Locking down the little details

“I think of every little trifle between me and Dora, and feel the truth, that trifles make the sum of life.”

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Cauliflower seedling in soilHave I mentioned that bedtime is my favourite time of the day? It runs in the family. We are an early-to-bed-family … not necessarily early to rise. My Mama gets so excited for bed that she squeals when she burrows under the covers. I’ve inherited that habit too.

One of my bed time wind-down habits is reading.

My current tome is Old St. Paul’s: A tale of the Plague and the Fire by William Harrison Ainsworth (1841). The details of 1665 London, during plague times bears much resemblance to COVID-times, I’m afraid, though also with an awful lot of Continue reading Locking down the little details

Stuckhome Syndrome

“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”

Anne of Avonlea, by L.M. Montgomery (Green Gables books)

X-ray butterflies in my stomach
Source: Google

We are well into 9 weeks of lockdown in the UK.

Some restrictions are beginning to ease.

But many people are afraid to go out, afraid to let their children go back to school, afraid to venture back to work.

A kind of ‘stuckhome syndrome’ has taken hold.

I get this.

What started off rather uncomfortable and restrictive, has become comfortable, safe, the new normal. Continue reading Stuckhome Syndrome

Something lacking

“Across the veld were those hills of the Klein Karoo, rolling up and dipping down like waves. On and on, like a still and stony sea. I picked up my melktert and bit off a mouthful. It was good, the vanilla, milk and cinnamon working together to make that perfect comforting taste.”

Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery by Sally Andrew

tea and ruskRecipes. Hmmm.

I don’t fit into normal size clothes, I’m told by my Hubby that I ‘always’ make changes to an item I order on a menu. And though I can cook well (I’d say) and can improvise a pretty tasty meal out of random leftovers in the fridge, I’ve never been able to strictly follow a recipe, without some degree of substitution.

I’ve leave the baking to real experts – my sister-in-law, my mother, CharliesBirdla boulangerie, Phyls Kitchen rusks.

This is why I do not bake.

That is, until today… Continue reading Something lacking

A life

“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before–more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”  

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

SharonOur neighbour has passed away.

The last time I saw Sharon she was her usual vivacious, smiling self. She excitedly told me that she and her husband, their grown up sons and girlfriends were leaving on safari in Botswana that week. She couldn’t wait. She clasped her hands across her stomach as we spoke and I noticed that it was distended.

She must have seen that I’d noticed. After a few seconds she quietly told me that the cancer had come back.

“I’m starting treatment at the Royal Marsdon when we’re back from Botswana. I’m in really good hands,” she said. That was September. Continue reading A life

Married bliss

The Princess Bride film cover“I am your Prince and you will marry me,” Humperdinck said.
Buttercup whispered, “I am your servant and I refuse.”
“I am you Prince and you cannot refuse.”
“I am your loyal servant and I just did.”
“Refusal means death.”
“Kill me then.”

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Ingredients: 2 or people, 1 x home, 2 x personalities, 2 x jobs, multiple roles

Optional, add to taste: animals, children, car, nanny, cleaner, housework, garden, dreams, personal tastes and interests, humour, neighbours, income, parents-in-law, siblings, illness, personal space and long-suffering.

Method: fold ingredients together carefully, heat gently, do not over-cook.

Warning: some ingredients expire within 28 days.

Continue reading Married bliss

“Polly!”

“She took a sip, and she felt calmed by it, as she always did. There was something in reddish tea that said to you look, don’t worry.”

The House of Unexpected Sisters by Alexander McCall Smith

McVitie's digestivesWhen someone in a film says, “Fancy a cuppa?” or “I’ll pour us a glass, shall I?” do you also feel like popping the kettle on or opening a bottle of wine?

I’m an absolute sucker for a suggestion. And it works in all sorts of ways. Continue reading “Polly!”

It’s not all bad!

“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” 

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

candles on a date“How was your holiday in SA?” I asked, excited to hear how much our friend had enjoyed his visit to my homeland in December.

“South Africa is really in a bit of a mess,” he replied. Note, that in British English, a ‘bit of a mess’ is basically a large scale disaster.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Nothing works. The Eskom situation is depressing. Most people I spoke to just want to get out of there.”

He seemed to be satisfied that he’d given me the final word. Continue reading It’s not all bad!