• Kay

Red Salad


In the present scheme of things, today was a busy day, or at least today was one of the few days that had something written in the calendar! The 18th January was the date of my three-monthly tinnitus appointment with the specialist hearing therapist. I enjoy these appointments as the therapist, a lovely Irish lady, is good ‘crack’, as the saying goes. I have been a lot better at carrying out my daily 10 min relaxation exercise prescribed by her than previously, but unfortunately, my tinnitus is more pronounced at times. She suspects this is stress related and pointed out that music teaching ‘online’, where you have to listen very carefully due to the limitations of Skype, particularly with students taking advanced grades and requiring aural training, is actually far more stressful than teaching face to face. This makes sense as although my online teaching timetable is a fraction of what my normal teaching hours would be, it does leave me quite drained. I will be relieved to return to normal.

I do get outside to my pumpkin patch and manage to finish the clean-up operation by about 5pm, by which time it is practically dark and very cold. The next stage will be placing 10 paving slabs where I wish to place my ‘faux lead’ Tudor planters and then I can transplant the box plants that have been living in two raised vegetable beds for the last few years. Then the exciting process of deciding on topiary shapes can commence. I think the designs will need to be at least partially dictated by the present shapes of this rather motley collection of ‘left-over’ box plants, so it will be intriguing to see where we end up. That leads to walking around the vegetable garden deciding on dinner tonight.

I was surprised to come across some radicchio plants that have survived the weather. I pull one out, resolving to make a ‘red’ salad this evening…brightly coloured plants, particularly bitter flavoured ones such as radicchio, are very healthy. I collect a small red cabbage to include in the salad, which will also have red onion, beetroot and maybe apple and feta cheese. This salad will accompany lasagne, which on this occasion will be using mince. I also plan to add some butternut squash to the lasagne sauce and some colourful chard leaves in the layers of pasta. I am always on a mission to include as many seasonal vegetables as possible!

The Simple Life


Today was windy, rainy and full of worrying flood warnings for certain regions of the country. One of the few advantages of this unpleasant weather is that it would give the newly cleared polythene that covers the pumpkin patch a good wash. As the weather was so unpromising, I decided to start hemming my curtains. I knew this would take some time as I would be doing it by hand. I do possess a sewing machine, which I inherited from my mum, but the last time I used an electric sewing machine was in domestic science when I was about twelve. Predictably, I approached using a sewing machine in a similar way to using gears on my bike or trying to drive a car…very nervously with fairly disastrous results. I only used the gears on my bike once, also aged about 12 and the chain fell off, so I continued cycling for many years without using gears! I did eventually learn to drive but I now drive an automatic which I find much easier than a manual. I suspect I do have a problem with co-ordination, which I have dealt with over the years by avoiding things that cause my brain to freeze…microwaves, mobile pho