This week I finally managed to process my chillis and peppers. Most of the chillis went into a batch of sweet chilli jam with the rest being dried in the oven and then a radiator. The green peppers were roasted and frozen. I have been slow in getting this done, but life is a grind at the moment with thought processes struggling to remain focussed on any one thing without other matters barging in. The dank wet weather has precluded much gardening getting done either so clearing the produce from the greenhouse was a little later than usual.
Another issue was the oven going “fut” the other week, just after we had put our Friday night meal in. The pizza was, in Boris Johnson’s words, oven ready. But rather like Mr Mendacity’s Brexit deal, when we came to eat it, it proved to take longer than promised and was dry and underbaked.
We got the oven mended last week with a fan that the engineer found knocking around in the back of his van. It works, but sounds like a hovercraft when we are cooking now. It will give us added motivation, if any was needed, to get the kitchen and conservatory overhauled.
But we have not eaten poorly in the meantime. This is where good friends come in handy, dropping by the day after we had lost the use of the oven, with a Waitrose Thai meal ready to be cooked on the hob. A lovely thought and just the sort of thing we appreciate. Because we remain in a strange half and half existence in which “life” goes on in colour around us while in our minds we are still processing grief in black and white. And between the two parallel worlds we sometimes find it difficult to make decisions or get our lives organised.
It’s not that we are short of offers of help. “Just tell us what you need” people say. But that is not easy when the simple act of dragging yourself out of bed after another sleepless night is a monumental effort or even the most mundane task proves to be bafflingly confusing. It is difficult to specify what we need or want, so simple unsolicited acts of kindness are appreciated. These have often taken the form of sustenance. We have been the grateful recipients of marvellous shepherds pies, chocolate biscuit cake, a Riverford Organics meal box (whose kale put mine in the shade), duck eggs, frozen meals and enough apple cake to break a Tesla Truck. And to all those generous and kindly souls: Thank You so much.
In the meantime my garden this autumn has provided a lot of nutritional support for caterpillars and woodlice which has left the Kale and Brussels Sprouts struggling to recover. But I am prepared to wait for them to come good.
James you are a brilliant writer. Heartfelt brilliance. My sister and mother are allotment keepers and I have forwarded this to them. They love it.