Tag Archives: salad

Shopping and The Saint

We’ve just been to pick up the shopping order from TESCO. There were a couple of things that weren’t available and one substitution.

This was bagged rocket (or arugula if you speak American). Yes, I shouldn’t be buying it, for a number of reasons, including expense and ecology, but I try to eat a variety of things and at least you can taste rocket. Well, not this week, because they substituted it fro lamb’s lettuce. They could have substituted organic rocket (though it may have made their price guarantee squeak a little), or watercress (another salad you can taste) or even the “peppery” salad, but no, they substituted it with the lamb’s lettuce. It will do, but it doesn’t look like the obvious substitution to me.

They don’t leave it to the discretion of the packers to do the substitution, they use an algorithm. Heaven help us if the robots ever take over – I cannot even begin to imagine what life will look like once we fall int6om the hands of the algorithm-wielding little metal menaces. That’s another good argument for not living to be a thousand.

The strange thing is that when I check rocket on the website, it is available, and lamb’s lettuce isn’t. Probably because they’ve been fobbing all the rocket customers off with lamb’s lettuce.

Easy answer is to give salad a miss until we can start growing our own again.

I watched The Saint at lunchtime. At the age of 8 I thought this was the best TV show ever made. Today, 55 years later, the tale of a mad scientists breeding giant ants in a Welsh cave system, though dated and not great literature, didn’t impress me quite so much. However, to be fair, it was far from the worst thing I’ve seen on TV recently.

The clock picture is to mark the occasion of me getting round to altering the clock in the car, after the clocks went back at the weekend. I kept meaning to do it but never got round to it. The story of my life.

 

Counting Some Blessings

Number One, despite being treated like a child (the attitude of the nurses has grown more condescending as my hair has turned whiter),  I do have decent medical treatment available, and, having turned 60, I no longer have to pay for prescriptions.

Number Two, last Sunday lunch was not as bad as I had feared. I had been worried about the idea of hundreds of people everywhere, coughing and sneezing, but it was almost deserted and very enjoyable to get out. I might be able to re-engage with normal life if it stays like this, though I am actually happy being anti-social.

Number Three, I’ve been given a big bag of potatoes, beans and beetroot (I like potatoes and beans, and Julia likes beetroot) so we have been eating better for the last few days.

Number Four, after a temporary glitch, reminiscent of the empty shelves of the original lockdown panic buying, we now have slightly fuller shelves in the shops. And I can order food today and pick it up on Saturday (I could have had a slot tomorrow but decided Saturday was better).

Number Five, I have a couple of poems in Failed Haiku this month. I’m on page 107 if you want to have a look. Published twice in a week. I’m definitely beginning to feel smug. It won’t last, of course. That’s not false modesty, they have just taken on a new editor. I’ve submitted to her before – sent three, had three rejected.

That about wraps it up for today. It’s been quite a relaxing day and I have started a few changes to my diet and exercise regime, so things are moving. My next shopping trip (we are doing Click & Collect at the moment) features a lot more salad. I am unsettled by the thought, but needs must . . .

The photo is an old one, but it features salad, so is back on topic.

Nothing Much of Note

I nearly fell asleep at work today. In fact, if I’m accurate I did fall asleep several times, but only for seconds at a time.  No window, no ventilation and nothing to keep my interest (I was entering long lists of dull coins onto eBay) and the result was easy to foresee. I kept jerking into wakefulness and not quite knowing where I was in the process. This is not what they pay me for, so I should do better.

The first part of my evening was spent asleep in a chair and the second part was spent making and eating salad. It’s time to get back to a sensible diet. I have an appointment in a month’s time and my weight is likely to come up in the discussion. I would liken it to the elephant in the room, but that would merely emphasise my tendency to excess poundage. perhaps I should begin dressing in grey.

Very little of note has happened. I have organised a day off so that I can take Julia to a training course (Mencap seems to think everyone has a car and can travel 20 miles across country by 9am). That has been the only thing of note.

I’ve been loking at houses in Country Life on-line. It’s not a good thing to do. I note several of them have cinema rooms. I have enough problems staying awake in an armchair in the light. Put me in a cinema chair in the dark and no good will come of it . . .

And back to Sunday

We had a pleasant evening last night with Julia’s brother and his wife. I had a nice steak with chips, onion rings, mushroom, pepper sauce and followed it up with sticky toffee pudding and custard. It was a simple and not particularly healthy meal for a simple and not particularly healthy man.

