I have decided to try a weekly blog which I will publish at some point over the weekend and not be stuck with a specific day or time. If you want to make sure you spot it, register with my WordPress site or check me out on Facebook or twitter where I will also post them. Would love any comments. I think the first time you add a comment I have to approve but should be fine after that. I have also updated the design theme on my blog, just to freshen things up and I will also try and publish photos I have taken during the week.
So I guess there is only one place to start this week and that is the dangerous hinterland known as Vauxhall Underground station. My tweet a few hours later sums up the incident.
Sometimes the most calm, quiet and relaxed of days can explode into violent action. I was walking from the train to the escalator when I fell – no dizziness, no alcohol, no trip, no people, no reason. I must have scuffed my foot but the end result was a heavy fall, flat on my stomach, reputedly causing shockwaves across the entire underground network. I was badly winded and heard a crack which I wondered was a rib but subsequent investigations revealed was probably my phone which sustained a crack to its protective casing. People rallied round, the underground staff were great, the police were there too, and a posse of strong men lifted me to my feet. Paramedics prodded and tested me and decided I did not need A&E and, with painkillers, I was let back out into the world.
Six days on it is still painful and uncomfortable and I may yet go to the doctors to check out if i sustained anything else in the fall. It has structured my week somewhat making movement, lifting, walking etc problematic. I could certainly have done without this but once it happens it becomes part of your reality. Once I had briefly attended the meeting I was down in London for, I then hobbled away from that, took a taxi and train and found myself back in Yorkshire.
Woke up on Tuesday, feeling sore and yet no sign of bruises which was weird. It was frosty with blue skies, a contrast reflected in these pictures.
Midweek saw old friends arrive for dinner and an overnight stay. J is my oldest friend having first met him in Suffolk in 1964 when my family exiled themselves from Yorkshire to live in this rural backwater! J was a bright pupil and no doubt fascinated by my Barnsley accent which made me almost unintelligible at first, we became firm school friends. Although we have pursued our own life paths it is great to link up from time to time and share our memories and our contrasting love for either Barnsley FC or Ipswich. A good solid friendship never leaves you even if sometimes contact is limited. Picking up from your last meet without a pause, a mark of sustainable friendship.
One of the great things about friends is how they sense your pain and just help. I had made a slow cooker dish of beef cheeks, more below, but they took over without prompting and prepared food, washed up and enabled me to sit and relax. It was a lovely, simple evening, chatting about everything and enjoying good food, great company and simple pleasures. J is writing a history of the house they live in which goes back to the 17th century at least and was previously a farm of some note in the area. To listen to the forensic search for information from the local archives, local people and the evidence contained in the house and outbuildings itself was fascinating. We talked too of my novel and how I can get moving on it. The evening passed seamlessly and easily.
The pain of movement following the fall has meant it has been a quiet, almost static week. I did enjoy preparing the beef cheeks and if you have not had them I can highly recommend. I was introduced to them by R and J and have always enjoyed them. It’s a very cheap cut of meat but my local butcher prepared them and with a rich red wine and beef stock and a range of mushrooms and other vegetables it was cooking for around 8 hours. The end product was melt in the mouth meat, a rich, smooth, unctuous sauce with mustard mash and roasted turmeric cauliflower. You could forget any aches and pain with that, I will cook it again.
I don’t get as much chance to entertain as I used to do. I love cooking, well savoury cooking, and have always enjoyed the atmosphere of a small dinner party. I have often dabbled with the thought of ‘Come Dine with Me’ but resisted the temptation to do that, though have speculated on menus. I think now I could not keep the pace of four nights eating and I understand filming takes many hours. So it is a rarer treat now to cook for friends but enjoyable when it goes right. My daughter and son-in-law arrived for the weekend on Friday but we settled for a pick and mix of salads, dips and meat though my son baked a Camembert which oozed with its wonderful warm delights. Gosh I am feeling hungry again!
It’s a bit ironic on a week where rest and recuperation was needed I have had friends stay and now a weekend of family. Still that is what makes life roll forward so I am not complaining. And still captured some of my garden birds.