Thank you for your sag paneer loveliness, your vegetable makhani delights and your sag aloo gorgeousness. Your food titivates my taste buds with its gently spiced goodness. I am also reliably informed that your chicken makhani and chicken tikka masala are "the best". Your naan bread is cooked to perfection, your papadoms are crispy miracles and you always send us a few extras to go with our meal. Yum and thank you.
Your food is entirely scrumdiddlyumptious and joyfully there is so much of it that even by ordering side-dishes I am able to put aside enough for a next-day meal too. A nice Indian meal from your restaurant is also the perfect antidote to pre-menstrual cramps and general PMS whininess. (I realise that this is entirely too much information and would probably be of no use in any advertising campaign you might be thinking of)
All in all a visit to or a take away from your restaurant is an absolute delight for the senses.
We are unable to eat it any later in the evening than 5.30 because of the copious amounts of amphetamine-like substances you obviously add that keep us awake far into the night. And also, it doesn't half give me gas and a wicked dose of heartburn. Could you please take these ingredients out of your food the next time we order but keep each dish tasting exactly the same?
Oh yes, and when someone forgets part of our order and we call to complain, please do not let the "new boy" try to make my Poppet feel as if it is his fault that you forgot his chicken dish. Tsk. We forgive you only because your food is so yummy and you brought us free stuff with your abject apology.
The couple on the hill who always phone to order food exactly upon the hour of 5pm when you open.
This morning as I awoke I was thinking of George (as ever). Teetering on the edge of tears (as ever), wishing I had spent more time with him, wishing I had bathed him, imagining bathing him, wishing I could have done better for him, wishing I could kiss his nose one more time, wishing I didn't have to think these thoughts and wishing I had woken to contented baby noises (or screams) instead of silence. As ever.
Perhaps it is because our home ought to be filled with George noise that I'm not so good with silence any more. I used to be able to sit peacefully for hoursages a while in quiet places with only the sounds of birds or the ticking of a clock for company. But there is a distinct lack of quiet in my head that drowns out the sounds of birds and the ticking of clocks. In those quiet places, a little silence within would be nice.
Perhaps I am trying to fill the silence that shouldn't be with the noise in my head.
I have been trying to meditate or visualise in order to take myself away from the disquiet and I seem to have lost the plot. Thoughts other than those I am trying to induce start to intrude, nag, whine and whinge until I give over to them and give up on my search for a little internal peace.
I don't think I am pregnant this month. a raging whiny snotty cold pretty much put paid to the campaign, so with only a half hearted try I'm not holding my breath. 7dpo... This month was/is our last chance for a 2010 baby. Shit.
Ray wouldn't kiss me because of my cold (my darling is a bit of a germaphobe to be sure). I was shouting at him and crying and beating on his chest. Then he called me over to where he was sitting with one of his friends, "I was just showing *** the photo of our beautiful son" and he had a photo that I had never seen. And then I woke up coughing.
Ray woke up and told me he had been in a town somewhere after WW2 where most of the men were dead but the ones left were trying to kill each other and Ray tried to stop it but they were all killed anyway. And he had a really great gun.
Ray has exciting dreams all the time with really great guns in many of them but the rare times that I remember my dreams, they are all about babyloss and sadness. Not that I want to dream about really great guns but you know something other than sadness would be kind of ok sometimes.
Unless you put me in a hospital, poke my insides out, hook me up to a couple of bags of blood, a saline drip and possibly a narcotic of some kind and in that case, no no, I'm fine, really, it's ok, you go home, it doesn't hurt too much, I'm good, no thank you, just some water you go and get some rest.
But put me on the sofa with a snotty drippy nose, a woolly head and an irritatingly tickly cough and you can expect moaning and groaning of the finest order. Ooooaaaaah sniffle ohhhhhhh sneeze ooooowwwwwww coughcoughcoughcoughcoughcoughcoughcough ugggggggggh coughcoughcoughwheeze. Poppppettttt I neeeed a cup of tea, daaaarliiiing will you cook dinner tonight and tomorrow coughcoughcoughcough can I have some honey and lemon pleeeeease.
Hi there, me again. Sorry to bother you when you are so busy with black holes and dark flow stuff but there's something I need to ask.
Are you conspiring against us with that dotty old witch mother nature?
It's that time of the month again... no, not that time of the month... but the time of the month when we try not to think too much about the implications of sex and try to pretend that it's not filled with dark portents of doom and reminders of babyloss and try to enjoy it for the sexy fun that it used to be... oh yes, and *whispers* make a baby.
And then my throat feels as if it's coated in sandpaper and I start sniffling and snuffling and...
For goodness sake, I had NO colds last year at all and this year I have already had 3! And the last 2 were at this time of the month too!
What, oh wise and ancient universe, the hell are you playing at?! Take the globular clusters from your ears and listen... an alarm? Yes, that's my bloody biological clock going off. And it's rattling itself from the shelf.
This patch of land at the back of our garden was full of weeds and brambles and blackberry bushes and... eek where did the blackberries go? Ray spent days hacking through it all with a machete and then levelling the earth and building stone walls and then I set myself at the weeds and tons of wild garlic and ripping up the double layer of plastic that was supposed to keep the weeds down... ahem. We saved some blackberry canes which we hope will grow up along the old fence. It used to be a lane running behind the houses but many years ago it was closed off, partitioned in some places, and now grows mostly wild.
With still some weeding to go... and a new fence to come on this side.
And an exploring kitteh. The greenery is wild garlic which once carpeted our bit of wilderness too.
