Getting around London if Disabled

I broke my arm and shoulder back in May so decided to step up “my getting back to normal plans.”   Today I walked for 3 hours trying to fight that fear of falling. First had a nurse routine appointment to check my blood pressure. Third blood pressure reading was optimal…..good news.  I saw lots of people in wheelchairs or with walking sticks in the surgery and wondered how they manage.

Weather was cloudy but warm, too nice to just come home so walked from surgery to Portobello Road where I sat in a cute coffee shop to have cappuccino.

Popped in the Post office to buy newly issued Beatrix Potter stamps….they are too pretty to use.

The gentleman in front of me at the Post Office had a white stick and he coped very well with sorting out his payment.

Took photos of two Spanish tapas bars thinking of future lunch venues, one of them being     and the second being

Then I passed a better coffee shop with heavenly cakes….next time!

Started to feel a bit weary as skipped breakfast, so after buying sardines en escabeche from the Spanish shop in Portobello Road,, I hopped on the bus to Sainsbury’s supermarket……the first time I’ve done so since breaking the shoulder…I made sure the disabled seats were empty and I popped on my sling.  My surgeon advised me to wear it in crowds and my physiotherapist insists I never put it on.

After a small supermarket shop I walked home along the lovely canal.

I do admire disabled people just getting on with things.  I might be tempted to never leave the house.


A Jambalaya medley of Chorizo, Chicken and Okra


1 boneless chicken breast for each person cut into chunks

1 chorizo sausage, sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 white cooking onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed

250g of long grain rice (I used basmati)

350ml of chicken stock

A small glass of white wine

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tsp of paprika

1 tbsp of Cajun seasoning

200g of frozen okra

1/2 a teaspoon of salt and few grinds of black pepper


Pour the olive oil into a frying pan and add the chorizo until the oil turns red.  Add the onions and slowly fry for about 5 minutes until they are translucent.  Then add the chicken chunks and turn until browned a little on the outside.  Add the crushed garlic, paprika, salt, Cajun seasoning and pepper.  Add the rice.  Give it all a good stir.  Then add the chopped tomatoes and a little white wine.  Bring to the boil and then simmer for 5 minutes before adding the okra.

Cover the pan with a lid or tin foil and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes.  Hope you like it.

Living in Trinidad Part One

I was born in Southport, Lancashire, in Northern England and moved south with mum and dad.  When I was 5 mum fell out of love with my dad, a Chief Engineer in the Merchant Navy. If anybody recognises him, I would appreciate information as he has been presumed dead for years and I have no history.  I believe he was married before mum to a woman in the Netherlands, and I may have other siblings.

Mum got together with my stepfather, a man she met in The Peter Boat pub in Leigh-on- Sea, Essex  one evening whilst out with her mum, my nana.  His mum gave them a caravan and their life together began.

Although travel had featured largely in my young life, as my stepfather was also an engineer, trained by the Merchant Navy, we travelled with our caravan to wherever “dad” was working..

We lived on Holmbush Farm in Sussex, just outside of Brighton for about a year, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Macclesfield in Cheshire and Amington in Staffordshire, where my younger sister was born.  I was no stranger to moving home, but one day, “dad” came home and said “Have you heard of Trinidad?”  I hadn’t but looked it up on the world globe I had received as a present one Christmas to help with my geography lessons.  It was on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of South America.

When I told my schoolmates and the teachers, they were just as mystified as to where I was going but promised to keep in touch with blue airmail letters (no instant internet back then, the letters took a minimum of 5 days to receive and were very welcome).  The teachers organised 6 months homework for me, so that I wouldn’t lose touch with the British curriculum.

“Dad” was to work on an oil refinery in Pointe-à-Pierre just north of San Fernando in Trinidad.

Lentil Soup With Frankfurters


500g of red lentils

12 frankfurters

lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste


Wash and strain the lentils several times to remove the starch.  Put in a large saucepan and cover with water, about 2 cms. over the lentils.  Bring to the boil, then simmer for an hour.  It should have turned into a thick soup by then.  Cut the frankfurters into bite sized pieces and add them to the soup.  Continue to simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the salt, pepper and lemon.

Nice served with crusty bread and crispy fried onions.

Fried Halloumi Cheese With Sesame Seeds

Fried halloumi cheese with sesame seeds

The reason I’m so big on sesame seeds at the moment is I’ve broken my shoulder and arm and the prognosis wasn’t good.  Will never be the same or swim the butterfly so now butter and cream are no longer baddies I’m upping my intake as well as sesame seeds as they are a bone building food.  I’m tiring a little of tinned sardines and salmon as I was eating them daily but maybe it is time for moderation as I broke my arm in early May.  The latest x-ray shows it is healing well but the surgeon thought recovery time would be 9 months.  Yawn, sorry readers if you reached this far.


1 packet of Cypriot halloumi cheese

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

A couple of teaspoons of za’atar

A packet of pita bread

In a small frying pan, put the olive oil to warm gently.  Cut the cheese into thick slices (generally you will get 4-6 slices from one packet, so double up if you have a lot of mouths to feed).  Fry the cheese for about 3-4 minutes each side, meanwhile sprinkling with the za’atar.

Because halloumi cheese is rather salty, I skip the usual salt from the ingredients and pepper?  That’s up to you.  Serve with pita bread (brown or white) to your taste.

P.S. Za’atar means thyme in English and I believe I used one with sumac and sesame seeds added.  Check Wikipedia for the full story and health enhancing properties of Za’atar.