Wednesday, March 30, 2016

'Eat me'

Probably a little bit connected to the happenings of last night, today has been a fat, old and ugly day. You know the sort of day I mean? Or perhaps you don't. Perhaps you're a well-balanced sane person.

So, anyway, today I started the diet again. No, really, I mean it this time. All my clothes are too tight and uncomfortable and I refuse to go up a size. I was grumbling to Husband and he said, 'There's an easy answer to your clothes being too tight.'
I looked at him suspiciously.
'Don't wear any,' he said.

So, as I said, my diet starts today. Going well so far. If you don't count the little bit of white chocolate left-over from the cakes I made yesterday. It had to be eaten really. It would only have sat in the pantry tempting me with its creamy whiteness. Much better to eat it and be rid of the temptation.

I don't know nothing

Unexpectedly leading Zac's bible study on Tuesday. Found out early afternoon. Looked at the Emmaus Road incident. Halfway through one of the regulars got up and left, saying, 'You keep saying the same things. You don't know nothing.'

The rational sensible bit of me says, 'Forget it. Remember that:
a) he is more than a little the worse for drink;
b) his mood can change in the course of an evening from reasonably pleasant to aggressively unpleasant;
and c) he has been equally uncomplimentary to Sean.'

That's the rational, sensible bit of my brain. But the emotional bit says, 'Waaah! he's right! I'm a fraud, a sham. I shouldn't be doing this.'

When I write on the page or on the screen I am articulate. I think about sentence formation and grammar and carefully write and rewrite in my head before committing myself. When I talk, at the best of times, I stumble and get my words mixed-up. When I'm flustered I go to pieces completely. Grammar is left at the bus stop and my sentences never end. 

'So we have this um story of these ... I mean um people ...  when we started ... we knew that ... um ... you know ... ah... that God would as you said um do that ... and then shall we  ... I'd like us to ... '

I won't go on. Unlike my sentences.

And to be fair he did have a point: I was repeating myself. A lack of preparation and unreadiness caused that. But in my defence it was a fairly disrupted evening with people coming in late and loudly-whispered conversations going on in the background. So some things needed to be repeated. 

And some things can't be said enough. Things like it's a level playing field, everyone is welcome, everyone is invited to express a point of view.

Don't worry about me. I'll be okay ... in a week or two.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

I can now do a line dance - possibly

Tuesday tea-time I showered, washed my hair, dressed, put on make-up and left for Zac's. On arrival I was greeted with the words, 'Are you okay, Liz? you look a bit windblown.'

Thanks, Ric! That was me, at my best, making an effort. 

Then yesterday Daughter phoned.
'I was going to invite you for lunch on Easter Sunday,' she said, 'but then I thought we'd come to you instead.'
'But I'll bring pudding, okay?'
'Oh, okay.'

One of those weeks.

Women's group at lunchtime today was slightly not what I expected. We had a guest with a good story to tell so when time was getting on and I asked if the women wanted to do the bible study or carry on talking and they said carry on talking we did. Then we did some line dancing.

Then some army veterans turned up.

Then 'the man who's been banned from everywhere' turned up. He seems to like our women's group.

Then we shared bread and wine (hot cross bun and Ribena) and thanked God for the sacred time we had spent together.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

So bad I made it twice

Today I made my worst cake ever. And I mean ever.

Since my birthday and the wonderful present Husband gave me of  new food mixer I have been convinced that my sponge cakes aren't as good as they were before. And I am - at least always have been - proud of my sponge cakes. I am complimented regularly on them.

I put it down to paranoia, that feeling that with the demise of my old mixer had gone my skill too. It was never me; it was my food processor that deserved all the praise. I kept telling myself not to be so stupid but the niggling feeling wouldn't go away.

And today, when making a birthday cake for Woody, I have proved that I was right to be paranoid. I made the worst cake ever. It rose - a bit - but on cooling sank. Not just in the middle because it's not quite cooked enough but all over! So that it ended up as a solid flat mass. So bad I had to make another. And this time I dug out my old food processor. (Of course I hadn't thrown it away. What do you think I am?)

