I’m showing off now – three posts, and the final one is about salad. Can’t generally stand the stuff, which is for girls, rabbits and Liberals, but now and again I do feel like a salad, particularly as I have been filling up on stodge this week, so it was time for a salad to give my stomach a break.
It wasn’t too bad.I started with rocket, then added slices of pear, a scatter of red peppers, home-grown red and yellow tomatoes, shop-bought coleslaw (I was feeling lazy), a fig, crumbled Stilton and some sweet potato pakora (also bought).
I always feel guilty about shop-bought coleslaw, but do I really want to be elbow deep in sliced cabbage and grated carrot or do I want to pass over 85 pence?
I meant to add sliced mushrooms and balsamic vinegar but I forgot.
Looking at the picture, it seems that you can see a lot of plate through the salad, but I assure you, it was filling.
I had to face an unpalatable fact this afternoon, and I don’t mean the salad. I’m just not very good at writing fact-filled posts. I spent several hours researching a post and trying to write it and so far, have come up with six hundred works of seriously soporific pap. It’s fortunate I’m not in full alliteration mode…
Sometimes I get it right, but more often than not I end up droning on with increasing pomposity as I cull facts from Wikipedia.
I’m much better at lightweight pieces about salad, or talking about my plums.
Or making puerile plum puns with potentially perplexing polysemy.
(Apologies if polysemy isn’t quite the right word, but I needed something beginning with p, knew that poly was a promising start and Googled the rest. If I’m wrong I will have to endure the vilification of lexicographers, but I can’t see that being much of a problem).
First trip of the day was running Julia up to Worksop for a First Aid course.
It was a lovely morning, with sunlight streaming through trees in Sherwood Forest and illuminating the mist with rays of golden light. By the time I could find a parking space to take photographs the trees were too thick to admit light. By the time we found a better spot the mist had gone.
Just one more missed opportunity…
I misjudged the timing and was ten minutes late for work. I hate being late, though I’d warned them in advance as a precaution.
I also sorted the shekels and thought of alliterative ways of making sense of the rest of the accumulated foreign currency. I divvied up the Dirhams, divided the Dinar, ranked the Rand, realigned the rupees (Mauritian) and zoned the Zlotys. The Peruvian Sols were a step too far.
Having exhausted the entertainment possibilities of foreign currency I spent a while sorting Royal Mint coin sets by denomination and the size of the presentation pack.
It was a close run thing whether my will to live, or my supply of soul-destroying jobs would last longer.
Just one more coin could have tipped the balance.
The will to live and the supply of jobs were running neck and neck when the working day ended, and it was time to pick Julia up for an evening of Shepherd’s Pie and complaining about our days.
There was a hint of humour in the day when two customers managed to get lost entering the shop. They came through the first door then, instead of coming through the door with the bright, expensive sign, they turned into the Indian Takeaway.
You have to wonder how they managed to find us in the first place.
We were driving back from Springfields earlier in the week when, looking around for something to photograph, I spotted Heckington windmill. It’s an impressive sight, but as we drove towards it the sky turned murky and, as it was near closing time, we ecided to leave it for another day.
It’s one of those old-fashioned villages, which still has a few traditional shops, and even a Hovis sign.
Fence post on village green
Bench at Heckington
The Village Green
Detail on house
Bench and Greengrocer – Heckington
Julia went into the green grocer while I took a few photos – she bought oats (which I still have to photograph) and meringues, which were very good when eaten with fruit and cream.
We will have another visit later in the year.
Finally, here is the phone box on the village green. It now houses a defibrillator, which is good for people having heart attacks and provides the third element of the title.
Phone box with defibrillator – Heckington, Lincolnshire
Next to procrastination, alliteration is probably my favourite thing. In a writing sense, that is. Neither, I feel, will ever replace Julia or jam doughnuts in my all time top two.
One of the first things I saw yesterday morning was the condensation trail of an airliner in the sky. At 6.45am the sky was clear and still tinged pink with the sunrise.
Later in the day, while we were between the seals and the chips, I saw more contrails. By that time the sky was bright blue, and seemed huge.
