Week 11:More Mangoes , our summer holiday and #blacklivesmatter

Hello there !! Yes I’m still here and carrying on and staying calm and trying to be productive. Are you back to socially distanced work or still home going square eyed with the lovely Teams/Zoom/Skype or WebEx. Have you noticed the downturn in the zoom parties and quizzes? So all those people that you rarely saw over the year but were meeting virtually and weekly can go back to a sensible level. It’s hard to describe your weekly update and make it sound interesting… oh dear, stop now Seema, it’s exactly what you do!!

Standing strong

Just as a side thing the hubby said,”do you have to share everything in your blog”. If only be knew how little I share. I’ll let you decide if I share too much .

I’ve made it known that we need to move house . I haven’t really understood that we can’t afford it. All this cooking and gardening has meant that I want more space #firstworldproblems. I have had to stop watching Gardener’s World and the Chelsea Flower Show reruns on IPlayer (god, how middle class do I sound but am not, girl from Southall, said Soufall). This leads me onto the start of my teachings on basics of couple strategies. Start talking up your wants, keep repeating and just wait. You’ll understand this shortly.

So this was the first full week without the student amidst us; so much of my material lost. She’s gone back to the student house in Nottingham with her housemate. I think 10 weeks with the oldies was enough. There could have been a murder. She’s doing well and has now officially finished her degree. We hear from her and have catch-ups;especially when something is needed from Amazon Prime.This time it was sports socks; yes she is still on the keep fit routine. The piece de resistance from her yesterday was her thanking me for helping my ex, her dad, with honey sales and would I be up for baking his birthday cake shortly ? I’ll leave that one with you. Answers on a postcard, sorry on text/WhatsApp/messenger or simply call me.

Kitchen action has been pitiful this week. It went from a cheat meal, for the second time ever I used a pasta sauce (don’t hate me) but I can’t help tweaking it. So actually I should have just made my own !

I made a quick strawberry tart for a friend’s birthday.


We had pizza a la Sainsbury’s but again with added mushrooms and something! I returned to baking on Wednesday, my day of mooching. I made a raspberry & almond cake and a sort of apple upside down cake (psssst it only became an upside down cake because I over baked very slightly). I really should not be left at home too long.

Cake anyone ?

There is a petition to get me back to work (thankyou Lindsey Hoyle and Debbie Acquaye) and I’m happy to sign it too. And on Wednesday night I asked the hubby to make dinner as I was busy with yoga. We had a plethora of veg in the fridge and wondered what we would be feasting on. I enter the kitchen and he’s watching Killing Eve on the IPad and I casually ask what’s for dinner and he points to the hob. Oh! He has simply taken out the Indian food from the freezer!! There are two daals and the spinach & paneer curry. Thankyou to me for dinner then. This will form another part of the couple strategies. Just bank it. Is it only me who thinks this was wrong !! On a grey Sunday afternoon I returned to an old favourite, Veg by Hugh Fernley Whittingstall to try the recipe for Aubergine Parmigiana. Comfort food at its best.

Comfort food

The garden is lush, thriving in the sun and occasional rain. My new babies the beetroot seem to be doing well. I’m going to have to pull out the cauliflower; I need to be strong and not be too attached.

Green is good
Pot for the rose
Runner beans

My strawberry crop is light but then I only have 5 plants.

One each

I treated myself recently and purchased an okra plant, although it looks a bit pathetic. The runner beans are literally running away with themselves. The courgettes are spreading out and the tomatoes are the steady Eddies of the group. I’m trying not to be impatient but need to pick something pretty soon! Think the lettuce is virtually there …great . 🤦🏽‍♀️

My 12 week yoga program is coming to an end. Will this mean that I no longer get up at 5.30am. I know I will need to develop my own practice, perhaps starting a little later. We are now at the stage of connecting our mind and body to work as one; complete awareness through breath work to achieve physical and inner consciousness (that’s a quick summary, but will surely be sending a blog your way).

The hubby finds it tres amusing that I have started cycling after so many years of rolling my eyes at his obsession. I now think it’s ok to leave my bike in the dining room and off like a child given the chance.

