Saturday, 22 July 2017

Quick shrink

As I was cooking dinner yesterday I was reminded of an old, very English, film (black & white when I saw it but that may have been the TV I saw it on) set in the 1950s starring Kenneth Moore. In this film, at one point, he has custody of some children & goes to buy some food to cook for them all. He buys a small bag of spinach. He is confident that it will fill them all. When he cooks it he discovers it wilts down to nothingness, barely a teaspoonful.

As you will have worked out, I was wilting spinach. Into one of my biggest pan, I put so much spinach it was difficult to put the lid on. The Fox gagged a bit as he knows that neither of us are that excited by spinach. I assured him it was okay. A few minutes later I took off the lid to stir the spinach. By then there was barely enough to cover the base of the pan.

I used the spinach to cover the base of some ramekin dishes. I then topped them with an egg each & baked them. We had something similar once when we were staying in a hotel in Sydney Australia, only then it was for breakfast. I served chips & peas to accompany it.

I’ve always been a bit suspicious of spinach. It always tasted so iron-y to me - good for you but not very nice. These days, since I’ve discovered the joys of a little grated nutmeg seasoning, I quite enjoy it but not as the main veg on a plate. It’s good for setting off fish or eggs.

I suppose my first image of spinach, like many other people, was while watching Popeye on the TV in my childhood. The idea of swallowing a whole cold tin of spinach as he did, showed courage in my mind. My stomach would have rebelled. The almost immediate effects on the sailor man were amazing.

My views on spinach are changing as I grow older. I still remain amazed by how so much can turn into so little so quickly.

Friday, 21 July 2017


We’re once more onto the idea of holidays. We think we may have found a holiday in Italy. We're just waiting for confirmation of an adapted room being available.

The Fox is really feeling the need for a holiday. It has to be admitted that we’ve got through this horror of a year as well as we have, because we had that wonderful holiday in Annecy & Chamonix that had really boosted our energy levels, just before the bad news of cancer arrived & all the treatment began.

We were mentioning our holiday hunt to some friends. One commented that the Fox was really in need of a holiday. The year seems to have taken a greater toll on him even though I’m the one who’s had the cancer, & therefore the op & radiotherapy. But then I often think it is harder on the carer than on the patient. There is nothing more wearing than just worrying, whilst not feeling there is much you can do to help.

Let’s hope something comes of this holiday possibility.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Sound & light show

It was a strange day yesterday. Throughout the daylight hours there seemed to be a brooding quality to the air. Most of the time the world was grey, yet warm & close, quite sticky in fact.

We did our usual chores i.e. the food shop. We came straight home. We’d bought some frozen food, & even in a cool bag with some freezer packs we feared things would melt fast in the heat. Afterwards we adjourned to the village pub for a well-earned drink & sit down before dinner. As we sat in the almost empty inside – everyone else was sitting outside in the garden – we couldn’t help noticing how dark it seemed to be getting outside. We tried to convince ourselves it was just the small old-fashioned windows that let in so little light, but we weren’t convinced.

We went home for dinner. The day still seemed so dark, the brooding threat so apparent, we decided to eat inside. I got on with the cooking. It got ever darker. I had to put the cooker lights on just to see what I was doing. It may have been only about 5.30pm but it seemed dark enough to be 9pm. The Fox put on the room lights to see me. Then we noticed the first drops of rain. Soon we heard a roll of thunder, followed by flashes of lightning. The skies opened. We were grateful we’d decided to eat inside despite the heat.

As we ate we almost heard the sigh of relief as the parched earth opened up to receive the reviving water, so much more satisfying than the tap water we’ve been showering the pots with every day of late. We did begin to think we heard a vague squeak of enough as the shower turned into a deluge.

From the news on the TV last night I gather Lancaster, just a few miles from us, was once more flooded. Fortunately that did not happen to us. We must have had the edge of the storm. They must have been right under it.

The thunder & lightning drama quickly ceased. The rain eased off for the Fox to make a quick dash next door to the utility room for the ice-cream to accompany our fresh strawberries.  

Today is a lot fresher for all the rain, which continued most of the night.