Category Archives: Food

Didn’t that year go by quickly?

It occurred to me, as I was perched on a chair, reaching to paint the ceiling in the tricky little corner of the room (do not, I beg of you, inquire why I’m standing on chairs to do this task when step ladders would be safer.) that it was a Significant Date. This time last year, I was awaiting the arrival of the official paperwork indicating that life really had changed. But, I was so not convinced it was going to get to me with any rapidity, that I nearly threw the blessed envelope which contained the official document in the paper recycling bag, along with the advertising mail it had come wrapped in!

So, today, not only have I acknowledged this significant date, which also happened to be a significant date anyway, (it’s kind of neat and tidy that it’s all on the same date) I have completed another academic year, I have registered the first of my three bestest friends have gone over the numeric border into the next decade. (I have another four years to go….) and plans for the summer are looking good. Work hours are flexible, as long as I complete them before the end of the financial year. Which means I could cut down on travel costs, and bunch days together to make it work getting a travel card, rather than single tickets.

Loads of things have shifted mentally  Рfor which I am truly grateful.

Church continues to be a hard place to be, but I’m making far more sense of what it is about.

And, now the only thing I need to decide on is in which order the room decorating is going to proceed.

After a lazy evening, and the remains of the team meeting buffet lunch food!



More Redefining of Japes’ Life

It’s been a week away from work, at the end of a pretty exhausting seven weeks of new tasks, and what I really needed was a week’s sleep. So, what did I do? That’s right, go and help some friends with a major clearing out and packing and downsizing process, that was due to finish today. (I did from Monday until Friday.)

I helped fill two skips, (probably more like three, but some stuff vanished in the process… odd that.) loaded up a large van load¬† and large car load of items for recycling, was seen to be wandering with several lists attached to me, and praying fervently that the right stuff got to the right place, found some things that had remained hidden for more years than any of us want to think about, and helped eat up copious amounts of food!!! Meals were filling, but occasionally rather unusual.

It’s the end of many, many eras, for me, for my friends, for the locality in which they lived.

For me, I’m hopeful that the horridness of the last few weeks in my own life were mostly related to some unfinished stuff around all this process, which has taken a very long time … partly, it has to be acknowledged, through my own dragging my heels. I need not have done any of what I did, either this week or in August , but as I said then, a lot of emotional rubbish got put in the skip then, and even more went this time. It’s been a peculiarly Japes’ way of moving forwards.

It also meant that I had no energy for more than one shopping expedition today! I used it all up on the major restock of the larder and freezer.. a second trip, for t-shirts, socks and shoes was Foolish. I realised when I was losing the will to live in the third purveyor of t-shirts that persisting in this was going to end badly. I am grateful I was Domestic Goddess par excellence last weekend, and am very organised in the laundry and housework departments. Ah, apart from the Losing My Favourite Chopping Knife Episode in the black hole under the sink unit, (which is what prompted the second expedition, as I couldn’t get a replacement on the first trip).

So, I will be very lazy from now until 5.30 a.m. on Monday morning, and revive my soul with food of my choosing, gentle reading, pleasant music, and moving no further from the settee than other rooms in the house as required.


No, I’ve not been eating hot, buttered toast all this time. Nor have I been contemplating a long post all day.

I have been clothes shopping. I repeat, I have been clothes shopping. This is possibly my least favoured way of spending a Saturday of all time!! It’s possibly my least favoured activity of all time.

This has been forced upon me by the fact all my clothes are now way too big, I can get away with it with the tops, but the trousers and jeans I wear for work have been looking bad for some weeks, even with a belt… and we will not discuss the undergarments. Though, I did have a sort out of those recently, and it’s less of a problem than the outer garments.

The good news is I am definitely a size I can’t remember having been for more years than I wish to record. The bad news was almost every shop I went into had larger clothes and smaller clothes, but not the size I was after.

Still, I have returned with a new pair of jeans, for the days I need to look relatively respectable. (Luckily, on three days a week I can still get away with the old jeans, as we all wear old clothes that don’t matter as it’s messy work on those days.) I’ve come back with some ideas of what I want – and can try other branches of these places in a different part of the city.

The next thing will be new trainers. I last had feet/knee problems when I really needed new trainers!! For some reason, even though the shoes I’ve bought for work were a repeat pair, they are nowhere near as comfortable for walking in as the originals. I’m also wearing my steel toe cap boots twice a week, not just the once, and walking twice as far in them. My feet have rebelled!!

So, Monday will see me braving other parts of the city to continue these exciting excursions.

I need more toast!! As Miffy commented on the previous post; priorities!!

Change of plan

I was just about to sit down and write a long post, but I started thinking about toast, and butter, and honey, and concluded any post I write will not make sense until I’ve had some hot buttered toast.

Pleasant Occupations

It’s a strange feeling, this doing of household tasks and enjoying them. Something to do with not feeling I’m being watched, and judged for what I do or don’t do, or how I do or don’t do it, methinks.

