Hello, sorry I’m late. Well actually a whole week too late; what’s a day, a week, a month these days anyway. Between feeling a little flat after being told that I was to be furloughed till end June (yes I know it is an extended holiday and I am grateful but I actually enjoy working, well sometimes anyway) and the warm weather, it was all too much for me. I felt I needed to keep busy and perhaps overdid it… judge for yourself !
The weeks of waiting and the anticipation were at an end; the bits of wood that would eventually make up the veg trug arrived.
In true childlike excitement I ran to tell the hubby that his weekend project was here. I’m not sure I can pen that expression. Anyway roll onto Friday evening, he didn’t even wait until the weekend. I now understand it wasn’t enthusiasm it was purely “need to get this off my list” behaviour. As with any diy task my approach is to watch from a distance, perhaps with a cuppa and a slice of cake. One doesn’t want to be rude and stare. So I watched casually and watched a bit more. And then it came, the call for help. Understandably a second pair of hands is much needed sometimes and I would be churlish to refuse. I do as I’m told and then retreat again. And then it comes again and we stand there, walk around it, look at the photo on the box, checking and rechecking (note to Veg trug – take a leaf out of John Lewis assembly instructions manual, see further down). We establish that he’s built it back to front and after a little adjustment (undoing basically) it seemed prudent to stay. It is my baby after all. I’m being showered with “you are more logical” and “you have a better eye for this sort of thing”. Anyway it was made and looks beautiful and the following day I introduced it into the rest of the veg family. If nothing else it’s a nice bit of furniture in the garden. A very expensive bed to grow some lettuce , kale, courgette and perhaps a handful of strawberries; don’t judge me!
Some things have started to grow and as we had experienced confusion over the seeds in the earlier weeks we finally realised it was runner beans growing so frantically in my fabric raised beds … who knew that these things existed ? The tomatoes are storming ahead; did I tell you that fresh tomatoes are the devil’s food? Yuk and super yuk. As is celery. Glad I’ve got that off my chest. The cauliflowers have unfortunately bolted – again who knew there was such a thing. I am pretending it’s my ornamental garden. The sunflowers are rising upwards , although hubby had killed one of the eight. Everything else is hanging in there and I look forward to perhaps having enough spinach to make a spanakopita. I don’t think I will ever add up how much I have spent to grow a few veg but the pleasure it’s giving me is immense. The sheer relief when the shoots of green appear from a seed tray is huge , try it for yourself.
The student had decided some time ago that she was too big for a single bad but I had conveniently ignored it. It would mean disposing of the beautiful single bed . Anyway it was agreed and during this lockdown/relaxed lockdown it’s impossible to hide from a job and within a few minutes a double bed and mattress were ordered. Who can remember waiting weeks for furniture. The mattress and the bed were to be delivered within 3 days ! And incidentally on the same day as the veg trug. Note to self , must make an appointment at the tip for an annual supply of cardboard, but I’m sure you can understand my reluctance. If it’s a choice between walking , cycling, gardening , cooking or going to the tip, which one would you choose ??? Actually I’ll book the appointment now. My 5 friends will not be able to get to the garden if I don’t clear that passage. Will let you know how I get on.
So the bed construction was the second diy job thrown at the hubby in one weekend. A bit mean perhaps you may think but he approached it with a calm manner and headed upstairs. I stayed firmly seated in the lounge. The student thought that she would be the support on this project ; too bloody right. I stayed away but couldn’t resist a little check. Why do these company do this people … how many pieces and how many screws and of different sizes . But don’t worry the twenty page booklet will save the day. The Hubby did good; he didn’t lose his temper, he didn’t throw all the bits and storm off .. no not this time. The single bed is tidily packed away into the spare bedroom, aka our tip.
The kitchen adventure continues .The great weather has meant that we have been eating alfresco occasionally and also not too much Indian. But one day I did make okra again much to hubby’s disappointment. I’m determined to make the hubby like them and also I was following student’s mantra and working through all the fresh veg we had in the fridge. New okra recipe found that involved them being shallow fried beforehand ; and voila he likes it. Frying is the answer my friends. His exact words were, “you should add this to your repertoire”.
