Tuesday, March 3, 2020


It is fair to say that, for many people, the first 2 months of 2020 have sucked an enormous amount of donkey butt. Floods, family illnesses, relationship issues forced to the fore by the Christmas break (this is not unusual), worries about pandemics and the general awfulness of the news. It has seemed, like the grey skies, unrelenting and unremitting. 

There was blossom in February. That was worth stopping the car for. That sounds sarcastic when it wasn't meant to. It REALLY was worth stopping for. 

I haven't been immune to this: an injury to one foot in November led to tendon damage in the other as it tried to compensate. Days when I didn't know which foot to limp on and my knees registered complaints. My gait rendered shuffling and slow. Average standing time of 20 minutes only. Pain so bad I'd get home, sit on the stairs to remove my shoes and then cry. No yoga, no allotmenting, no winter walks to chase the blues away. We've been lucky enough to avoid the flooding but work and the world have flooded us with issues that seemed too big to do anything about. 

Loki and his soft belly fur. And incredibly sharp claws. Fuss at your own risk. 

Luckily, 3 months, 2 doctors, a podiatrist and a physiotherapist later, I've finally received a treatment that worked well enough for me to be able to walk down the stairs this morning without wincing. The sun is warm and benevolent. There is the smell of homemade museli, fresh from a mild baking, scenting the air with delicate cinnamon wafts. I've just spent a couple of minutes finely chopping basil for a goats cheese and basil pasta dish, the punchy green smell of the herb making my mouth water. 

Thor. Even softer belly fur, less intimidating claws. One eye open in case I start crocheting and some wool teasing is to be had.

What else, what else, for the past 2 months? Unpicked my Attic 24 blanket and then started again with a smaller hook and better results. Read books. Found Percy Pigs in unexpected places. Stroked the cats soft angel-hair bellies. Met up with friends. Became a mother-in-law in waiting (the Kid newly engaged). Soft-launched my heritage consultancy. Swam in the calm warm blue waters of my nearest swimming pool 3 mornings a week. Made a dress. Watched the 2 projects I'd launched at work take flight and grow. 

March is good. March feels like plans can be made. March feels hopeful. 

 Percy Pigs, my most favourite sweet, hidden by a very considerate person, in unexpected places. Little smiles after arguments over the dishes.
Goats Cheese and Basil Pasta
Take one packet of soft goats cheese (at room temperature) and mush with a fork. 
Add a tablespoon of olive oil - the good stuff - and a few grindings of black pepper to the cheese. 
Finely (or roughly, it's up to you) chop some fresh basil. 
Pause for a moment to fill your nostrils with the smell of it. 
Add to the goats cheese mix. 
Cook your pasta. Drain and keep a little back to add to the mix. 
Put pasta back in the pan and add the goats cheese mush. 
Stir through, adding the pasta water a little at a time, until the appropriate amount of sauciness has been achieved. 
Serve in bowl with chopped cherry tomatoes and a slice of crusty bread to get up the last of the sauce. 
Eat with a good view, a good book or a good companion. 

Optional Extras: 
pine nuts for crunch
garlic for vampire protection
gran padano or parmesan for added cheesiness

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