Then, for the first time in ages and ages, my clarinet has emerged from it’s box. Not just for playing in church or seasonal singing at a point in the year I’m not going to mention because I’ll have hysterics, or because I’ve been asked to play something for an occasion, but because I want to play it, and to enjoy playing it again. I would like to return, at some point in the future, to teaching music, and that means I need to be back in practice again. So scales and exercises were heard for about an hour last night and I’m aiming to do that most days for a while. There are also a few pieces that I love which might be tried today. I do have an aim. I want to be able to play the pieces I played for my degree final again, and I also want to learn some new pieces that I never had time to learn before.

I’ve had a re-jiggle of the boxes in my room, and the ones sitting patiently in the garage awaiting liberation, trying to work out if I need to leave the boxes in the garage for now, or just take absolutely everything and hope it all gets sorted! Mmmm

Now for some hot buttered toast, and coffee.

A most unusual state of affairs!

I am not ill.

I am not sickening for anything, as far as I can tell.

I have not lost my appetite.

But, I appear to have no interest in chocolate, whatsoever. I’ve not wanted any all week, but on the day I did a biggish shop, I bought some in case I felt like it later. Two days later, (that’s a miracle in itself) I ate it, and thought “No, I didn’t actually want that.”. Yesterday, and today, I refused chocolate when I was offered it.

I shall monitor this state of affairs…

Breathes a huge sigh of relief

It’s raining.

This means I do not have to worry about the plants, currently my incredibly reluctant responsibility, dying from lack of water in my absence. Mind you, if they’ve picked up the vibes as I’ve been stomping around twice daily wielding the watering cans, they’d’ve shrivelled up and died days ago.

It’s also marginally cooler. Though, now I’ve found the fan, it’s still rather nice to have it on!

I am also almost through with all my current responsibilities work-wise. Four days next week, and that’s me done… until I find a Proper Job. Or some more regular combination of the musical things I can do that pay well, that work in with current part time job. There is much to commend carrying on with a mish-mash of part time things for the next year. But, never again, will I work in two different age ranges, across four different establishments, in two different education authorities, with differing term dates. Whilst I’ve enjoyed the very different kinds of work I’ve done, and it has contributed highly to the Keep Japes Sane Campaign, there have been occasional real clashes that have caused me and other people considerable stress. This week being possibly the worst week of all.

Now, to some more ironing, and packing, and away to the Big, Big City for some whirlwind event attending, and possibly socialising.

Discipline required

Oh, I have discovered a wonderful new thing on the internet, and if I’m not careful, I can see myself being led very easily astray by this wondrous discovery of digital sheet music.

For a small sum, I can purchase music, for a single printing from my computer. Most useful for the odd occasion when I’m asked for a song as a one-off. Somewhat heavy on my ink usage, but still, in total, cheaper than glossy sheet music would be, and meant I could do the task of locating the music I needed this evening.

I had to download some music reading software, which I realise I’d had on my old computer, but never got to downloading onto this one, and that was the most problematic part of the whole exercise. But, I remembered this from the last time, and patiently persevered.

And, in further wonders of the internet, I have listened to the song as well. (Ssshh – it won’t be remaining in my repertoire beyond the End of Term event for which it is required!)

My soups and smoothies were just what I needed, and I feel lots better now. Discipline required there, too!!


If I write, and send, over 150 letters and e-mails in a short space of time, the chances are I will be inundated with replies – all in a short space of time!

Eating badly, too late in the evening has consequences that I’m not going to describe. I think now there was a bit of a nasty bug as well….

Eating poorly puts me in a bad mood. This I know, but occasionally ignore. Now is not the time to ignore it. So, a mega-huge pan of home-made veggie soup is on the agenda for tomorrow, and fruit and yogurt smoothies are likely to be made. This is soothing stuff after the consequences of yesterday, and makes up for the almost total lack of food over the last 24 hour. The carrot and coriander soup was nice, though.

Tomorrow, I am going to take myself off to collect a long awaited new book, deliver the last three letters, and then have a lazy three days after the cooking session. I might even ignore both phones and e-mails.

Medicinal Chocolate and Letter Writing

Dilemma… Chocolate, amongst other things, has been given up for Lent.

However, today is one of those days, when nothing but chocolate will do. It happens maybe once every three/four months or so, and occasionally on a monthly basis…

Does this count as a medical emergency?

If I have some chocolate now, it will prevent me from dreaming of chocolate all day and getting seriously distracted from the many things on the job list. I can start again on the giving it up basis tomorrow!! I have maintained everything else (I have given up chocolate, cake, sweets, biscuits, crisps and proper puddings.)

If I don’t have any, the likely chances of going overboard later in the day are much higher, and the damage will be much worse. Both in terms of quantity of chocolate consumption, and guilt factor at going overboard.

If I manage to resist completely, will I be ‘orribly self-righteous about it? Even if just to myself?

Mmmm… it will also assist the letter writing. I am contemplating writing a Real Letter, in my own fair hand, which is proving somewhat difficult. The letter, not the physical writing thereof. Though, I’m not as in practice with that as I used to be!

I think I’ll try the toast and banana option first, and see how the chocolate cravings are going by lunch time…