A Treat from the Back of the Cupboard

Yesterday, as part of my efforts at self-improvement, I researched ways of improving my writing. I will, as a result, not be using the phrase “doom and gloom” but will say that the morning is gloomy, and so is my mood.

Still no car. Still no news of the car. No news of my prescription either. This is a worry as I have run out of some things. The new system means that I don’t have a clue if my prescription has been processed. The screen says it is in progress but it is a day late already and that is not a good sign. Fortunately I am not short of anything essential. Apart from good humour, I am running short of good humour because the system takes several days longer and seems to produce more errors.

It seems to be a common feature of these “new and improved” systems that they are actually just “new”. The “improved” part involves cost-cutting and is no improvement to me at all. I am worried that this may be the case with my writing too – it may produce a crisper and more concise style, but is that going to be an improvement. I am a poet and raconteur rather than a business consultant or a copywriter.

Things will get better, as I always tell myself. I told myself that when boundary and building issues threatened to bury me six months ago. They didn’t really get better, they just faded. The main one was sorted out but we are waiting for a second planning application from the neighbours on the right and the builder still hasn’t come to repair the chimney stack. problems do that – what seems the end of the world at one point is almost forgotten six months later.

I just looked up and noticed that the drizzle has increased in intensity and has lumps in it. It is now a wintry shower.

I just checked that up.

Wintry is the preferred form and is used approximately 20 times to every one use of wintery. However, as the article points out, many people pronounce wintry as wintery. I do, and I feel wintery is a more logical development from the word winter. On the other hand, this is English, so logic has little to do with it.

Time for Late Breakfast now, one of my favourites among my recent new words. I like stewp too, but it excludes bacon sandwiches, which late Breakfast does not. I will be having chilli jam with my bacon. I found it in the back of a cupboard recently. We bought it when we went to The Lakes for our 25th wedding anniversary (yes, six years ago) and the Best Before Date is in 2016, but it was unopened and it still tastes good.

That is the problem with Best Before dates – people mistake them for Use By dates.  Best Before dates can safely be ignored (according to me, though not to Julia). Use By dates indicate that the product can kill you if you leave it too long.

The picture is a Late Breakfast from happier days.


24 thoughts on “A Treat from the Back of the Cupboard

  1. Helen

    ‘Stewp’ is a new word for me – and I’ve seen it in both your post and another by Derrick Night in one day. I’ll probably now not meet the word again till I’m in my dotage.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      I only learned stewp a couple of days ago while reading Derrick’s blog. I’ll probably carry on with stew and soup. It’s interesting to know new words but I’ve not needed it in the last 62 years so I’m probably not going to get a lot of use out of it. 🙂

  2. tootlepedal

    Mrs Tootlepedal has got a bit more severe lately and has started to throw out things that are more than tow years old. It may be connected with getting older and worrying about how robust we are now.

    I was very glad to hear in your comment that the car has arrived.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      It was accompanied by a rather large bill and cost £110 in VAT.Normally I would moan about the tax but I will set it against my furlough payment and vaccine costs and feel that I am getting good value from my taxes at the moment.

      Mrs T is probably right in her approach, though it pains me to admit it. I am going, once again, to have a purge on the cupboards. After we ended up composting some ancient pulses I said we must never let this happen again.

      1. tootlepedal

        The VAT indicates that it was a large bill indeed. I would rather pay more income tax and less VAT as the VAT always comes as a shock on big bills.

      2. quercuscommunity Post author

        Yes, it’s a balancing act. At the moment my income is such that I pay very little income tax so I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much, but the VAT was a surprise as they had quoted me a pice and not told me it was without the VAT.

  3. Laurie Graves

    Just because something is overused doesn’t mean it’s not true. If ever there were a month for doom and gloom, January 2021 is it. The Buddhist nun Pema Chodron has written a book called “When Things Fall Apart.” I’ve only read snippets, but what wisdom. Because let’s face it, things fall apart all too often. Best to you across the pond. Enjoy all the simple pleasures that come your way.

  4. Lavinia Ross

    Sometimes a good snow clears the mind of worries. I always enjoy watching it come down, anyway, as do the cats. Rick likes to remember one good snow we had back in Connecticut where Mr. Beau, the old black cat, was sitting in the front room watching the snow come down. Suddenly, a large sheet of snow slid off the roof and landed with a big thud on the yard outside the cat’s window. The cat did not move, but his eyes suddenly got very big.

      1. Lavinia Ross

        We don’t see much snow in my part of Oregon, certainly not like New England over on the eastern seaboard. That is one of the wonderful things about here, we can look up and see snow in the mountains and it is green where we are. 🙂

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      It’s snowing. The snow is settling. I feel this is not an improvement. However, it will pass and I will keep on smiling. I hope the food delivery can get through tonight as I just used the last of the bacon.

  5. LA

    I actually just read that if it’s not dented, food in jars or cans can pretty much last a long time….though I side with Julia


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