You can just see the back back garden through the gateway. And "our" garden cliff which both of our kitteh's have now climbed and scared us me to the point of tears. Boy kitteh found his own way down but girl kitteh got about 2/3 of the way down and then got stuck and mewed and meowed and meeeeeowed until Ray climbed into next doors wild back garden with his ladder and saved her, scaring me even sillier in the process.
The best spot in the garden gets the most sun. We planted the rose that we brought after we lost George. That felt good. It was a concrete path until last year when we Ray dug it up, dug over the earth and filled it with pony poo last year. Yes, pony poo from Dartmoor. Yes, we collected it ourselves. Yes, we wore gloves. Yes, we felt stupid. And yes, it's done wonders for the soil.
Ray made a step into the back back garden using the wheel rim that almost fell off our car when a wheel nut snapped. He wrote R&B 2010 and I, of course, wrote a G
We have wildflowers and chamomile and forget me nots and lobelia and snowdrops and violas and primroses and mosses and grasses and... I think we're going for a riot of colour here. I'll let you know how it goes.
Spring is in the air.
Season of new life.
Come on Universe... we're trying, you could put in a little effort too.
I made Chocolate brownie-ishes and a Cinnamon apple cakeythingybodge and we ate a small piece of each with a nice cup of tea and thought of what might have been.
My period started yesterday too, which seemed like such a mean cruel joke, but it's ok. I have Ray. I have kittehs. I have cake. I have you. I think I can feel you all holding on to hope for us. Thank you. Keep holding on? Have some cake.
The recipes were bodged together from; two or three chocolate brownie recipes, a one-egg cake recipe (because I only had two eggs and wanted two different cakes), a few apple blondie/cake recipes and a convert cups of butter to grams site and a never mind my scales' batteries are dead convert grams to cups site. The nicest bit was the aroma of the apples, dark molasses sugar, bit of butter and plenty of cinnamon heating gently in a pan (none of the recipes called for part-cooked apples but I just felt like doing it for the luurvely smell. It made the cakeythingybodge jolly nice too!
I more or less halved the sugar content of the recipes I found because I think most cakes tend to taste of sugar and not of whatever flavour cake it is. So the 70% dark chocolate brownie-ishes taste nice and not-too-sweet and cinnamon apple is the predominant flavour of the cakeythingybodge (more apple would be even better though).
And I have just realised that I am indeed and in fact becoming my mother... who never ever makes too-sweet cakes. Aaargh! And she also makes a boiled fruit cake that is scrumptious but never has enough cherries in it, so I'm not quite there yet.
Cinnamon Apple cakeythingybodge
100 grams butter, and an extra blob for apple cooking.
1 teaspoon expensive vanilla essence with bits
1/2-1/3 (wasn't too accurate) cup mix of caster sugar and dark molasses sugar, sort of half and half with a little saved to cook with apples.
2 nice apples peeled and sliced and cooked gently for a little while with a some of the sugar and a blob of the butter
1 other apple, grated and not cooked but only because I decided I wanted more apple, I would have added a fourth but I didn't have any more.
1 1/2 cups flour
I'm not sure how much cinnamon, at least a teaspoon, maybe more cooked with the apple, and another teaspoon mixed with the flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
Beat egg viciously
remove kitteh from vicinity of butter
Beat butter, vanilla and sugar together even more violently, taking all of your frustrations out on them (easier to take out frustrations by beating with wooden spoon)
rub aching arm
remove kitteh again
add beaten egg (not to arm or kitteh)
add apple mixture without licking spoon until all apple is added
add flour (with baking powder, salt and cinnamon mixed in) a bit at a time
pour into small cake tin or a small rectangular glass dish
sprinkle a little dark sugar on top because you like the idea of crunchy bits
cook for about 20 minutes at 180c or until a knife comes out clean
cool before cutting into pieces
100 grams butter
1/2 cup dark molasses sugar and caster sugar mixed about half and half
100 gram bar lovely good quality dark delicious chocolate that you absolutely did not nibble at the corner, the very idea.
1 cup flour with a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of baking powder
Melt chocolate with butter in bain marie type set up
resist urge to drink resulting buttery chocolatey yumminess
allow to cool a little
mix in sugar
allow to cool a bit more
resist urge to stick finger in chocolatey yumminess
beat egg and add to chocolate mix
add flour bit by bit
think that next time you will add some chocolate chips and maybe dried cranberries or cherries
pour into small cake tin or a small rectangular glass dish
cook for only 15 minutes at 180c
(I cooked mine for a bit longer and it isn't quite chewy enough)
sprinkle a bit of caster sugar on top because you don't have any icing sugar
allow to cool completely before cutting
Don't eat them all at once. Or do and suffer later.
Sometime this week we should have been two happy parents preparing a little birthday party. Nothing elaborate, just cupcakes and cookies, and a chance for grandparents to fuss and spoil and spend time.
A chance to celebrate a year of firsts.
A chance for a fun family gathering.
I would have closely watched my Dad with my son, hoping that they knew each other. Trying to fix the images to memory. Hoping there was some strange and wonderful communication between one who was just beginning to understand and one who was losing understanding. Hoping my son would remember.
There would have been hundreds of photos. Little moments captured and treasured.
I grieve for the boy that is missing from this life.
I grieve for the life that we are missing.
George would have been one year old had we travelled to his due date together.
It's just that I can feel it slipping from my grasp and I need to keep it in some safe hands while I do a bit of essential maintenance to my optimism tank, untangle my stress wires and buff up my zen bumpers.
I'd be ever so grateful.
And thank you, thank you for your words of encouragement and solidarity yesterday. It helped. A lot.