Monday, 29 September 2008

Neurosis and Stock Pot Obsession

It seems that all is well in sunny Spain. Had a text from Dorothy after I had sent my usual"are you OK" text (I don't know how to do numbers and punctuation on the mobile).

After all these years I still have this ridiculous separation anxiety. Ever since Dorothy and Julian left for the airport I have imagined: the plane crashing/their being driven off and robbed/murdered by the cab on the way from the airport/ the flat being squatted/broken into and empty, etc. etc. etc. So I was quite relieved to receive the text from Dorothy saying 'all good here'.

I sometimes wonder if I might just be a little neurotic.

A minor disaster with the last of my stock pot, which I left on too long while filled with beans and chick peas, causing it to become stuck and slightly burned at the bottom, but not all through, so had a large bowl full to finish it on Saturday. It was a bit vile cleaning the pot though. I have since made some gazpacho which I shall finish in a day or so, before starting a new kind of stock pot adventure.

I have decided to fry some pieces of bacon and an onion or two then put some chicken stock in. I shall then put a jar of sauerkraut and a few carrots, some juniper berries, bayleaves and eventually, potatoes. I have decided that I can put some chicken pieces and some chorizo or ham pieces also. This time I shall be careful to make sure there is plenty of liquid in at all times and use a timer.When I have finished most of it I will be left with some kind of sauerkraut soup. This kind of cooking is quite suitable when you are busy and only requires a little replenishment of meat etc. and boiling for 15 minutes a day. I may however get bored with performing this ritual before the end of winter.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

The Last Supper, Scan and Dodgy Liver

Quite funny. Someone suggested a new caterer for our pensioner lunches so dutifully investigated their website. They are called The Last Supper. Their website is if you want a giggle. The graphics are fine, but the wording.....oh dear! Anyway it was quite amusing but strangely there were no sample menus. I rang them and a Dominic answered. He was surprised that I needed menus and stated that everything they did was 'bespoke'. When he heard that we would be doing a lunch for 100 pensioners in a local hall he said they might be rather expensive for our needs. When pressed further as to the actual figure, he said the price would be £70 - £80 per head! I suspect he was not longing for our custom. I agreed that this might be rather expensive and decided to revert to Heriot caterers who do Ascot lunches etc. and cater for usvvery efficiently for less than £20 per head, including all linen, glasses, silver, waitresses etc.

Had my scan and missed a good lunch. All was OK and no huge stones or tumours anywhere, but they could not exclude any tiny ones which would not be visible on a fattie like me. Also they said my liver was crap, i.e. fatty, quel surprise, but since the function has always been fine I shall not stress too much over this.

Dorothy rushed around last night to borrow my keys to the Spanish flat. I hope they manage to have a good time for the week. I am looking forward to going to Spain to Romy's place soon.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Stockpot, Spain and Stress

I have been reading about Richard Mabey's new book and decided to make a stock pot to save cooking for a week, just adding bits and pieces now and then. Boiling for 15 minutes a day will apparently keep it going and safe indefinitely, but have decided to limit it to a week. I made it last Sunday. I made another bangle for Romy. She wore them both last night and they looked very good together. I am keen to make more things but need more scrap gold/coral/turquoise/any other stone. We shall see.

Dorothy and Julian are leaving for a week in Spain on Saturday. I hope our flat is OK. I shall have a scan on Friday to examine my kidneys. I should, if all goes well, be going to Spain with Romy to visit her abode there in a couple of weeks. Apparently the temperature should be in the mid twenties, like our summer, which will be good, but I am rather suspicious so will take a woollie or two.

Still stressing a bit about getting our report in to the Charity Commission by the end of October since I will be away for a week. Our auditor is due to come to the office and look at the stuff next Tuesday, and I hope I have managed to do enough filing for him to be able to find everything he needs. Then when he has finalised the annual report our Chairman has to sign several copies before it can all go off. I keep getting nagging letters from the Charity Commission which does not help at all.

