This life of mine
Sisters, sisters, there were never such [insert word here] sisters ...
Families! I got into it with Lesley (sister) tonight.
We have an aunt, our mum's oldest sister, the only one of the three sisters left. She's 90 next month. She lives up in Manchester. Last year my cousin organised a big party for her, and I travelled up to Manchester for it. Lesley didn't go. All Auntie Nell wanted to know was 'Where's Lesley? Is Lesley here? Isn't Lesley coming?' - never mind that I'd travelled 250 miles, all she wanted was to see Lesley (who never, ever phones her or keeps in touch with her or with any of that side of the family). She's not seen Lesley since my 40th birthday party when everyone came down to Essex. Lesley is 50 miles away from Manchester but can't be arsed to make the trip. She's always been more interested and involved with the family of whichever man she's married to than her own relatives.
Anyway, Auntie's birthday is on 25 March and that's when Diane's over. So I said to Lesley tonight if I could ask her a favour. I said that I expect Bryce (cousin) will be arranging a celebration for her 90th, and because I've got someone staying, I won't be able to go to Manchester that weekend (although I will try and make it soon after). So could Lesley please, please try to go, even if she and Andy just drive up there and stay for a couple of hours and then come back. She said she doesn't think so. I said that Auntie really wants to see her, and that she'll be 90, there won't be many more chances to see her. So then I was accused of preaching, whatever the hell that means. (I suspect it means her hearing something she doesn't want to).
The call ended on bad terms, I doubt very much if she'll make the effort to go, and I know when I go up to see Auntie all I'll hear from her is 'Where's Lesley? How's Lesley? Is Lesley coming?' because she's always been (and always will be) the blue-eyed girl who can do no wrong.
But I've made a decision that I will not give Lesley any more information about Auntie, about her health, what she and her son and grandchildren are up to, nothing. If she wants to know, she can pick up the phone and call her.
Spicy Carrot Soup
1 heaped tbsp coriander seeds
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped finely
900g carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped finely
1.2l chicken or vegetable stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp natural yoghurt
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
Lightly toast the coriander seeds in a small pan over a low heat for a couple of minutes, until they start giving off their spicy aroma. The crush them in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder.
Heat a dash of olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook for a few minutes until soft and slightly golden. Add the carrots, celery, garlic and crushed coriander seeds, stir well and cook for about 10 minutes, until the carrots start to soften.
Add the stock, season, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender. Leave to cool a little, then liquidise. Return to the heat and warm through before adding the yoghurt and fresh coriander.
This is soooo cute. A baby pangolin riding on his mummy's tail. What could possibly be better?
I wish I was creative.
I'm useless at arts & crafts, and admire anyone who can take raw materials and fashion a piece of art out of them.
At the Thursday AA meeting there's a framed embroided picture on the wall. It's exquisite - poppies, roses, delphiniums, lots of other flowers I don't know the names of, all sewn in perfect satin stitch. There's an embroidered dedication to someone at the bottom. I love to look at it, marvelling at the work that went into it. It was a labour of love for someone.
I can't even make things from kits. I'm clumsy and lack patience.
But I came across these
today. Aren't they cool?!
This is my favourite.
is probably one of the most horrendous news stories I've read in ages. I'm not easily shocked, as an ex-family lawyer I am pretty case-hardened, but I felt ill when I read this. I hope every second he spends in prison is utterly miserable.
Sore but relieved
After two weeks of hospital tests, where I've been poked, prodded, squashed (mammogram - Jeez, they f'ing hurt!), had needles stuck in me and been drawn on (!) I heard today that there is no malignancy, just lumps (or 'masses' as doctors call them).
I am intensely relieved, as well as a little sore, having had 5 needle aspirations from each boob this morning.
I have to go back in two weeks after my 'interesting' case has been discussed at some panel meeting or other, just to see if anyone else has any input into what these lumps might be. I can live with that.
Phew! Although to the outside world I give the impression that I'm all cool and in control, I was worried about this.
People may see me as strange and shy ...
What does your birth date mean?
|Your Birthdate: May 22|
You tend to be understated and under appreciated.
You have a hidden force to do amazing things, doing them your own way.
People may see you as strange and shy, but they know little.
Your unconventional ways have more power than they (and even you) know.
Your strength: Standing up for what you know is true
Your weakness: You tend to be picky and rigid
Your power color: Silver
Your power symbol: Square
Your power month: April
Baby it's cold outside.
This is the cutest thing I've seen in ages.
The best soup in the world.
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or sliced thinly
4oz bacon cut into little pieces (or pancetta, if you can afford it). (Or leave it out altogether if you’re vegetarian.)