Rest time

I have a new gadget that holds my phone just Incase I go somewhere new. I decide I need another pair of padded shorts, those seats weren’t designed for comfort as I found out on bumpy country fields. So I start googling and end up ordering some ladies Castelli padded shorts, let’s just say that I will never live that down. I’m not and don’t think will ever get to the bib stage … hope everyone knows what I’m talking about. So all these years I’ve been teasing hubby over his expenditure on his biking gear, now I am working my way to his thinking. I may even want another bike, no really I’m not joking(again, one for the couple strategies).

Gadget alert !
Dry bumpy land

The watch and I are friends again as I have walked lots this week and made sure to report that to the watch authorities!

Walking everywhere

We had a day’s holiday to Oxford to see some friends. It was whole day out with eating , walking and chatting and being somewhere different. It was such a relief, we imagined we were in the Lake District or Italy. We did a 12km walk through beautiful Oxfordshire villages. We tried to get into Blenheim but with no booking during a pandemic is a no no. So we skirted the edge and sneaked into Woodstock where all the coffee shops and food stores were open for takeaways. I sipped my tea and tucked into a vegetarian pastie as I sat on the doorstep of the Aga shop!Then we got on a bus home.

Summer holiday
It’s not sinking I promise

This week I was the mango distribution centre (ok it was only 18 boxes). Wonder what the neighbours make of it all. People arriving at the doorstep and walking away with honey or mangoes . I’m hoping next week brings something just as nice as mango season is coming to an end and no more honey for me. Whilst I gorge on mangoes I need to remember it’s the fruit with the highest sugar content;why wouldn’t it be, I love them, that’s why!! Life is cruel.


So if you remember I had managed to get a slot at the tip on Friday morning. The best till last. The hubby had managed to squeeze a tonne of cardboard and numerous bin liners filled with who knows what. I’m rarely late so was in plenty of time arriving at 9.00am for my 9.15 slot. Can you believe it there was a bloody queue. No panic needed, there is a nice man with a clipboard . Oh how my life has changed . Normally I’m the support team for tip visits or not even invited. It’s a bit of macho thing to go to the tip. I just let him believe that, so don’t ruin it. I was home within 40 minutes. No drama , no traumas, no rejection of my rubbish.

Meet my new friends

You may be wondering, what is this couple strategies you kept mentioning. Well it goes something like this. Your hubby mentions only a few days ago,”darling I’m thinking of upgrading my motorbike”. I roll my eyes, but know that this has been in the planning for sometime. He rides off towards Northampton on Friday afternoon and comes back a few hours later with an even shinier machine. I can see that it’s beautiful but it’s a motorbike. This is where the couple strategies come in. I make no fuss but know that I can ask for anything …. well at least for a while. I know it’s not cricket but I hate bikes. Oh, and look what arrived in an oversized box a day later!! What else do I need !? My list is getting longer.

The old
The new
Wonder what this is for ?

So as we enter the summer, schools open with social distancing in place, Easy Jet are playing around with flights, Ryan Air are full steam ahead, or are they, I’m waiting to get back to work. I hear hairdressers may open soon and the MK John Lewis too. What else do we need ?

The school wall

Who knew I could sink this low? Oh and then the Lockdown is loosening… but we still need to stay alert.🙏🏽

How can I finish this week’s blog without mentioning #blacklivesmatter .We are in 2020 and are still talking about equal rights. As a woman of Indian origin, and of relative privilege it is important to stand shoulder to shoulder and call out all that is wrong. I did attend the Bedford protest, which was peaceful and conducted with the pandemic in mind. Everyone wore masks and stayed 2m apart. I am proud to live in a multicultural town like Bedford. I am super proud of the student who is teaching us so much more about her world and the views of the youth. It gives me hope for the future but we cannot be complacent whatever your background. I would like to leave with the following poem

First They Came for the Jews

by Martin Niemöller

First they came for the Jews

and I did not speak out

because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists

and I did not speak out

because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists

and I did not speak out

because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me

and there was no one left

to speak out for me.




3 thoughts on “Week 11:More Mangoes , our summer holiday and #blacklivesmatter

  1. So prolific!

    I’m impressed with the garden. Bounty awaits!

    BLM; well behaved Bedford. Not quite what I feared Brum might have been.

    Miss you. Xx

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

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