Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Farewell Thunderchild

P and I had to have one of the cats put to sleep last week. Thunder, one of the floppiest bundles of feline joy I have ever had the pleasure to hear purring in my ear. He developed a very sudden and aggressive cancer of the larynx and it was almost immediately apparent that we had no choice but to let him go. So last Wednesday night we slept with him in the bed between us, and last Thursday morning I held his paw and put my face down by his and heard him breathe out his last laboured breath in one long whimper of (I hope) relief. It is very sad. I miss him dreadfully, and the next morning when we woke up, there were not enough tails and paws in the bed.

J continues to rally. This seems to be such a miracle; no, is such a miracle. That something could be done when he was so low, that something was done. I am very thankful for it. We're not out of the woods by a long way yet, but there is more hope now. At least he is being pulled back into the world, rather than lingering in the suspended half-life that is existence in an isolation unit in a stroke ward.

So a sad thing, and a happy thing, and neither to do with CRON.

Once again I am two minds whether to continue this blog at all. Linda writes in her journal that if you aren't measuring your calories, or monitoring your nutrition, then you are not practicing CRON. I am doing neither right now. I'm eating everything I ate in more or less the same quantities as I did when I was practicing properly last year, and I'm losing (or have lost) weight. The latter is not surprising given we've not been eating out half as much in between hospital visits, work and travelling. I'm monitoring the weight loss, but I'm not monitoring my diet with CRON-0-METER. I'm a good ad lib eater; I have confidence in a lifetime of good eating habits to carry me through right now. The results of the blood tests I had done back in December were apparently excellent.

So if I am not CRON, do I blog? Hmm, don't know. Doesn't stop me reading other blogs though, so I am around.

In other news, I've been gardening fiendishly. The courtyard is crammed with pots of herbs and flowers and I am eating my own salad at least once a day. I can't eat it any more than that because a hungry Sara would do more damage to a tub of leaves than an army of slugs, and I do need to leave some things to grow. Another month, and even I should be defeated by the quantity of greenery that has been sown. The squash plants are growing steadily, although they could do with some more warmth. The beans are climbing away up their poles. I really *must* get my kale into the ground.

Yesterday I thought of channelling the spirit of Miss M, and eating the nettles and ground elder that I was dragging out of the flower beds, but in the end my nerve failed me. I had visions of mistaking the apparently nutritious and delicous tasing ground elder for something less benign, and being found poisoned in my kitchen surrounded by evidence of my veggie gluttony. Maybe in a few days. It is a crime just to chuck nature's bounty on the compost heap, after all. And there is a lot of ground elder out there for the picking.

Saturday, 10 May 2008


Someone somewhere must have access to a hotline to God because J has rallied once more. I didn't see him today, but P tells me he was off oxygen and off the horrific monitors that had us transfixed like some goulish soap-opera last weekend.

After last week's hailstorms and freezing cold, we are having summery days. Oh, it's so lovely to be warm. Mmmm.

I have a weekend at home and spent all of today getting the veggie patch in order. My purple climbing beans are now in the ground and we have (ahem) 30 squash plants waiting (slight unexpected germination issue). I'm even getting my courtyard sorted out, which is mostly dedicated to leaves, herbs and veggies this year. I'm 2 weeks off being self-sufficient for salad for the next 6 months. This makes me very happy.

And I have an asparagus patch! It is torture letting it all get on and grow rather than eating it though.

However, tonight we had much asparagus - steamed and dressed with a little olive oil, rock salt and black pepper - for appetizers as the sun went down. Everyone else had beef, and I cooked veggie dishes of beetroot baked in foil with thyme, rosemary, and a little oil, and then mixed with red onions roasted with fresh rosemary sprigs and balsamic, and topped with a little feta and mint; carrots and leeks steamed and then dressed with a warmed mixture of honey, grain mustard and lemon juice; a huge green salad with flowers and herbs; and new potatoes with mint and olive oil. You can guess which of those I didn't eat. :-)

Sometimes I feel guilty how much I love my life here. It feels like such a gift. I forget that it is, and that I need to pay for it, and London and the job that I hate is the price I need to pay.

But it's been a good day. I hope whoever it is who has the hotline stays on it, because J needs good days like this too.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

May Day

J is very bad today. P and his family have been with him since late last night and now all we can do is wait.

In defiance of (or reaction to) this, I have spent much of the day when I could get away from the PC planting as many seeds as I possibly can into pots (for micro-leaves) and seed trays. I just want to create. I wish I could cook for friends tonight too, but I think it's just me and I have little appetite.

Outside it's hailing, but there is evening sunshine teetering on the edges of the storm.

British Summer.