A soup for December


a handful of frozen onions

a handful of saffron

two teaspoons of oregano

two celery sticks chopped

one vegetable stock cube

one chicken stock cube

salt and pepper to taste

two carrots

a handful of tiny pasta pieces

A blob of tomato puree

one and a half litres of water

a few cauliflower florets

some left over roast chicken

a few baby tomatoes cut in half

two small potatoes, peeled and cubed

olive oil to fry


Fry the onions in a little olive oil.  Then add the carrots and all the other ingredients. Perhaps best to add the cauliflower last of all so it isn’t over cooked.



A little poem about touch

You caught my stare

Or was it a glare

I felt a buzz

Or maybe a stir

When you touched my hand

With the tips of your fingers

It was like an electric shock

I pulled my hand away

In that moment I knew

I knew it would be you

Wearing bright coloured clothes

When you reach a certain age, is it really necessary to wear just beige or navy.  We need more colourful older people.  Men as well as women.  Think Jo Brand, the comedian, Prue Leith, the chef (with her colourful glasses), Sue Pollard, Mary Berry (all those colourful jackets), Christopher Biggins, Paul Martin, the antiques expert with his loud trousers.

Walking down Oxford Street in central London, many people wrap up warm in dark anoraks, jeans and trainers, all very comfortable for shopping, but what about a winter white coat with a black Russian hat to liven up the crowds.  Why aren’t red leather boots easy to buy?  They are available online but not many on shelves in the shops.

Boden Kitten Heels Stretch Boots Red Women

So, reach in that wardrobe for something bright today and wear it with pride.


Stuffed Courgettes in Tomato Sauce



500g of minced lamb

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 teaspoons of cumin powder

salt and pepper to taste

tomato puree

olive oil

8 courgettes


Cut the tops off the courgettes and save them.  Scoop out the inside of the courgettes and save the soft insides.

Fry the onions in a little olive oil.  Add the minced meat, cumin and salt and pepper.  Add the insides of the courgettes and a little water.  Cook for half an hour.

Then stuff the courgettes with the meat mixture and return the tops of the courgettes as a lid.

Put half a tube of tomato puree in a pan with olive oil and cook out on a low heat.  Half fill the pan with hot water and carefully drop the courgettes in the tomato sauce.  Simmer for another half an hour.

Serve in a large soup bowl with crusty bread and butter.

Recycling….don’t get me started

An ordinary person’s tiny view on recycling in London, England.
I long for the old days when we had one bin. Now this has to go in one bin, that goes in another. First, they have to be washed within an inch of their life to send to recycling and then we read in the papers of large amounts of recycling being sold. In our area, we have a food bin, where all food waste has to be included such as egg shells, leftovers (messy) vegetable peelings. It strikes me as a health hazard left outside for a week. Well, I’d love to know what they do with it and can only hope it isn’t used as pig swill.
I miss having a garden at the moment, but that’s another bin I would need to worry about.
When I lived in Spain, large recycling bins were placed around the village, meaning you could take your bottles and tip them in. The rest of the rubbish was collected during the night. At first, the noise of the dustman at 2 a.m. would wake us up, but you soon get used to the timing and just ignore it. A much more efficient time to collect, without disturbing commuters, as they do here.

Self Service Supermarket Checkouts

Well, for a start, I would abolish those. I stood queuing today to pay for a few things in Marks and Spencer Simply Foods. There was a long queue at the only manned checkout. Meanwhile, two members of staff were faffing about, getting carrier bags and pressing buttons in order “to assist” customers on the self checkout. I don’t believe self checkouts provide good customer service. I hate it at Boots and particularly at W.H. Smith in airports when you are struggling with perhaps a bag, hand luggage, boarding card etc.