Malvolio will have to go back to the vet when I return from Spain to have his diabetes reassessed and presumably, to get some more insulin since it will be becoming out of date by then.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

SE1 Lunch and Walworth Farce

Had a good little SE1 lunch at Bumpers, but food not nearly as good as Chop House. The weather was nice and sunny and quite hot. I went to see the Walworth Farce at the Cottesloe which I thought was very good though rather strange - an Irish tale, scary but well told with a gory finish. Today my shoe rack arrived and so far I have miserably failed to assemble it. The hangers have also arrived. Royal Mail have finally managed to admit they have lost my package. Unfortunately I don't know what it was. It may have been a couple of ladles I bought from Ebay but the seller is not getting back to me so I cant find out.

I am in the Lye Torng and have been chatting with Tom, the Sun cartoonist about cats. He was amazed to hear how much Malvolio has cost recently with his vet visits.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Sad Old Bat

This week I made a desultory attempt to tidy my flat. Unfortunately Ocado arrived in the middle of this, so I immediately gave up and started cooking things from my shopping basket, including:

a) A loaf of my usual soda bread with walnut pieces, but this time including some caraway seeds. I suspect I am the only person in England who likes caraway seeds. Must remember to buy some poppy seeds.

b) A huge cauliflower. I boiled this and used about a third for lunch with some cheese sauce. The rest may be either pureed or used as a cauliflower soup, incorporating the rest of the cheese sauce.

c) Three baked apples. A huge bag of cooking apples arrived, unfortunately without the blackberries. I baked three of these and ate one with some frozen blackberry coulis I had made earlier. May eat the other two for pudding sometime. In Spain they have these cold. OK when you become used to the idea.

I left the place in a bit of a mess for the cleaner but was careful to hide my new silver teapot just in case of any further accidents.

I have been making little round shapes from aluminium which will fit around stud earrings. I have so far used recycled gold and pearls for these, as well as some copper-coloured ones with blue beads.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Good Lunch Meeting

Hola again. Malvolio made a good recovery, and had an awful committee meeting during the week, very tiresome. My ex reappeared without warning on Friday afternoon which was rather unwelcome, as I had been dozing after a very pleasant lunch with the SE1 lunch club, which had finally succeeded in meeting up at The Chop House. Plum and Boss St. Bloke and I had a delicious lunch - very successful, and would recommend the place to anyone.

We had the summer ball with the punters, new and good caterers, and a band on Saturday. On Sunday I had agreed to brave the journey to Peckham and listen to a jazz band with my ex. It was all a bit dreary, though the band was OK. I should have gone to the Mayor's Thames Festival instead, as it was a lovely day.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Busy Weekend

Poor old Malvolio. He hid in a cupboard for two days, only coming out to be fed. He has recovered quickly from his op and hid again today when he was supposed to be having a check-up, so I cancelled his appointment. I think he needs to spend a few weeks recovering from the trauma.

I went to the SE1 party on Saturday where they had an elaborate spoof 'SE1 play' which was quite amusing. The cake was excellent and I saw a few people I knew including Wendy, one of the forum posters, Ken, one of our trustees, Eileen who does our catering at parties, and I met Lee Hatts and his charming mother. Recognised a few neighbours as well.

My ex turned up as promised. He complained of social isolation so I handed him a copy of the Southwark Pensioners newsletter. He was interested in trying the computer classes. He told me his recent grand mal fit was brought on by stress because of the Iraq war which I rather doubted,but who knows? This had led him to consider his mortality and say he wanted to leave his small bits of money to Dorothy, and a musical instrument, which Dorothy could sell. He also wanted me to get another instrument to his daughter in Barcelona which I agreed to do, and a third rather special one which was handmade by a specialist he wished to leave to a serious music student. I told him I was quite well placed to do this as there are a couple of local charities who give grants and musical instruments etc to students. He was reassured to hear this and invited me to a jazz session at his local pub, the Golden Anchor, in Evelina Road next Sunday at 2pm. I said I would go if I could make it.

