Lunch Out

More washing!! Another three loads washed, sorted and away today. Just about back to normal after Turkey and the Lake District.

I went for a long run this morning and my legs are aching now. I haven’t been running for about a month, I’ve done a lot of yoga and played squash and badminton though.

I had a lovely lunch at the City Screen with Michelle today. She had been to the Star Inn, Harome with Mark and her boys for her birthday, so we compared notes on its deliciousness!! My meal there with Cindy last February is definitely about the best meal I’ve ever had. In fact the whole experience was wonderful. Michelle was equally impressed by the food, but didn’t stay the night. Quite fancy a trip back myself. Anyone fancy a £50 lunch?

Roast guinea fowl for tea, the butchers had a couple in, so I thought I’d try one. Nice – stronger chicken, and the butcher’s chickens are not good, so this was definitely a better alternative. I think tomorrow I’m going to do the pea and feta soup that I had with my mum.

Pea and lemon soup with feta black pepper

Frozen peas are fine to use – especially the sweet little petits pois – and are among the best vegetable sources of fibre and protein, and also contain vitamin C, iron and zinc. Serves 4.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
800g/1lb 10oz peas
1 small round lettuce, leaves separated and washed
1 litre/1¾ pints hot chicken or vegetable stock
grated rind and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
75g/3oz feta cheese, crumbled into small pieces
a few fresh mint leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion, chilli and garlic for five minutes until softened.
  • Add the peas, lettuce leaves and hot stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes until the peas are tender.
  • Take off the heat and, using a hand-held blender, roughly blitz until coarsely pureed. Stir in the lemon rind and juice and season with salt and plenty of black pepper.
  • Ladle into bowls and scatter over the feta and mint leaves.

Lunch with Kath

I had a lovely lunch today with Kath. The last of the Ikea gravadlax, salad and a glass of wine. Followed by a very nice chocolate cake that she had brought with her.

I also went to the supermarket and continued to try to get to the bottom of the washing basket!

Rose went to gymnastics for the first time this term, and Toby went off to squash practise. He said it felt like hard work today, partly because he hasn’t played over the holiday, and partly because he got put into a higher group. I told him that I always lose, and that it must be good for his game!


I just watched 4 music presents… Morrissey from earlier in the month. He’s aged really well and the new songs sound good. I bought the new album for Toby for his birthday, so must make sure I get to listen to it too.

Morrissey performed a Smiths song as well, Still Ill. The Smiths are possibly the one band that most represent my late teenage years to me. Their songs are instantly familiar and I still know a lot of the lyrics by heart. Oh those evenings spent discussing the most hilariously depressing lyrics!

And if a double-decker bus
Crashes into us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten-ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well, the pleasure – the privilege is mine


Coffee, Cinema & Parents’ Evening

I had coffee this morning with Mark and Michelle – nice to see them at the same time!

After lunch I went to the cinema to see Brokeback Mountain – in the afternoon, all by myself.  Wonderfully decadent.  It always seems strange coming out of the cinema into daylight.  Great film, beautiful scenery, very touching love story.

It was Toby’s parents’ evening today.  What a star he is – his (in fact all three children’s) parents’ evenings are always very straightforward.  Lovely to have people telling me such nice things about Toby!

Oven Fixed

Fixed – well it wasn’t actually broken! As I suspected, a button had got pressed. If you hold down one of the buttons for ten seconds, and then press a different button, the oven gets put in “demo mode.” This means that it won’t turn on the heating elements or the fan whatever you turn the knob to. The lights come on, and the buttons adjust the temperature, but nothing happens. And it remembers it has been put into this mode even if you turn it off and on again at the wall!

So fortunately it wasn’t really broken, and I should have read the small print in the manual more carefully!


I carry on trying to play badminton regularly. I’ve had to miss a few games over the last month or so, as people have been off school so often, but I’ve played twice this week to try and make up for it.

I still play Simon most regularly, and he still generally beats me – in fact it was a whitewash this week – oh well I beat him last week for a change. Today I played against Mark, who hasn’t played much for ages, so I won fairly easily. However, I think once he loses his rustiness it’ll be a different matter as he’s got an amazing smash – which just frightens me – when it goes over the net ;-).

John’s been at home today, just exhausted I think because of the school play and so on this week. Rose has been to school every day this week – the first time for ages. Toby, of course, is doing his paper round, school, youth club, squash… as usual.

Bright & Cold

I went for a run today along the river. It was a really crisp, bright day. Two minutes after leaving our house, you can be beside the river; and within about five minutes you can be running alongside trees and a hedge through a field with sheep in it. It was a bit muddy today, but not too slippery.

Also today, I’ve had coffee with Michelle at the Blakeshead, and then Ted popped in this afternoon on his way home after an early finish.

Day of Treats

On Friday, I had an excellent day. It started off with Rose going to school, definitely a good start, making four out of five days last week.

I went out with Ted and Dave, first to Bob Jackson Cycles in Leeds. Ted has been given an old frame that he wants cleaning up and respraying. They had a fantastic range of colours to choose from – he chose an unusual pepperminty blue colour – a rather more restful colour that peppermint toothpaste though. The bike shop had some lovely bikes in it, and managed to make Cycle Heaven look rather expensive (it’s not as convenient of course).

We went on to have a bit of a browse around the art/book/kitchen shops in Salts Mill. Also of course, to have some lunch. Lovely wild mushroom rissotto for me, tasty looking sausages for Dave and a pizza for Ted.

Got home in time to pick up Rose – John to Nathan’s. Rose had Sarah to tea (pizza) and then Toby went out to youth club.

Most unexpectedly Kath rang to say she suddenly had a free theatre ticket that evening, and would I like to go. Managed to get Beth to babysit at the last minute and went out to see Horror for Wimps.