Suddenly my brain went into alliteration mode, with “cerulean” and “cicatrice”, following with “ceiling “. I could have gone with “sky” and “scar” but where’s the fun in that?
Cerulean isn’t a word you see every day, though after consulting Wikipedia I see it gets used more times than I think. Despite this I’m pretty sure that it hasn’t been used seriously since 1895.
I once read that the word shard should never be used in poetry, and I’ve searched the internet to check where I read it. I can’t find the original, but I found this list when I was searching. Cerulean isn’t on it, but I think it should be.
Same goes for cicatrice. Their heyday was in the 1920s when they were often to be found on the faces of sinister foreign henchmen. Although Ian Fleming did his best to keep them going the sinister foreign henchman had all but died out by the 1960s, and taken the cicatrice with them.
I think I’m safe with ceiling. It’s not the most poetic word but I’m tempted go have a go at rhyming it with “sealing”.
With cerulean, cicatrice and ceiling, followed with sky, scar and sealing I’m well on my way to what could be a spectacularly bad poem.
I could start with my normal Saturday opening – “After dropping Julia off at work…” but I’m feeling like doing something a little different today. Same goes for the photos of the Mencap garden yesterday morning. They are OK but I’m just feeling like something more is needed. (As the post developed, not quite in the direction I intended, it became a little negative. It developed naturally, as I wrote, and I decided to let it stand. Not quite sure if it’s too negative or too personal. Let me know if you have any views on the tone.)
And that is why I am showing you pictures of cookie cutters.
Novelty Cookie Cutters
I’m torn here. I love alliteration and I am committed to resisting American English. In the case of cookie cutters I feel as if continents are colliding in my head. I really don’t want to say “Cookie Cutter” but some irresistibly force makes me do it. There is no natural alternative – Biscuit Bodgers just isn’t going to do it. I’ll try Biscuit Cutters and see if that works.
I found the cutters recently whilst decluttering. They had disappeared without being used during one of the chaotic times on the farm. We made a lot of gingerbread with the group and these cutters (with six different designs) seemed a good idea.
The problem was that after the introduction of the Farmer’s Sister into the mix everything went wrong. It started with her telling me “we’re all on the same team” which is a management shorthand way of indicating we weren’t all on the same team. Then it progressed to her shouting at me because she said I thought she was stupid because I had a degree and she didn’t.
All I had done was proof read something I’d been asked to proof read and send her the corrections. It seems that this was wrong – I should have sandwiched the suggested changes between telling her how good she was, how valued she was and how hard-working she was.
There’s a vulgar term for this, but rather than expose my gentle readers to it I’ll post a link to it for those of you who are interested.
The truth is, I don’t have a degree.
I also, at that time, didn’t think she was stupid. I just thought that she had made a mistake that needed correcting. She had used a word wrongly. I can’t recall what it was, but it was something like uninterested/disinterested. It’s no big deal. I have to think hard when using affect/effect. Getting something like that wrong doesn’t make you stupid. If someone had corrected me on it I’d have thanked them and looked it up to learn the lesson fully.
No, what made her stupid, for I did eventually have to admit she was stupid, was her refusal to learn or improve.
We were stupid too – we should have realised that it was time to move.
However, that all belongs to another story, and stupidity was probably the least vile of her personality traits.
After the team comment, and the shouting, she started a turf war, and kept moving out stuff. We had to start moving it back home every time we used it, and eventually, things got lost in the confusion. That’s how the cutters became lost.
Other things disappeared and turned up in bins or dismantled in the workshop. Like over-sized children the Farmer and his sister knew nothing of how they got there. She took down the group’s art work and binned it. She once needed a book for kitchen use, so she took the garden diary book off the shelf, tore our notes out and took the book away.
Sorry, but it just seemed the appropriate time for this to be mentioned, and once I started, I thought I would finish.
Anyway, back to biscuits. I found the cutters. I will make some biscuits.
Here, to provide a happy ending, are some previous biscuits (and some peppermint creams.