I had planned to do a Friday-Shout-Out last week, all the way from Sweden, but life got in the way. Or more accurately, a foot did. A fractured foot.
Never again will I roll my eyes at any proclamations of toddler pain (at least not until the next time). As it was, I spent the first half of Friday lounging in the sunshine (YES! It finally shone!) on a hammock, batting away the dreaded flies, while the Boy dragged his shuffling self around the grass on cracked and bleeding knuckles, and the (naked) Girl shrieked and shook indoors. That she was naked is relevant because at some point in the morning I decided to look more closely at the mosquito bite / chafe mark / scratch on her groin, to discover that IT WAS MOVING.
(Pause, while I allow you all to shudder, just as I am doing in recollection of it).
Ticks, people. TICKS.
(Further shudder pauses)
We managed to remove half of it – its head, I think – but now if anyone so much as glances in her groin direction she disappears off – ppppppoooof - and so its legs remain embedded under her skin. As far as I can tell – admittedly not very well because there's a fly in the kitchen and as such she’s refused to come out from under the chair for most of the day – they’re no longer moving, so that’s one thing to be grateful for.
The foot tho’ – Jesus Christ what a drama. The second half of Friday was spent getting x-rays, followed by hours waiting to be seen by an orthopaedic person, spent sitting in a very dull waiting room
picking up tips from studying the
habits of the meanest parent in the world (even the Boy commented, loudly, that
HIM VERY MEAN CROSS DADDY, and I nodded sagely and smugly and said YES HIM IS). Finally we were called into a room to be told
that really, there was nothing much they could do for it as that particular
bone can’t be set, and it’ll just get better with time.
The Girl, meanwhile, has started her own limping, I assume in a pathetically vain attempt to get some attention - although I guess I shouldn’t entirely rule out the possibility that the phantom tick-legs have burrowed into her hips and are eating away at the cartilage.
Anyway. Back to the “Friday” Shout-Out. My friend Peter discovered, somewhat suddenly, and to his enormous surprise, that he’s an incredibly talented poet. If you believe him (and I’d caution against it – he’s Irish, and we all know how they love a good story) he woke up one day last year and out of nowhere these poems started flooding out of him. He started posting them online last month at www.dailypoem.net (one poem a day – clever, no?) and they’re just BRILLIANT. Now don’t all roll your eyes and think uuugh, poetry... These will change your mind - funny, witty, often philosophical, always fabulous. I’ve been meaning to give him a shout-out for a while – you know, throw the new blogging-dog a bone etc – until he told me that in his first month he had 14,000 hits. FOURTEEN THOUSAND! Fucking hell. (If the significance of this is lost on you, go ask any blogger about numbers. 14,000 – for a new site, in its first month – is incredible.) So much for the charitable bone.
Anyway, 14,000 hits can’t be wrong, so go take a look. I promise you’ll love it. And to talk him up further, this is what he came up with, quick as a flash (ie, by return email, within 7 minutes) when I requested a rhyme about my predicament:
Two score and more, conceiving still
Did she forget to take the pill?
There’s no excuse, has she no shame?
It’s not the husband who’s to blame.
I’ve printed it out and put it hanging over my bed. On the Man’s side.
Speaking of being knocked up, the Grub is starting to make its presence felt – not only visibly, and with internal kicks and burps, but also a propensity to snuggle into my bladder, resulting in many many night-time toilet visits. So I’ve imposed a form of middle-aged night-time toilet-training on self: no liquids after 8pm.
This has a knock-on effect of no overly salty foods for dinner, which is how I happened upon the notion of soaking slices of halloumi in water for a while before frying them – a step I’ve never bothered to do before, but always meant to because halloumi is SO DAMN SALTY. Anyway, it worked beautifully and I recommend it for the next time you decide to throw all that health-food nonsense out the window and fry yourself some cheese for dinner.
I also recommend this which is perfect with the halloumi, or indeed anything at all - or just on its own, great big spoonfuls shoved straight into your pregnant gob:
If nothing else, make it because it’s so darn pretty.
You need: for 4, as a side, or a large bowl for dipping
- 2 ready-cooked vacuum-packed beetroots (not pickled)
- About 3 inches of cucumber
- About 5 heaped tablespoons of natural yoghurt (any type; obviously Greek is authentic, but plain natural stuff is fine too. I went for half goat’s yoghurt – because I had it, and I like the goat’s cheese / beetroot combo, and half plain yoghurt)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of wine / cider vinegar
- Clove of garlic, crushed (optional – if you don’t like garlicky food – and I’m currently averse – then leave it out)
- Small handful each of chopped dill and chopped mint
- Salt and pepper
Peel the cucumber and scoop out the seeds. Grate it directly into a bowl.
Grate the beetroot into the same bowl.
Add the yoghurt, olive oil, vingear, herbs and garlic (if using) and stir well.
Season to taste.
This will keep for a few days, covered, in the fridge. In the unlikely event that there’s any to keep.
Eat with grilled fish, meats, haloumi, vegs etc, and a nice bottle of ice-cold beer, and pretend the sun is shining. (It is somewhere, right?)