Week 14:M1/M25/M4, The heatwave, the rain and I’m 5’4”++

Hola ! It’s been like the Costa Del Holiday here in Bedford this last week. Holiday talk seems to be the main topic of conversation now whenever I meet anyone. It is always tinged with sadness, “we were supposed to be there, they’ve cancelled the flight, we should be going to, we will see and so on.” As an avid wannabe traveller I am actually quite relaxed about not going anywhere overseas. I can’t believe I’ve said that. We have Croatia booked for October; will it happen I wonder?

I made a concerted effort this last week to try and see friends that are just a little further afield.

So after seeing a couple on Monday and Tuesday from surrounding villages, on Wednesday I headed south said souf. I recalled that I was nick named motorway mamma years ago because of all the driving I used to do. But this was only the 3rd trip out of Bedford in 14weeks and infact the only one where I drove. I can report that the M1 is still there as is the M25, unfortunately! I spent two hours in my mum’s house in Southall , practicing being Mrs Mop. My mum would have been proud. Then headed over to Windsor Great Park via M4/M25. Oh I so miss these busy intersections.

Cow Pond Windsor Great Park

Who knew there was such a huge area behind the Long Walk and the Copper Horse statue perfect for walkers. It just also happened to be the hottest day and we were in the hottest part of the country. So our walk was more of a gentle stroll. I looked as if was on a hike and Rupinderjit in her pretty dress ready for afternoon tea. My friend of 42 years (no, stop , you didn’t think I was that old. You did ?) and I walked and talked and shared a little picnic she’d bought. My request actually as I was leaving Southall,”can you bring me a cucumber sandwich, please and thankyou.”.She did better! The park was beautiful and as we sat and looked at the castle , planes flew overhead to Heathrow to our right. It made us giggle as it completely ruined the vista. If we were in the olden days I’m sure the reigning queen would have ordered them to find a new route ! Or even moved Heathrow to the midlands. Catch-up was perfect and she’s promised to take me to Saville Gardens next time or even venture upto Bedford. And to end the journey as per usual I got stuck in a jam by Luton, what are the chances? High at anytime I say.

Windsor

But to make the most of the remaining summer evening, hubby and I went for a stroll by the river and ate icecream . I asked him as we were strolling back holding hands,”do you feel as if you’re on a city break?”. He replied,”No”.

Because of the lovely hot weather I had not stepped in the kitchen most of the week. Not a cake in sight. The food in the evenings was provided by hubby; a stir fry , a mezze and pizza.

Colourful food

But Friday changed all that. It was a day of cooking .. and I mean a whole day of cooking. Not really sure what got into me. Normally Bala (regular takeaway) supports my efforts but not on this occasion. Their takings will be down this week. I’m sorry. I was cooking for 6. So here goes . Not too many photos as I was busy; just goes to show how much time my little bowls take up.

Starters : Fenugreek & banana pakoras, Okra Fries, mango salsa and coriander chutney

Mains : Spimach & Paneer (have you ever blended 1kg of spinach!!), Black daal, Chick peas and Mix Veg (potatoes, cauliflower, aubergines, carrots and peas)

Desserts: Gajar halwa (carrot) – again grating 1kg of carrots shows real commitment and stupidity. One can speculate as to why I don’t have a food processor after being in the industry for many years. I have smaller tools and gadgets. I’m going to blame the size of my kitchen and storage issues ! Moving on.

No one can accuse me of not getting my five a day, even with the pudding. I am always thoughtful. I won’t detail the amount of ghee and sugar that went into it though. I’m a feeder ..if you hadn’t gathered that by now. I blame my parents.

Continuing on from the comparison on cycling with the girls and hubby I started last week I am happy to add further evidence to the slight difference in the approach. I was due to cycle on Thursday afternoon with two friends. It was a lovely warm afternoon. We set off after much faffing at my house. Well actually just sitting in the garden chatting and eating. We could only have cycled a few minutes and a detour was in place and we ended up sitting by the river.

The sitting shifted to the friend’s garden and then back home;all in all not much cycling. I had asked hubby if I could borrow a small bum bag (apparently that’s not what the cyclists call it).Anyway he told me to pick it up from the shed. Unfortunately it was bigger than my small rucksack, which is also not suitable cycling gear I’ve been told. Oh, so much to think about!! I need at least 3 different sizes of bags I reckon; depending of length of ride and amount of snackage needed. I have a yoga bucket so perhaps need to start a cycling bucket. You may wonder what is in the yoga bucket – leave that for another day.

