defoe’s statement in The Political History of the Devil, that ‘in this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes’, take stock of your possessions and find advice on how to write a will. Having written your will, it doesn’t mean that you are about to die. It simply means that you have stated how you wish to dispose of your property, investments and belongings; it also prevents the wrong people from enriching themselves once you have shuffled off the mortal coil.

If your situation is fairly simple and you have no more to bequeath than a house in Budiriro 1 and a savings account with CABS, consider using a free online template to create your own will, without having to pay someone else to do so. But should you own multiple jointly-owned properties, a collection of classic cars, and a portfolio of stocks and shares, you may need to find a solicitor to assist in explaining your options, and in helping you make the right decisions. Either way, you need to sign your will in the presence of two witnesses, and appoint an executor who will make sure that your wishes are carried out.

After watching several motivational ‘clean with me’ videos with Jessica Tull last weekend, I switched to Instagram and Queen of Hearts, to check out the take away specials. Having previously whiled away many happy hours in the garden at Queen of Hearts, listening to the soulful vibes of Marinade Live Music Outfit and enjoying sushi, burgers and barbecued chicken, it was time to test their take outs. Chargrilled pork chops served with chips and a fresh garden salad, priced at $8, seemed exceptionally good value. Delivery, because I live nearby, cost no more than $2.

Less than thirty minutes later, a red delivery motorbike hurtled down the drive way, and a smiling courier handed over lunch, neatly packaged in containers within a large brown paper bag.

The portions were generous, so in accordance with current austerity measures at home, George and I decided to share. The two pork chops were well-cooked, and although the chips had become slightly soggy en route, they crisped up nicely when heated for a few minutes in a dry frying pan. The fresh garden salad was unremarkable but adequate.

Queen of Hearts outsource their delivery service. The courier arrived on time, but it was concerning that he wasn’t wearing a mask (he wore a crash helmet, with the visor up), and didn’t use a hand sanitiser before handing over the paper bag. Quality control at Queen of Hearts have promised to look into this.

As the requirement for take aways grows, customers will continue to expect the highest standards of hygiene in both the packaging and delivery of meals. More and more restaurants, now closed for indoor dining, continue to offer take away meals, and I’ll be reporting on the best and worst of these in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, take time off from cleaning your house or agonising over your last will and testament, and eat, drink and be merry.  A Matter of Taste with Charlotte Malakoff

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