Saute the onion, garlic and bacon in olive oil for a few minutes over a medium heat in a large (2 litre at least) saucepan
½ large celery, finely sliced (including leaves)
3 large or 6 small carrots, chopped up verrrry small
Stir it round, put the lid on the pan, turn the heat down a little, then leave it for a few minutes for the vegetables to soften slightly.
While the veggies are softening, make up 1 litre of vegetable stock (Knorr stock cubes are best) with boiling water
Open a can of chopped tomatoes. Add the tomatoes to the soup mix and stir.
Pour the stock in, stir again. Then add a handful each of chopped basil and parsley. Finally toss in some chopped rosemary.
Replace the lid, bring to the boil and simmer for about 45 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Time off for good behaviour?
Now I'm kind of an old-fashioned girl insofar as I like to be treated like a lady by men who aren't wimps. But I think Mr Travis Frey from Iowa has a few, er, control issues
in this regard.
I doubt I'd have earned many GBDs if I'd been married to Mr Frey.
Your camera has been found ...
... but we've decided to keep it.
The arseholery of some people amazes me sometimes.
I just finished reading Judith Moore's Fat Girl.
Not an easy read, in fact at times it was painful.
I was a fat girl - a fat baby, a fat child, a fat teenager and a fat adult, so I knew what Judith meant when she talked about her thighs blistering and chafing to raw red agony where they rubbed together. I understood her pain when she was told by someone she thought was a friend that she was "too fat to fuck"
. I, too, felt the same ache inside as I looked at boys (and men) who made my heart beat faster with lustful longing, but who I knew would see me only as someone to ridicule - a figure of fun.
I envied (and still envy) beautiful women.
I watched the American Idol
auditions recently and there was a pair of twins, 25-ish, absolutely, totally gorgeous. Only one sang that day, the other stood to one side and 'coached' her twin. The singer was okay, probably average or below.
Simon Cowell, usually so cruel, hit the nail on the head. He acknowledged that she was undoubtedly beautiful, but said that, because of the way she looks, she's probably had most things in life come to her fairly easily without having to make too
much of an effort. But that this was different and that to get a ticket to Hollywood, looks weren't enough.
Watching TV home alone on a Saturday night, I punched the air and cheered. The other two judges voted her in, bastards.
The big file was a piece of cake, once I actually read it. Now I can settle down and enjoy the football. I hope.
I've been Simpsonized!
World's greatest procrastinator
I've spent the entire day not dealing with the big, complex case file I brought home with me. I know I need to do it, I know it won't be half as bad as I think it's going to be once I start it, and I know it'll only take me half the time I think it's going to take. So why don't I just get on with it?
As it is, the day is almost gone here and I'm just about to get ready to go out to an AA meeting. I need to get my head around this thing tomorrow, though, and just get on with it.
I bookmarked a link from AskMeFi a few months ago about how to deal with procrastinating, but haven't yet got round to reading it ...
Mere mortal though she be ...
I think I'll get this
framed. It's probably the coolest bit of paper I own.
I love looking in people's houses
I've been walking to and from the station on the days I'm in the office. It's a mile each way, up and down hills, beautifully peaceful early in the morning.
On the way home I look into people's houses. One road I go down has a row of Victorian villas, nice solid houses with high ceilings. Net curtains are very unstylish, so it's easy to see into the houses when the lights are on.
Two houses intrigue me. They're next door to one another. The first has this massive
plasma screen TV mounted on the wall. The room can't be more than 14ft or 15ft wide, so it must be like sitting on the front row of the Odeon. Every time I go past, the TV is on, and it's always cartoons.
The house next door has shelves from floor to ceiling filled with books, CDs and a stereo system. There's a comfortable-looking chair by the window, and a small TV in the corner.
No prizes for guessing which house I prefer.
The Most Dangerous Man In The World
I just got back from having a mammogram (ugh!). I had a 'breast mouse' (fibroadenoma) removed 20 years ago, and there's another lump appeared in the same area along with some indentation of the skin, especially noticeable when I raise my arm, about the size of a thumbprint.
The junior doctor I saw today couldn't get the consultant surgeon in the room quick enough, and after he had a feel of it, he sent me for the mammogram at once (instead of the usual 3-month wait - I've already waited 2 months for this first appointment) and he will see me again next week. He said he is 'concerned'.
I'm abso-fricking-lutely terrified.
So, here I am, sitting here at home waiting for the final part of the Olympic Figure Skating contest. I've always loved skating - watching
it, that is. I only tried it once and could barely stand up.
Personally, I'd expect to be given a gold medal for being able to skate into the middle of the rink without falling on my arse. So how those Olympians manage to skate backwards on one leg (at speed), take off, spin round three-and-a-half times and land on the other leg going forwards absolutely astonishes me.