Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Life - the good, the bad and the boring

  I needed space and time away from the house this morning.  I have been in self enforced house arrest for months, apart from going out to work that is, I'm allowed out for that.  This morning I built a little tunnel out to my car and escaped, yes it was short lived as I had to work in the afternoon but oh my it was glorious!!  Not the weather of course, but I kind of like it that way.  The wilder the better.   There were a few fellow escapees  making the most of it, dog walking, surfing and like me just gulping in the sea air and the view.  My beautiful Cornwall rewarded me with a rainbow, it was saying hey Chickpea good to see you.  Who needs a pot of gold when you have golden sands.

I am on the emotional rollercoaster of house selling still, it has brought a few tears and a lot of uncertainty but my feet are firmly on this path now so I have to see it though to the end.  No offers yet but a steady stream of viewings and a couple of second viewings, we have not found that special place yet so no hurry.

Late at night when I can't sleep I have been watching a series called Outlander set in Scotland, I also caught a programme set during the Viking period called The Last Kingdom, anyway it is not really about the programmes but the knitted accessories......yes I know I'm a bit weird, looking at the knitting instead of following the story ......I wouldn't tell everyone that but I'm sure many of you out there will understand.  There are the most beautiful shawls and wrist warmers, I would love to know who the amazing knitters were who designed and made them.  Has anyone else seen them?  It got me thinking, I have started on a cardigan for myself but I am such a slow knitter that it will take forever and I am losing heart already.  I am using fine alpaca wool doubled up but it is still very fine so is growing very slowly.  So I'm afraid I'm going to rip it out and make something else, any ideas for accessories anyone?  Oh and the male leads in the programmes did catch my eye as well :)

Thank you for all your supportive comments, I know the blog has gone to pot lately and I haven't had a lot to share but that is my life at the moment, the good, the bad and the boring.  I don't blog to get lots of followers, but I do appreciate those who have stuck with it, and to those who have unfollowed, your loss, I was about to enter my followers into a million pound draw (only joking)  It's a bit like friends really, the true ones stick with you through thick and thin.

Chickpea xx

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Doubts are creeping in

Hi all you lovely people, sorry for being such a rubbish blogger at the moment but I'm incredibly busy working on 'the biggie' on my 60 things to do before I'm 60.  That would be the little matter of moving house!  The house has been pimped and preened to within an inch of its life and is now on the market!  EEEEKKKKK!!!  I must say it looks pretty damned good, I don't know why I'm moving!

When the for sale board went up it felt very very real.  We have been here 15 years and it is a much loved happy home, but it is time to move on.  To start the next stage of our lives, whatever that may be. I'm not even sure what I want that to be any more, I'm having doubts.

We haven't actually found any where else to live.........I'm not going to panic.........yet

Do I really want to live in the countryside..........or beside the sea?  I'm tying myself in knots.

Doubts fill my mind, prevent me from sleeping, too many choices, too many decisions.  Such HUGE decisions to be made, and I'm not sure we are exactly on the same page.  Himself sends me 'bling' properties, I send him properties with 'potential'.  I don't mind roughing it for a while, after all we lived in a caravan in his mothers field for three years while we saved up the deposit for our first house.  He says he's too old to be 'camping' out in a building site.  I want fields, he asks who will look after them......  Am I physically up to all the work, I'm still not completely recovered from my operations, will I ever be?

What do I want?  I haven't seen one single property that feels right.  Perhaps this is telling me something.

So what have I learned so far?

Estate agent don't exactly lie but are damned good at leaving out the important information like the extremely busy road right next to the cottage 'in the country'.  The house right next door to the 'secluded cottage'  The very very low ceilings even for me at 5'1" in a house that didn't need any work, mmm yes apart from the roof being taken off and lifted unless you are happy to keep bumping your head.  The VERY bad lane that even my truck had problems getting down.   It is really annoying for us and the seller, and wastes both are time.   A bit more honesty is needed.

 I don't know why I'm so worried about everything being impossibly tidy as none of the houses we have seen so far have been tidy.  I can see beyond that at the potential, but I'm sure it would put some people off.  I'm driving the bearded one mad as every time he puts something down, I put it away somewhere, usually forgetting where I stashed it.

