Well, the kittens did not die in the night, which is probably good news. The bad news is that they seem to be just as boisterous, if not more so than yesterday. I believe that only elephant tranquilliser will contain them at this point and am polishing off my pith helmet as I fear that neither of them will be quite so keen to get in the cat basket tomorrow morning for their post operative check.
In other news, I woke up with a beastly sinus headache that hasn’t really shifted all day and it has made me feel a little tetchy, particularly because I have been laying off the dairy, despite the fact that there is still lovely, lovely Christmas cheese in the fridge, calling to me across the plains. I don’t mind suffering if I have earned it, but if I have been saintly and I am still suffering it makes me slightly petulant.
My spreadsheet is evolving. It is huge and unwieldy and I keep fiddling around with it as well as actually entering data onto it, and frankly I was a fool to myself and should have set this up 14 months ago. I only have myself to blame, which again, makes me slightly petulant, as I have nobody to shout; ‘WHAT DID YOU MEAN WHEN YOU WROTE ZARA HUGE SLEEVES THERE?’ and such like. If I were me I’d fire myself pronto and get someone who actually knows what they’re doing running this joint. As it is I can’t get anyone to replace me, so I plod on with my large notebook full of unintelligible squiggles, hoping that eventually it will be a thing of wonder and joy and I will be able to answer many probing questions with all my crunchy, delicious data.
I have cheered myself today by making amazing soup. It is so amazing that I have had several bowls full (as has everyone else) and have gone about proclaiming my own genius to anyone who will listen. I am particularly pleased with it because it used up all the squashy tomatoes from the back of the fridge, so it was thrifty as well as genius.
Here’s the recipe (I call it that, but it’s sort of loose, baggy instructions you can take or leave), in case you too want to wow all your friends and neighbours.
I diced four onions (mediumish) and grated six cloves of garlic into a heavy bottomed pan, added about an inch and a half of finely chopped celery and sweated it down in olive oil with a pinch of salt to stop the onion catching and about forty tonnes of ground black pepper. I added two red peppers (diced) and a great many tomatoes from the back of the fridge (I de-cored the large ones. I hate the woody bits) which I cut into rough dice. I left the skin on because I’m lazy. I threw in a lot of chopped coriander, and let it sweat for another twenty minutes. I added some water and a tin of reduced fat coconut milk (I am not dieting. I bought the wrong tin in the supermarket). I added a packet of Tom Ka paste I got from the Chinese supermarket near the hospital for £1.50 when I needed to park there the other week. I stirred it about a bit, left it for ten more minutes and then whizzed it up with a hand blender. My friend Jenn gave me a packet of amazing chilli oil with peanuts in, and I drizzled some into the top of my bowl before I ate it. Everyone else had it as it came. I’d say it’s medium hot if you don’t drizzle it in lethal chilli oil.
I shall probably never achieve such soup greatness again, which is why I decided to immortalise it here.
Tilly is packing up her room in order to move out next week. I gave her many saucepans and she seems to have lost them somewhere. I believe she also has my very expensive Bella Freud sock (I have the other), but who knows? Looking at the state of her room, this state of affairs does not surprise me, although there were quite a lot of saucepans and really, they’re a very difficult thing to lose, unlike the sock, but she has skills.
Oscar has cleaned his room of all childlike detritus because he is awaiting an electric drum kit the size of Cornwall. Many of the things he wants to keep are in bags on the landing. There is also a chest of drawers abandoned on the landing which we were going to give to Tilly but Jason has changed his mind about. Now all those things are joined by Tilly’s boxes, which are slowly mounting up, dribbling down the stairs and into my stock room. My house looks like it has been burgled and abandoned, and then burgled a bit more. I am trying to remain calm about the fact that all the festive crap has now been replaced by other crap but I’d really quite like to run away.
Luckily for me, before all the madness started Jason decided that he and I could do with another weekend away in the country before funds run out and we are reduced to chewing crusts and weaving our own vests out of baler twine. He has booked us back into the lovely, quiet, empty grain silo near Hay on Wye we went to a few months ago, and we are going tomorrow evening until Sunday. The children and the cats will look after themselves (or not) and we will eke out the last drops of decadence from the in between days before January starts in earnest on Monday.
And it’s Luther tonight, and it’s so good. So what with that and my mini break (very Bridget Jones) and my soup, it’s not been too terrible a day. You?