Tag Archives: colds

Tired

 

I am tired.

Tired :(

Tired ūüė¶

Tired from a miserable cold,

but, most of all, tired of the lacklustre thinking which pervades  social policies, and by implication economic policies. I am tired of a welfare system which is itself tired and past its use by date, and is plain. just. not. working for the benefit of us all. I am tired of policies which divide us into deserving and undeserving,  and which are more concerned about balance sheets  than supporting real needs. I am tired of a system which has a built-in  unemployment rate, and  which then adversely judges the unfortunate unemployed or unemployable. In that number I count my daughter who is too unwell to work, and my sister who saves the State thousands and thousands of dollars a year by voluntarily caring for our elderly parents. [ Yet, social and economic policies deem them  both worthy of only a pittance for their living costs and well-being.]

In the US, we have just seen a landmark decision which confirms people are equal in love. Before I die ( let that be a long way off! ), I would LOVE to see that same unconditional, equal LOVE¬† extended to¬† decisions which confirm we are equal in our right to a basic guaranteed (living) income; which confirm we are equal in our right to be free of the gnawing¬† anxiety of how we will pay for the necessaries of¬† life. ( You may say I’m a dreamer… ūüėČ )

How this can be achieved I am not sure,  but one way  which is currently being researched  is the Basic Income Guarantee. My nephew writes about this concept in his excellent, thought-provoking  post,  Money for Free, http://radicalblues.com/2015/06/27/money-for-free/

His post begins ” Check out this great new documentary on Basic Income (BI) from Dutch current affairs program Backlight. ….The documentary presents a series of vignettes on BI that provide a good sense of what‚Äôs been tried in the past, what‚Äôs being done today and what might be possible in the future.”

And if the idea of BI seems too radical or too preposterous,¬† here’s a little reminder that one of the most important books of¬† the 20th century, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, was made possible because the author¬† was given a year’s guaranteed income, so she could complete her novel.

Okay, time to stop sniffling about tiredness ; time to sit in the sun and have another cuppa, and re-energise. Oh, but one thing which makes me less tired is knowing  there are young people in the world who care about achieving justice in our societies.

© silkannthreades

Feasting

In recent weeks, when I was feeling ‘under the weather’, on account of my cold/cough, my desire to eat and cook was as lacking as my tastebuds. Now that I am all better, my appetite and interest in cooking have returned and, yesterday, my meal seemed like a feast; it tasted so good!

First up, we had brown lentils and mushrooms in pasta sauce. This is a dish I  created using a combination of different ideas and recipes. It is an authentic mish mash rather than anything elegant with a specific and identifiable origin. Here is a small sample of the finished product.

As usual, my recipe  for this dish is fairly carefree and easy but, for those of you who are interested, here is an outline of the ingredients and cooking method:  Roughly chop one onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1 celery stick and 1 carrot and place in the blender and blitz. Place a little olive oil in a large pan and add blitzed mixture to the pan. Cover and let mixture sweat for about 10 minutes. Add a half teaspoon of dried oregano, and about a half teaspoon of salt and a cup of canned, chopped tomatoes in thick juice. Stir and cook covered for a couple of minutes. Add one tin/can of drained and rinsed brown lentils (about 400gm) and stir. Then add one bottle of thick pasta sauce. I use Bertolli Five Brothers Pasta Sauce, large size, in the summer tomato and basil flavour.  Stir again and cover and simmer gently for a few more minutes. Lastly add about 200 gm of quartered, button mushrooms and 3  Tablespoons of bulghur wheat.  Cover and cook on low heat for another 15 minutes, or until the bulghur wheat is tender. Before serving add freshly ground pepper and 2 or 3 Tablespoons of cream to the pan.

The textures of the ingredients and the smooth richness of the sauce are wonderfully hearty¬† on a winter’s night. I served the sauce on creamy mashed potatoes with steamed carrots and steamed broccoli stalks. And ,because the recipe makes a large amount, we will be having the sauce again tonight, but this time with polenta.

To follow the main meal, I made a scrumptious fruit crumble, using an absolutely excellent crumble recipe from blogger Valerie Davies; excellent because it is¬† both delicious and makes a large amount (which means at least enough for two fruit crumbles in my house). For the fruit component of the dish, I used freshly sliced cooking apples and a good handful of less than perfect grapes which I blanched and peeled and sprinkled with lemon juice.¬† The results were so good that I had to restrain myself from taking a third helping. Thanks Valerie ūüôā

If you would like the recipe take a look Here.

While you are there, check out her other delicious recipe for Convent Eggs. http://valeriedavies.com/2013/07/13/the-real-dalai-lama/ 

I am sure it was the Convent Eggs that finally set my tastebuds on the road to recovery. Food has been tasting superb, since the day I made those delicious eggs.

Finally, what’s a feast without something for the eyes as well. I am so thrilled to have these three lovely books on my table today. The two Virago books arrived by post this morning, via Amazon.¬† The¬† third¬† book, With Bold Needle and Thread by Rosemary Mcleod¬† is on loan from the library. It is subtitled Adventures in Vintage Needlecraft, and so it is, so it is; a very lovely adventure.

Books of a Vintage

Books of a Vintage

A Visual Feast

A Visual Feast

© silkannthreades

Atishoo….bless me….

Atishoo and bless me, and my little cotton socks*…….I have a cold. A drippy nosed, vexatious, miserable cold. I haven’t had a cold for years, so I am feeling very sorry for myself and in need of lots of blessings. (Yes, all blessings gratefully received.)¬† And, yes, you could bring me some soothing hot, lemon and honey tea, too. Thank you ūüôā¬† That’s delicious.

One blessing that came my way this morning was a lovely photo (via Facebook) from fellow blogger Mike Howe.  Followed, shortly thereafter, by another one of his soothing musical posts  http://mikehowe.com/2013/06/30/music-for-one-of-the-greatest-nature-writers/.

Another blessing will arrive about 2 hours from now, in the form of Giles, the Dogfather. Giles, and his super, doggy assistant Diesil, take my very own little blessing, Jack, for regular, joyful exercise, training, and¬† canine and human socialization.¬† Jack is a much happier and calmer dog now that I am giving proper attention to his needs.¬† Here is Jack on one of his outings; he was having fun, truly!¬† His coat keeps him warm and dry and snug. ( He won’t need a coat today. The sun is shining beautifully.)In the Rain; it really is fun!

This photo is from Giles’ Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/thedogfathernz?fref=ts¬† He has some fun photos of wonder dog Diesil and the other dogs he trains. Take a look, if you would like a ‘cheer me up’ blessing for your day.

Well, that’s about all my brain can cope with today. *Oh, but one more something that made me smile through the sniffles, snuffles and sneezles…. I wondered, when I was blessing my cotton socks, how this strange little blessing came about. Here is what I found; it is smile worthy: ¬† ‘George Edward Lynch Cotton, English clergyman and educator, assistant master at Rugby 1837-1852, the ‘young master’ in Thomas Hughes’s “Tom Brown’s School Days”. Bishop of Calcutta, 1858 where he did missionary work and established schools for Eurasian children. In requests to England he asked for donations of clothing, often emphasizing “warm socks” for the children. In fact he seems to have held the simplistic view that if the children had warm socks many of their problems, mal-nutrition, disease, racial prejudice etc. could be easily solved. Little old maiden ladies all over England spent their time knitting socks for Bishop Cotton and sending them off to India. He blessed all items used in his schools, and many shipments would arrive labeled ” Socks for Cotton’s blessing” and reportedly even “Cotton’s socks for blessing”. Cotton’s socks easily became corrupted to cotton socks,

© silkannthreades