Recently I was invited to join in with the campaign to end loneliness and invite an elderly relative for dinner so they're not alone and have at least some family interaction for a bit. I knew straight away that I would invite my mother in law down for a family meal with us.
My mother in law has recently undergone heart surgery and so cannot do loads. She spends the most part in her flat pottering around but, as she lives on her own, I can imagine how lonely it must be from time to time.
Sunrise Senior Living who provide residential care, organised the End Loneliness Campaign for bloggers to make sure, for at least a bit of time, the an elderly person is with family, interacting and enjoying the company of family members rather than being at home. You can see what other bloggers have written about by searching #DontDineAlone on social media.
So, we set the date and planned a huge Sunday roast for the family. We regularly invite my husbands mum down for dinner, but it's usually for special events, birthdays, Christmas, that kind of thing, so most of the rest of the time, she will be at home, so it was nice to see the smile on her face when we asked her to attend our dinner.
Armed with enough food to feed a small army, I set out to create a 3 course menu, perfect for all of us and our tastes. For starter, butternut squash soup with crusty bread. Shortly followed by a hearty chicken roast dinner, and since I'm a true Yorkshire girl, this included a mountain of Yorkshire puds, homemade of course. Dessert was trifle. Why not I thought. It gave the boys and I something to prepare the day before and meant that Joseph could also tuck into it after his dinner.
The whole family enjoyed eating together at the table, chatting about television, news and a bit of football thrown in, just enjoying each others company.
And then it got to the competitive bit... Monopoly... The Monopoly: Leeds Edition to be precise.
As we all know, Monopoly takes an age to play so this went on for a good few hours, cheers when we won a big pot of money from the 'free parking' square. Moaning coming from the hubby as he, once again, landed on a plot with a hotel, and just altogether having fun.
For me, not only was it great that we got to spend the day with my husbands mum, but it meant that we got to talk about the things she likes, do something different and just relax knowing that for that day, she was with her family and knew how appreciated she is.
After agreeing just how good it was, we decided that it would now be a weekly thing. Every Sunday, the mother in law will come down and we'll have a lovely roast followed by getting to beat the hubby at a board game.
A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, as one big happy family...