Unless you live under a rock (or – SHRIEK! – are not on Facebook) you’ll be familiar with the latest trend to hog the world’s FB thread: the gratitude challenge. Because I am brow-beaten by middle-age, my wild children, and life in general (and perhaps slightly because I am a cynical bitch), I thought it was high time for an alternative. Thus I present:
The Ingratitude Challenge*
1. I am deeply ungrateful for the state of drivers and driving in Singapore. JESUS CHRIST someone needs to give drivers here a collective lesson in (a) driving and (b) politeness. (Bill Gates popped up on my FB thread this evening offering everyone $5,000 each; I think I’ll ask him instead to bring everyone in Singapore to England for a week’s driving. That should sort them out.) Also – THE IMPORTANCE OF INDICATORS. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PEOPLE! I did see someone use their indicator today, and I inwardly cheered – but then they turned the other way, which sort of negated it somewhat. Also amusing today – in a bang-your-head-on-the-steering-wheel sort of way – was seeing a traffic policeman tap on the window of a stationary car, and usher them into the empty space in front of them. Empty, that is, except for the yellow crossed markings on the ground.
2. I am deeply deeply ungrateful for the hamster (also, by default, for my son, for bringing him into our home, and then promptly losing all interest in him). Not only has the burden of his emotional and physical well-being landed on my lap (often literally), but also has the task of finding the little fucker when he manages to escape from his cage. (Mind you, this has only happened once, but it was the rodent version of The Great Escape, and took an entire morning, fuelled by the horror of finding his mummified corpse in my winter boots / the linen closet / one of our many random boxes filled with wires when we’re packing up to move in 2 years, to find him. He was under the tv gnawing on a cable, the little fucker.)
3. I remain ungrateful for the passing of time and the ravages of middle age. I am currently sporting a small hole above my knee which seems determined to not heal - the side effect of having a small lump burnt off by my GP. “Nothing to worry about,” he blithely told me; “A common skin growth which appears in older people.” Cheeky bastard. (At least I assume he was being cheeky.)
4. Don’t start me on the kids’ school, and the shower of morons they use to bus them around. (They forgot the Girl last week! Mind you, they were too busy yelling at me at the time for being “late” meeting the bus - when in fact it transpired they were early – to realise she wasn’t actually on the bus. Jesus wept.)
5. I cannot find it within me to be anything but ungrateful for my son’s cunning in taking advantage of the school’s insane cafeteria system, whereby student “purchases” are unquestioned, and then credited to the parents’ account. (I am also somewhat disturbed by his apparent fondness for chocolate milk - $45’s worth in two weeks, bloody hell.)
6. Nothing will ever persuade me to be grateful for the humidity here. My hair is a ruination.
HOWEVER! I am not a totally ungrateful bitch (no middle-aged woman is an island, etc.) I have feelings of gratitude too, just like everyone else.
1. I am grateful that people have stopped chucking water over themselves and wasting my broadband allowance with videos of themselves shrieking in astonishment at the coldness of iced water.
2. I am grateful that I now know why my son has had diarrhoea for the past few weeks.
3. I am grateful that our maid has worked out the difference between baking soda and baking powder.
4. Apart from the having to deal with other drivers bit, I am grateful for my car. Especially the seats in the boot, into which I can strap the children and not hear them, or see them flailing about in my periphery vision.
5. I am grateful to FINALLY have an oven with a working thermostat. And, consequently, for these little nuggets of loveliness:
Not only my very own picture, but also my very own recipe, culled from several attempts to get the perfect Oat&Raisin cookie (necessitated because I went overboard on oats purchasing and now the damn kids won’t eat porridge).
Oat & Raisin Cookies
- 110g unsalted butter
- 100g brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 100g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 150g oats
- 100g raisins
Preheat the oven to 180c / 350f / g4
Cream together the butter and sugar, and when fluffy add the golden syrup, egg and vanilla essence. Beat again until smooth.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix well.
Stir in the oats and the raisins.
If you have time (and don’t have wild children, for whom you are not at that moment feeling AT ALL grateful, clawing at your legs) put the mixture in the fridge for an hour or so. Otherwise jump straight to the next step.
Spoon a lump of the mixture onto a lined baking sheet – how much depends on how big you want the cookies to be – and flatten it with a fork. You don’t want it too thin, however, or it’ll be too crispy once cooked. Repeat with all of the mixture, keeping the cookies about an inch apart.
Cook for 10 -13 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies. You want the edges to be browned, but the inside to still be a bit soft when you take them out of the oven. (So ignore the picture above, which was the result of 14 minutes cooking. They were still great, but more crunch than chew.)
Leave to cool for, oh, about 30 seconds, while you put on the kettle and are once again VERY GRATEFUL that you thought to bring several boxes of real English tea home with you.
(*Please feel free to add to this. Or, even better, start your own on Facebook! Personally, I am tired of people being grateful for their health and children and friends etc. I want to see some more honest-to-goodness ingratitude in our lives.)