So I am sitting here waiting for that first message saying someone wants to view our home.  It's been on the market one day and I'm already worrying, perhaps I put it on at too high a price.  Well we are not in a hurry as we can't find anywhere to buy so we might as well 'test the market' see I'm getting the lingo.  Our last house sold in two days, it's too much to ask that this happens again.  It's only been one day FFS! calm down.......

I just hate this feeling of being in limbo, not being in control of my destiny.  Not even knowing what I want my destiny to be at the moment.......doubts are creeping in.....

Sorry for the rambling nonsense, I just needed to get it off my chest.

Chickpea xx

Friday, 2 October 2015

Five Books and a Ruby

I have a butterfly mind I can't do one thing at a time, start something and complete it.  Oh no, I start one thing, wander off and start something else, drift away and start something else.  It drives the bearded one mad, and I have to admit I find it pretty annoying sometimes.  This is why I have lots of unfinished craft project, rooms half sorted and half painted and lots of books on the go at once.

For my Five on Friday  I will show you five of the books I am reading at the moment,  I drift from one to the other taking ages to finish just one of them. This is not all of the books I am reading at the moment, and doesn't include the one on kindle and another audio book!

Thank you Amy for hosting this fun link, it is about the only posts I am managing to do at the moment, so thank you for the Friday reminder.  I really need a kick up the derriere sometimes to get a post completed. (I won't tell you about those I start and never finish)

Beloved - Toni Morrison

I read this books years ago, listened to it in the car on tape years ago on a long journey and am now listening to it on Audible read by the author.  Each time I read/listen I get more from it, that is the sign of a brilliantly written book for me.  It just gets better each time you read it.  This version is read by Toni Morrison, it is like listening to a poem, her lyrical voice is perfect.

Gut - Giulia Enders

Yes, I know it seems a bit weird to be reading a book about the gut, but is is fascinating.  We think of the brain as clever and the heart as important and we don't give our digestive system a second thought until something goes wrong.  It is sadly neglected, yet it really does affect everything including our mental health.  It is written in an approachable and witty way with wonderful illustrations.

The Self Sufficiency Manual  - Alison Candlin

I'm getting prepared for our new life in the country and reading up on growing veg, keeping chickens, storing food, making chutneys, jams and all things exciting.  I can't wait, if only we can find our future home.  I really need to do a post on the rubbish that Estate Agents talk one day.  They could describe a public toilet so poetically you would be tempted to buy.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Illustrated by Yayoi Kusama

I saw this on someones blog, sorry can't remember where now, please let me know if it is you as I would like to thank you for introducing me to this wonderful artist.  Her illustrations are just so gorgeous.  It is a book I will keep forever, leafing through the pages to drool over the drawings.

Easy Vegetarian One-Pot

'The Book People' have tempted me to buy yet another cookery book.  I try not to look when I see they have been to the surgeries where I work......but.

Anyway, what's done is done as they say.  This has some lovely recipes, including a section on Rubies (Ruby Murray - curry, for my overseas readers).  Well how could I resist, less calories than a takeaway and uses store cupboard ingredients.  This Dahl is cheap and cheerful, it would be lovely mopped up with naans or for those gluten free like me served with rice.

Here's the recipe

1 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger grated
4 tablespoons of butter (I used 2 tblsp olive oil)
12 oz. tomatoes chopped
1 tblsp curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
12 oz red split lentils
900 ml/4 cups vegetable stock
fresh squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and black pepper
2 - 3 sprigs fresh or frozen curry leaves fried for a few seconds in butter to serve.

*Spotted some mistakes in the ingredients list which I have put right now,  sorry to those who may have already copied it.

Put the onion garlic and ginger into a food processor and blend to form a fairly smooth puree.  Heat the butter in a saucepan, add the puree, tomatoes and spices and fry gently for about 5 minutes.

Add the lentils, stock, lemon juice, salt and pepper, bring to the boil, cover and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes until the lentils have thickened.

Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, then serve topped with a few fried curry leaves, if using.

Have a good weekend everyone, and welcome to the new followers :)

Chickpea xx