A familiar dilemma

Ten to six. AM. I’m lying in bed wide awake. I feel I should get up but the bed is warm and cosy. I’ve already been debating this for a good ten minutes. Decisively, in the end, I launch myself. 

Downstairs it is indeed cold but I have the benefit of the very warm hand quilted blanket that THG threw together at some point and which I’ve only recently noticed in the TV room. It very much does the job although my hands are taking time to warm up.

We had the front of the house double glazed a year or two ago. The back had already been done in dribs and drabs as we extended, adding bedrooms to accommodate our growing family. Makes a huge difference.

Our house was built in nineteen thirty nine. Storm clouds gathering over Europe and all that and no thought being given to insulation. Light the fire! Fires! Our previous abode, in Greetwell Gate even had fireplaces in each bedroom. You can imagine the dirty smoke above Victorian Lincoln in winter with multiple fireplaces burning away. Expensive I’d imagine. 

So today there is a plan. The leaf blower is about to emerge from its place of summer hibernation and thrown into action to clear the back lawn. I may also get the chainsaw out and see if I can make a start on some of the wood at the bottom of the garden. I’ve been saying that for a long time, mind you, about the wood not the leaves. See how it goze.

I am, tonight, cooking a curry. Last night I had a curry, Charlie Bigham’s chicken jalfrezi. The night before I had a curry, at Dishoom in Manchester and the night before that it was a Chinese. Nothing wrong with curry. THG did consider this to be a tad excessive but the great thing about our marriage is the differences 😉 Would be no use if we were both keen gardeners would it?

You may well be aware that today is a Saturday. Traditionally a day of sport, or shopping depending on what you do for kicks.  My thing used to be rugby. Never used to shave on a match day. Still don’t. 

I eventually stopped playing, when I got to the point that my recovery time increased to two weeks. There came a time when I would have to fall out of bed on my hands and knees and gradually stretch to the point where I could stand up. The other issue was that Saturday night after a game was always a wipe out. Eighty minutes of running around a pitch, a few pints in the clubhouse then home for dinner, after which I would fall asleep on the settee.

There was a time when our friends George and Barbara came to visit. George had, in his time, played first class rugby for Bath and Sale and he brought his boots along in case there was a game on. That day we played for Lincoln fifths versus Scunthorpe sixths. Our pack was full of old fogeys and the backs were all youngsters just emerging from the colts.

Ordinarily Scunthorpe would have expected to win but on this occasion all we needed to do was get the ball to George at fly half. George would side step past his opposite number and pass the ball to the inside centre who would take off towards the try line. We walloped them:)

The rest of the day followed my usual pattern and we both ended up asleep on settees in our front room. Good times 🙂

It has been decided that tonight’s curry is lamb rogan josh as instructed by Al’s Kitchen on YouTube. Our lad Joe swears by it and we have some of his pre prepared gravy base in the freezer. I’ve checked and all I need to get is:

Dried Methi

Tandoori Powder


Fresh Coriander to Garnish

I thought to myself where do you get methi leaves from? A quick look on the Waitrose website says they don’t stock em. Ahah. Turned out it’s fenugreek. This we have. Phew. Going to have it with cauliflower bhaji instead of cauliflower rice. Will let you know how it goes obvs 🙂

Not sure if it is a particularly sensible move going to Waitrose on a Saturday morning. At least the average age should be under seventy five. I don’t like to feel as if I’m the youngest person there.

Everything is under control currywise. Lamb is marinating, all ingreds chopped and ready to chuck in the pan at the appropriate juncture. It’s all about the preparation. Leaf blower deployed and most of the lawn is now free of brown except for a long strip near the border that awaits bagging.

By Trefor Davies

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