Counter that with Saturday morning which was grey and wet; but we held onto the 30% chance of dryness . The girls were due to cycle but in the end it was just one friend so I dragged hubby out. 30k later we came back home; it must have rained 95% of the time we were out. But it was warm and actually a great session.I have gloves which were a god send. We were rewarded with a few minutes of dry weather – long enough to have a sandwich and a hot tea !

Wet wet wet ride

Hubby says I may be ready for the next stage! He said something about cages and cycling shoes ? I wonder if that is why he gave me some of his old trendy glasses. Oh, he also commented that I hadn’t whined the whole time we were out in the wet. Little does he know …Either way a new bike is looking likely, surely?

Hmmmmm

The garden is still growing and I mowed the small lawn on Thursday. I thought I would share some before and progress photos of the plants, you must be wondering if I’ve killed anything lately. Sunflowers -now and then. The veggie area – now and then.

Think growing veg in particular is a labour of love, there is a lot of emotional investment and I’m at that point. The weather has not been kind to the beetroot; am trying to stay calm. The unwelcome visitors are not welcome and have my permission leave. I’m normally more hospitable . I harvested some kale before the caterpillars got to it all.

Bloody caterpillars

The ants are making themselves at home much to my annoyance. The patience needed is huge, can you remember when I planted those runner beans and sunflowers; could we please have a sign of flowers and beans.

The tomatoes and courgettes at least are being good and developing lots of crop.

Hello courgettes

The pepper plants are flowering.This is the trial I’m doing on Fenugreek seeds growing indoors in a colander

Fenugreek

. Hydroponics don’t you know. The garden did us proud on Friday. It looked great in the sun and was a perfect setting for alfresco dining (the meal I had spent all day cooking) and golf lessons (without balls) whilst playing Glastonbury legends on the BBC in the background.No, don’t worry I’m not getting sucked into golf just yet.

No ball golf anyone

And to finish off some quick highlights front the week.So our yoga teacher said join in for 108 sun salutations for an hour on Sunday mornings over the coming weeks.I had managed about 24 previously. She said it would be fun; leave that one with you. The yoga mat was ready and at least it wasn’t 6am.

We started at 9am and I made it to 10am having done 102. Was so close , hot and sweaty and with some encouragement did the remaining 6. It’s wonderful knowing that others are suffering with you (I mean working towards a common goal). The sense of achievement was immense, I really didn’t think I’d get past 50/60. I ache today but it was well worth it.

I seem to have forgotten some other doggies in my life. This is Teddy and Obi ! You know how sensitive these dog folk are.

Teddy at top and Obi below

Pent up demand has led to these purchases from Sainsbury’s. Because we need another bowl in this house.

Not that I’m pushing Sainsbury’s

I’m not sure hubby has realised that these are new. We also did our bit for the economy and went to Go Outdoors, Frosts Garden Centre and Homesense. It’s all about the leisurewear and the garden. Marketing strategies are being rewritten as this new way of life continues.

Hubby was happy again as his coffee finally arrived ;he had run out and was being miserable.

This is the coffee, you know the one, where they tell you who nurtured the plant, picked and roasted the beans and carefully weighed them into bags and decided on an extortionate price; yes that one. The only thing I’m now expecting is someone to come and make it for him! I don’t touch the coffee machine; it’s his baby.

And I leave you with the prospect of Project Speed which is coming our way! This is Boris’s plan to get the economy back on track. And thanks to Boris I’m going to start saying I’m 30+ and 5’4”+. Make of that what you will. 1m+, plus what ;2cm , 25cm, 100cm? We needed signage for 2m, how are we going to cope with 1m+??

There seems to be some unpleasant stuff going on so please take care and enjoy Wimbledon in whatever form it is served up. Perhaps I should do a blog about what my week could have been like or was like 10 years ago or maybe 2? Food for thought.

🙏🏽

Seema

NB: We’ve booked a weekend away in Brighton in September. I promise not to leave any rubbish on the beach !!

NNB: No WOTE (women on the edge)weekend away to Palma in July. Babies, marriages, new jobs, new houses and much more could not stop these for 17years but Covid-19 has. Give it some respect and your attention.

NNNB: I’m going to have to go to the petrol station again. I know, it’s an event now.

NNNNB: The student isn’t about so here is the snack box refreshed !

Recognise them all?

NNNNNB: Hubby needs his third haircut .. here we go again. Enter the danger zone of the unknown again. Neither party really confident of outcome but relying on luck and trust whatever happens.

4 thoughts on “Week 14:M1/M25/M4, The heatwave, the rain and I’m 5’4”++

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