The result:

On the left the second cake made with old mixer; on the right - well, you can see what's on the right.

So is it the mixer? Or is it me? Does my lack of confidence in the new machine transfer itself to the mixture that in turn loses its oomph? Or is it possible to over-mix? It takes much longer with the new mixer especially as I leave it on for longer than suggested on the principle that longer must be better.

My unleavened bread turned out quite well though, the oven-cooked variety turning out better-looking than the griddled one.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

When the knot disppears

Yesterday morning I was preparing to go out when I suddenly realised that, for the first time for ages, I didn't have that 'I want to cry but can't' knot in my stomach. It made me do a little skip.

It's no reflection on my life that I sometimes struggle: my life is very good. It's inexplicable so it's impossible to try to explain to someone who never feels like it.

Logic and rationality have nothing to do with it. I can recite every feel good mantra and know them to be true, and, equally, know my thinking to be faulty but the knot remains.

So when it disappears, however briefly, it's worth celebrating.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Too pretty to eat

Remember that tree cake I made? Well, it was for a party on Saturday. On Tuesday I saw the women I'd made it for and asked if it had tasted okay as I'd used a slightly different method.

'Oh, we haven't cut it yet. It's too pretty.'

I've made some nice cakes before. Pretty cakes, good cakes. But in our house that never ever gets in the way of eating. Such restraint. Maybe that's why they're slim and I'm ... a little podgy round the waist.

When Uncle's tooth fell out

If dentists don't have doorways wide enough to easily take a wheelchair then they've nobody but themselves to blame for the scratches on the door.

Like most people, I imagine, I'd never really thought about how difficult it is for wheelchair users to get about. It's not just the fact that a trip anywhere requires wide doorways. It also takes time.

Time to:
get Uncle in wheelchair from apartment to the car; 
get Uncle out of chair and into car; 
get wheelchair folded up;
get wheelchair unfolded again because I realise I can't carry it past the flowerpot that comes between me and the boot;
fold wheelchair again;
woman-handle wheelchair into boot;
drive to e.g. dentist;
find space that allows room both to get wheelchair out of boot and to place it next to open door so Uncle can get in;
open door of dentist's with bottom and hold it open while pulling wheelchair through;
get stuck on tiny ridge at bottom of doorway;
push wheelchair out again and take run at door;
pull wheelchair backwards up passageway to reception desk;
do 3 - or maybe 23 - point turn to get wheelchair from reception desk into surgery;
repeat manoeuvre to align wheelchair with dentist's chair;
go and sit down to wait.

Not enough time to read magazine before I have to go through it all again in reverse. 

Incidentally by the time we left I cared even less about the dentist's door as I charged at it.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Mostly about George

My resolve to blog more frequently seems to have fallen by the wayside so let's try again.

It could have been a bad weekend beginning as it did with the regular Friday rejection. I've said it before but I'm convinced that, come the end of the week, agents take the next ten submissions on their slushpile and send off a 'no, thank you,' regardless, just to cut down on their workload. I may be doing agents a disservice here but it's odd how often rejections arrive on Friday afternoons.

Saturday saw 'the old enemy' England beat Wales. Wales only came to life for the last ten minutes of the game and, to be fair, came close to pulling off a remarkable turn-round. If they'd managed it they would have deserved the win but they didn't really deserve it. Less said the better.

But two walks in the sunshine  followed on Sunday by pieminster Moo pie, mash and mushy peas to celebrate the end of National Pie Week was a happy relief.

George hurt his paw on Monday and felt very sorry for himself ...
but when he was supposed to go in for an x-ray he was much better. Or would have been if the anti-inflammatory tablets he was given hadn't upset his stomach. He pooped and puked for about 48 hours - mainly in the middle of the night. It must have been some sort of sixth sense that stopped me walking in a pile of vomit when I went downstairs in the dark. Sadly, all six senses later deserted me as I knocked over the open-topped bottle of disinfectant ...

So yesterday's gentle little stroll was his first in six days.
Oh, and do you like the cake I made?

It was a special request for someone who loves woods.