Sunday, 17 September 2017

A New Chapter

Not sure which chapter I am on; probably Chapter 5.

Chapter 1 - Early childhood
Chapter 2 - The teenage years
Chapter 3 - Work and married life
Chapter 4 - Bringing up baby
Chapter 5 - Return to work and empty nest

Next weekend my only child leaves home to go to University in the West Midlands.  I have started to prepare for this by getting back to employment in April this year and am now changing my eating habits and surroundings to reflect this change.  I will miss him - there is no doubt about it.

Part of me doesn't want him to go but I know that he must.  I want him to venture out into the world and take advantage of any exciting opportunities that may arise.  His return home at Christmas will be all the sweeter for his prolonged absence.

As I have said, I have been preparing for this change in circumstance for a few months now.  More recently I have been taking more interest in self care which has long been neglected.  Weight has dropped significantly since I decided to eat only three meals a day and cut out the snacks.  I walk at least an hour every day, have increased my leafy greens consumption and have Epsom salts baths to relax.  I feel lighter in the body and sharper in the brain. 

I don't want this chapter of my life to just be about work and am looking for ways to fill my leisure time.  I haven't done anything 'crafty' for a while or been out to a see a play for years!  Maybe my son's independent life will see me embracing a new found independence too!

Sunday, 10 September 2017

September Sunday

For those of you that still read the blog - hello!  I went for a long walk today stopping off at a farm shop to buy some organic vegetables and then had a walk around a walled garden.  I took a photo of these flowers that look like they are just going over.  I think they are verbena bonariensis and I keep meaning to grow them in my garden.  Maybe next year?

Today I am pottering about the house, cooking dinner, doing some reading.  All ordinary stuff.  Thank goodness for the ordinary.

Monday, 4 September 2017

New Books

I love books.  I love books even more than I love the Internet.  Books are tactile, a source of information and a window into other people's thoughts and opinions.  They are more than that of course but I can't find the correct adjectives at the moment.

As September seems a particularly scholarly month conducive to learning new things, I thought I would look more into making energy bites - full of the latest health giving properties and find out more about illustrating children's books which has been a lifelong theme that circles my mind intermittently.  With those ideas in mind I treated myself to the two books above.

I have already made a recipe from the energy bites book which was a crunchy hemp coated quinoa bite.  It was very tasty, packed with nutrients and made a complete mess of the kitchen!  Undefeated I will find my own way of making the recipe next time.

The book by Martin Ursell I have yet to read.  I want to take my time over it and absorb the knowledge and advice within.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Alternative Breakfast #1

I struggle with finding healthier options for breakfast finding it easier to reach for a cereal bar or toasted bread.  The problem with that is I have a mid morning crash and crave something sweet.  Hopefully today's breakfast will help to stave off cravings until lunchtime.

So, here is my recipe for:

Alternative breakfast #1

Cooked quinoa (keen-wah)
Full fat organic yogurt
Fresh pear, chopped
Pumpkin seeds
Ground cinnamon

Vary the quantities as you wish.  I used about 50/50 quinoa/yogurt, half a pear and a sprinkle of seeds and cinnamon.

Friday, 25 August 2017

A Friday Bake but not a Cake #1

Rather than the Friday Cake Bake (remember those?) today is a recipe for a simple baked apple crumble.  Although my apples were diseased this year, my friends generously let me pick apples from their tree.  I am sure the gifted apples made the crumble taste that much sweeter.

Apple Crumble

1 and a half pounds cooking apples
3oz white sugar
6oz plain white flour
3oz butter
2oz demerara sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 180C, gas mark 4

Peel, core and cut the apple into small pieces.

Place in ovenproof dish (I use a deep, round pyrex) and mix with white sugar.

In a large bowl rub the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.  Stir in the demerara sugar.

Spoon the crumble mix over the apples, press down lightly and run a fork gently over the top to loosen some of the crumbs.

Bake for about half hour until the top is golden brown.

Serve warm with custard or topping of your choice.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Rotten Fruit

Rotten fruit has been the metaphor for this summer.

Back in the spring the fruit trees in my garden were smothered in blossom.  I was excited at the prospect of all the potential fruit to be gained from those tiny flowers.

In July the trees were heaving in fruit.  I allowed the plums and apples to swell and as they fought for dominance on the branches many fell to the ground elbowed out of position.

Wet days kept me inside and when the sun came out the fruits ripened.  The fruits ripened whilst my eyes were closed.

In hindsight I should have sacrificed a few fruits off the tree when they were small so that the rest of the fruits didn't have to compete for space.  The rot spread quickly through the branches infecting all it touched.  I think I was glutinous in wanting a huge harvest rather than having one that was more manageable.

Today, few fruits remain on the trees.  Windfalls are not usable as they have mildewed.  I have learnt lessons from this experience:

  • Be vigilant
  • Do not be greedy
  • Do not turn your back to what is going on around you
  • Be grateful for small mercies
  • Situations can change in the blink of an eye 

Today there is going to be a total eclipse of the sun.  This potent energy is a chance for us to get back on track and live our lives with true authenticity.  I hope this eclipse is a turning point for us to respect the World we inhabit and start to treat the planet, all that is within it and the Universe with the utmost respect.  This is not the time for inflated egos or pettiness or being vengeful but a time to re-adjust, reset and reclaim our humanitarian selves.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful

 Looking at the blue sky one could be fooled into thinking that I am holidaying in the Med. 

In fact I am just about a 20 minute drive away from where I live.

Playing mini golf in a lovely setting at Trent Park Country Club was a gentle way to while away an hour or two and a respite from unsettling news.