Due to Julia’s brother’s understanding of discount systems, special offers and loyalty cards, it was half price. Substantial, flavoursome and discounted – what more could you want?

I noticed that due to the lockdown there was no salt, pepper or vinegar on the table. We ordered from paper menus which we were asked to throw in the bin on the way out.

I also had what was referred to as a complimentary salad. At least I assume that was how it was spelt. It didn’t say anything nice to me, so I suppose it was complimentary only in the sense of being (supposedly) free. As it was a steakhouse rather than a food bank, it wasn’t actually free, as they clearly charge for it somewhere along the line.

It certainly wasn’t complementary as it didn’t enhance the steak and chips.

Come to think of it, it wasn’t really a salad either, just a few bits of green leaf and veg in a small pot. I’m not sure where a salad ends and a garnish begins, but I have definitely seen garnishes that were bigger than this “salad”.

Despite this, it was an excellent meal in good company and I’m looking forward to a time when we can go out without having to worry about contracting a fatal infection.

It’s roast veg, pie and gravy tonight. The picture is a library picture so I can post before eating.

Damsons

The bottom picture is the damsons we picked – very nice harvest from a tree in a pot. Not sure if I mentioned them before.

 

Sunday Salad

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).

 

A New Direction

We watched a few episodes of Diagnosis Murder this morning and ate a substantial brunch. I’m beginning to get used to this relaxation, though I’m definitely going to have to curb my portion size.

I am going to be on bean salad tomorrow, and can only guess at the horrors that will open up as I start eating “sensibly”. That, in my experience, means eating things you don’t like because they are good for you. It’s good, because you eat less of it if you don’t like it. However, would you rather live to be 70 on a diet of chips, pies and chocolate, or would you prefer to live to 80 on bean salad and virtue?

Seventy is a bit close now, so I’m thinking of interlacing a certain amount of salad with the pie and chips.

Tonight it’s home made beef pie. Tomorrow it’s seafood spaghetti and the day after it’s fishcakes with rice and vegetables. Wednesday is sweet potato and chickpea curry.

I’m starting overnight oats for breakfast again and salads for lunch.

I’ll give it a week. I can mange the healthy evening meal, with the odd takeaway, and the overnight oats. But a week of lunchtime salads will be plenty. Man is not meant to function without cheese and pickle sandwiches and pork pies. But he’s not meant to function in shirts that strain at the front with the curve of a galleon in full sail.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Overnight Oats with Fruit

Thoughts about Water

It’s been wet for several days and there has been standing water on the roads. It’s been drier today and things are getting back to normal. This is a relief as my joints have been a bit creaky and I’m wondering if this is caused by the damp.

In many ways it is more like November than June. I remember a summer like this before. I must have been about twelve at the time and the mental picture of me staring out of a window at rain for an entire summer holiday is still with me. It has haunted me for years. The sense of loss, and being cheated out of six weeks of holiday, must have been really strong for me still to remember it so clearly.

Apart from that there is little I can think of to write about. Rain is not a terribly interesting subject, though if, due to the magic of WordPress, you are reading this in the middle of a drought, I can only apologise for my insensitivity.

I tend to stay off politics and other contentious subjects, as I don’t want to offend people, but I’ve only just thought of water in this context. It’s obvious really, when you think that the next series of World Wars, if we escape annihilation over religion, is likely to be over water. I have read that the Nile is likely to be a source of problems, and that the Portuguese are concerned with the way the Spanish are using all the water on the Iberian Peninsula.

When you have massive salad crops, as the Spanish do, you need water. Personally, I’d solve that one by banning lettuce, but you know how I feel about salad.

This is what happens when you mess with nature. Spain should stick to growing olives and grapes and we should stick to eating salads only in summer. In summer they are a necessary evil; in winter they are self-indulgent and wrecking the planet.

At last! I have found moral high ground concerning salad!

Normally I try to limit myself to one exclamation mark a day, but I think this discovery merits two.

A Very Relaxing Day

I had my lie-in this morning and lay in bed reflecting on a pleasant evening with family the night before. Then I reflected on how much better my stomach was feeling since I’d had a couple of bottles of kefir and filled myself with several billion gut-friendly bacteria.

It seems cheap and simple to make your own. I may have a go, as it’s not cheap to buy ready made.

Then, as usual on a Saturday, I realised I was going to be late. Julia made me a jam sandwich for breakfast, which is nutritionally poor, but very pleasant despite that. I felt the need for strawberry jam  two weeks ago, and have been feeling much happier as a result.