Dorothy is avoiding him, so I was rather embarrassed when Dorothy rang my mobile in the middle of all this, saying they were coming around to collect some post. I was hoping that they would arrive later, but just as my ex was leaving I saw them coming down the road. I made panicky faces at them, and when they saw my ex they turned around and walked off quickly. I rang Dorothy on my mobile who was not a happy bunny and said I should have told them not to come. I was rather caught on the hop, and hope my ex did not see them. Pity they didn't collect their post, as I had made a very good gazpacho and a queen of puddings.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Malvolio and the Vet

What a day. I caught Malvolio and nearly had him in his basket when he escaped. Time was getting on and he had to be at the vet surgery, so I managed to catch him once more by luring him into the kitchen where he was hoping for breakfast and grabbing him quickly. I thrust him into his basket and fortunately a cab arrived soon. Unfortunately he is still diabetic so the jabs have to continue, but now I need to replace the insulin every eight weeks.

The SE1 lunch at the Chop House was cancelled yet again, so I had a very good sizzling chicken with garlic at Lye Torng where they are gradually replacing all the chairs with some made in Thailand. They have already replaced the rather tired sofas with some Thai wooden benches.

Just had a call from the vet. They have taken out two teeth and the antibiotics have improved Malvolio's sores in the mouth corners so I shall continue with them. His food will need liquidising for a day or two and he will have anti-inflammatory pills. He will have a check up on Monday, and the following week will have to spend Monday all day at the vet having his blood sugars done to make sure he is on the right dose of insulin. What a palaver. Still, if it all makes him feel better it will be worth it.
I shall collect him in an hour or so and I expect he will be quite drowsy for the rest of the day.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Failed Again

Oh dear, I failed to get to the nursing home today. I looked it up on the map, and decided I could not face the journey back, or afford cabs both ways. I sent some rather vibrant flowers yesterday, and today I found a rather nice lavender pillow on the internet, which I also sent. I remember having one of these in bed when I was in hospital in a lot of pain, and it was very relaxing, so maybe it will be helpful.

Just made some more walnut soda bread. I added a few caraway seeds to the flaked almonds on the top. I was looking for poppy seeds, but couldn't find any. My cleaner is coming tomorrow so I have hidden the silver teapots away to make sure there are no more accidents.

I had an email that La Cage Aux Folles is on in the West End soon so booked a ticket. I managed to miss it when it was on at the Chocolate Factory locally.

Had just cheered up a bit when I had a call from my ex, who insisted on coming around to explain the cause of his epilepsy, so he is turning up on Sunday afternoon. Apparently he does know what caused it but doesn't want to discuss it over the phone????????

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Poor Old Malvolio and Call from Ex Husband

Had a call from Roxy to say that the huge cauldron of chilli she had prepared had all been finished. I have to plead not guilty as I did not try it, but it seems that lots of people became very hungry later.

This morning Malvolio seemed to be in pain, and though obviously hungry, was unable to eat easily. His bottom lip seemed to be rather swollen in the front, so I took him to the vet. She diagnosed a badly infected front tooth. I had a fructosamine test done while I was there and he came back with some antibiotics (£90), and he needs to go back to have the tooth removed on Friday (£300) with a follow-up check up on Monday (£?). The vet told me that the insulin he was taking probably wasn't working as I had kept it so long, but that despite this, his diabetes seemed well under control. The fructosamine test will reveal all, but there is a chance he will be controlled by diet alone.

Had a rather surprising rare call from my ex husband who wants to write a letter to Dorothy. He says he is writing his will and in the next sentence, said that he had starting having epileptic fits again, and one month ago had been taken to hospital after having a fit. He is now at least taking some tablets for this. Since he did not start having petit mal seizures until he was about forty, I do find it a bit strange that no one seems to know why. I suggested he should mention this to his GP, because both the GP and hospital may be assuming that he had been ill since childhood and it has never been properly investigated.