Sunday, 27 April 2008

Foodie Weekend

P and I went to the Real Food Show at Earl's Court yesterday. Billed as London's largest farmer's market, there were probably several hundred producers gathered under the one roof - lots of bread, cheese, wine, ciders, beers, chocolates... and hardly any veggies at all, which did seriously amaze me. We came away with far too much bread (because I can't resist dark, dense, artisan rye bread, heavy with seeds, or home-baked soda bread) and cheese (two varieties and ages of parmesan, my favourite sheepy cheese, some blue goaty), and wine and (for P) beer and cider. We picnicked briefly in the park for tea - but the weather didn't hold, and I had been too optimistic in not taking a jacket out with me.

I also came away with more veggie seeds than I will ever be able to plant. Yellow climbing beans; purple climbing beans; borlotti; custard squash; romanesco cauliflower. I need to do some serious garden work when I get home.

This morning I woke up knowing I hadn't had enough green. So while P slept I pottered up to the farmer's market in Walthamstow and loaded up on mustard greens, rocket, baby spinach, lettuce, red russian kale, purple sprouting and some radishes and shallots for good measure. I was the first customer to buy veggies at one particular stall; the second was G, Linda (Minicronnie)'s partner. We've only met the once so he didn't place me at first; when he did, I laughed that there were very few people who would be buying so much greenery at 10am on a Sunday morning. :-)

Now I am back at P's house and wondering what to do with the rest of the day. I kind of can't face any more foodie shopping, which is my default London activity when I spend weekends here. Later on he will go and visit J in hospital (who relapsed seriously last week but now, thankfully, is rallying again), but I won't because I have a slight cold and don't feel I can risk it. But we have the afternoon, so maybe we shall do something with that. We'll see.

Saturday, 19 April 2008


I feel as though I need to (should?) update this blog, because I haven't just vanished; I'm here, still Sara-ing away - the usual, the usual; home-London, London-home; great CR, not so great CR; wine, whine. :-) But things are very... up in the air. P's father is still in hospital and now, for heaven's sake, has some kind of infection that has him back on oxygen. Our greatest fear now, obviously, is that having survived major heart surgery, and a fairly serious stroke, is that the hospital environment currently more detrimental to the speed of his recovery and to the state of his health in general - but what can we do? Private care is financially impossible - and there's no guarantee that conditions would be any better in a private hospital anyway. He's not well enough that he can just go home. This does, quite frankly, suck. And I am on the periphery of this limbo; it's taking far greater toll on P, his mother and his siblings. And poor J (P's father) must be in a terrible mental state.

Doesn't matter if CR helps with our future health and longevity (although that's no reason not to focus on it; I still do - I think, but then given my eating habits it's hard to tell what's CR and what's just Sara). We should just thank Whatever that we have (reasonable) health right here and right now. And I do, I do.

Even if I have caught P's cold. Which, ironically, might be what has laid J low again.

Tonight I foolishly agreed to make risotto. Risotto. *sigh* Hey ho. Lots of veggie side dishes, I guess. We have artichokes to steam. And some radicchio, which I am planning to make a salad from with some beetroot I have roasting in the oven right now and some shavings of sheep's cheese that needs using up. Plus tons and tons of salad leaves from market and farm shop.

The rain can sodding well stop right now as well, please.

Moan, moan, moan huh? :-) Hardly an update worth reading. Love to all and I hope all are well.

ETA, because lovely acts are always worth mentioning to the world. This morning I went to a Gardener's Market in my nearest town. Such fabulous plants and herbs and flowers (indoors, so nothing was shrinking back from the cold and the wet). One of the owners of my favourite plant nurseries was there - fantastic couple, work their butts off to raise such a variety of stunning beautiful things in a fairly isolated location but one that is fortuitously close to my home. They specialise in bulbs, and I took the opportunity to ask him what might have gone wrong this year that meant that my Queen of The Night tulips just failed to appear altogether, while the fabulous orange/red with the black hearts came up as reliably as ever. (Answer, likely rotted in the soil in the wet January). I thanked him, and continued wandering around, and when I next passed the stall he handed me a bag with a full pot of Queen of The Night in bud "as a replacement" because he "hated disappointment".

Bless him. I do seem to whinge and whine so much but really, I do know how fortunate I am. How very, very (touch wood) lucky.