I managed to get to the shop (several minutes late) but despite this was still the first to get his computer into action.

We had customers most of the day and plenty of parcels to send. Unfortunately, though we did our bit, the Post Office was unable to do theirs.  The closest one was closed for the day and the next one was staffed by a woman who claimed she didn’t know how to process pre-stamped parcels. She said she “didn’t unserstand all these stamps”.

I’d like to be in charge of staff training for the Post Office.

I’d also like a cattle prod. According to Google it’s legal to own a cattle prod in the UK.

We had supermarket pizza with extra vegetables, coleslaw, cous cous and Aspall’s cider for tea. Cheap, easy, lazy and very pleasant.

It’s not the sort of food that you’d want to admit to, but it was very enjoyable.

If this was a food blog I’d tell you it was artisan pizza with mixed salads and craft cider. And I’d have remembered to take a photo.

 

 

The Scone Chronicles – Number 4

Before saying anything more, I am going to confess that this isn’t about scones. We went to Stoke-on-Trent, so we had Staffordshire oat cakes at the Middleport Pottery.

That’s a lot of links for one short paragraph.

It started badly when, after parking, we found that they’d changed the way in since our last visit.  A hearty woman redirected us, which was helpful but not what you want to hear when you are twenty yards from where you want to be but are being sent an extra 200 yards. One small step for a man with good knees – not so good when you have a bad knee and a stick.

It didn’t improve when I found that they don’t do my favourite oatcake now – no black pudding and bacon for me. I settled for sausage and cheese. Not a great combination, but the best one, I thought, for brunch. With hindsight I should probably have gone for cheese, tomato and mushrooms, but, with hindsight, I should really have gone somewhere else.

The cafe is better lit and cleaner than it used to be, so I expect they have someone new in charge. The oatcakes were a surprise. There were two of them, with salad.  That, to my mind, is how you serve trendy stuff like paninis. It’s not what I want from oatcakes, which is an old-fashioned sort of food.

To make things worse, the tomato in the salad was old and dried out, like it had been cut several days ago and stored.

The sausages were pretty average too – not actually bad, but definitely not good.

It wasn’t cheap, and, to be honest, I expect fresh salad. Mediocre sausages are, sadly, a fact of life, but there is no excuse for wilting salad.

Tea at

The tea was good, as was the pottery, which is made about 100 yards away.

 

 

 

 

Decisions…

I’ve delivered Julia to work, I’ve re-set my car clock to GMT and I’ve had a drive round to look at nature from the inside of a heated car.

I hadn’t intended driving round so didn’t have a notebook with me, and have returned with two haiku and a couple of notes scribbled on the back of a car park ticket. I keep meaning to get a recorder to carry with me – this phone doesn’t seem to offer that facility.

I’m now facing a big decision. Do I do the laundry or do I write a post? I think you can probably guess the answer from the fact you are reading this.

It will save time later, as the days soon pass and I’m so disorganised that it could easily be close to midnight before I actually press the button to publish. That’s what happened last night. I  started writing around 7.00 and it was close to midnight when I eventually posted. It didn’t, as you may guess, take me five hours to write. But somehow I managed to fill the rest of the time with eating, napping, watching TV, talking to Julia and surfing eBay.

At the moment “out of control” is the theme of my life. The garden needs tidying, the house needs a serious declutter and I have letters to write regarding both health and finance – all important stuff.

I have also lost control of my haiku. I don’t know how many I’ve written on my challenge (though it is at least ten a day, so I’m keeping up with it) and I still have a lot to edit,  type and index. It’s the indexing that’s tricky. They don’t have titles. They don’t lend themselves to numbering due to my habit of making and keeping multiple edits. Quite often they have the same first line (see previous comments on multiple edits). All in all they are slippery little creatures and trying to keep them under control is like trying to herd hamsters.

Looks like I’m going to have to look at numbering again, or risk upsetting an editor.

This post marks 21 successive days of posting. Early days yet, but I’m starting to establish a habit.

At this point the 21 days could be significant, as the old saying is that it takes 21 days to form a habit. This, as with so many things, is a myth. Newer research indicates that it takes between 18 and 254 days to form a habit.

Writing haiku, which was a development of my normal poetry writing only seemed to take a week to take hold but my broken blogging habit doesn’t feel established after 21 days. Eating salad would probably take 254 days to become a habit. Even at 254 days it wouldn’t so much be a case of forming a habit, more like breaking my spirit and me losing the will to live.