I decided one day to have an Indian cookathon. There is a method to my madness. Done and dusted for a few days and some for the freezer. Not so silly.
Spinach and feta pie was made again and again a quick shower in between meant that I left the pastry too long ..so actually what appears to be a rustic pie is the pastry falling apart. Perhaps I should stop being so honest? I made another quiche (it’s part of my repertoire don’t you know!) made with home made pastry (will I never learn)… where I egg washed the baking parchment after the blind baking and wondered why it wasn’t soft. It’s ok it was spotted before I filled. Then due to popular demand I made another Bakewell Tart. Note to self – focus and don’t try to multi -task and rush and don’t try and bake the wooden chopping board along with the tart. I am only grateful it was the 10minute bake before adding jam. Lesson learnt I think. Anyway one Friday the hubby and student had sushi. The student’s friend kindly delivered. It was like watching people eat for the first time … they savoured every mouthful. They both used chopsticks and discussed each mouthful and how delicious everything was. The hubby has a jumpy moment with too much wasabi.The student then proclaimed how lovely the salmon was but can’t have salmon too often !! I may have to rename her. Did I tell you she’s gone all healthy on us and is creating her own food She gave me a list and I finally went to Sainsbury’s after 2 weeks. It was an exciting trip as I was looking for plantain, black rice, hard tofu (easy). miso paste and much more. I also came home with YEAST! Yes yeast from Sainsbury’s. The pandemic is over This is a sign. Interestingly I also received the yeast I ordered from Amazon, it’s come from bloody Taipei! I can read the weight and morning else. Now to use all this yeast .
The student ordered the bits I couldn’t find on Amazon as I refused to go to Waitrose. A few days later we received these .. they accidentally sent us an extra pack of Rude Health granola. Another mound of cardboard was added to my pile. No we are not returning them!
So I became a saleswoman for a few days for my ex husband.. yes you read that correctly. He’s known as the Honey Man in the village with his two new hives . I just happen to mention on five Whatsapp groups that he was selling the most recent crop and before you know it I had a spread sheet with names /orders and was delivering or arranging collections. And did I get anything for that … just the student getting her cut as the very initial idea for him to get a hobby years ago was hers . She keeps mentioning this, she’s going to make a good negotiator. She said she was doing me a favour because she knows I love sales and knew I’d have a spreadsheet going. Well, I do love excel but it has proved to be an interesting project.
The hubby called me Mrs Mop again. I’m seriously going to have to have stern words. It was the day I started a deep clean of our bedroom. I’m not sure what possessed me, spring rolls all over again. When was the last time you moved your bed and vacuumed there! Oh , it’s just us then. Some time later, I’ve cleared all the crates under the beds and shoved them on the landing, refusing re entry. Why do we have so much stuff? #firstworldproblem. I even went to the bottle bank finally and seemed to stand there for ages ! And I don’t even drink any of this. Go figure. It kept me entertained for a while matching white, green and brown bottles into the right slots. It felt like a game show but with no prize at the end other than a tidier passage.
Meeting friends for walks and cycle rides (socially distanced) continues – we now have a budding cycling group Cyclotron. Sounds good . My ambition is always to get back home without falling and without any incidents. A puncture would be an incident as I don’t know how to fix one . That is my next challenge, a mini course how to maintain and fix my bike . I may go in house and see if the hubby wants to barter. I continue with the yoga as it gets more challenging but satisfying.
Question 1: would you queue for hours for a McDonalds? If the answer is yes .. please Unfriend me now x
Question 2: Your eyes are not quite right ? Would you
a) get into your car and drive.
b) make and appointment with an optician
c) get your partner to drive instead
d) call in a favour and get a private taxi.
Question 3: Have you decided who your first 5 people will be? Don’t stress and just spread the love over the week.
NB: I had to go hunting for compost last week . My life is now complete.
NNB I did bake but didn’t want to promote unhealthy eating so sneaking them here ..don’t tell anyone.