Bookgroup,yellow shoes and polenta

The flu vaccine has really knocked me. And for some reason my hips and lower back are complaining tonight.

1. My Bookgroup. For being awesome. It was our Christmas event tonight.

2. Bus drivers and public transport in general for being so reliable.

3. Yellow shoes from Boden. Sort of Mary Jane but prettier.

4. Heat patches when my lower back is hurting like right now.

5. Polenta with tomato sauce and sausages at Briciole in Marylebone. Highly recommend.

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A to-do listen, foraging and the NHS

That tiredness that grips you and doesn’t let you go until you give up and close your eyes. This post can be end up being gibberish. What else is new?

1. A to-do list. I need a change from the usual procrastination and at this stage I’m a bit desperate and will try everything. A to do list is not a sophisticated solution and it’s not 100% foolproof. Still, it helps tackling the most dramatic cases.

2. Foraging. I’m grateful for the way mushrooms and berries grow on their own without human help or intervention.

3. Pasta alla Puttanesca. So simple and so tasty. Tuna, olives, basil, capers.

4. Positive feedback to freelance work I’ve done. I actually blushed.

5. The NHS is efficiency personified when it wants to be. I got a same day appointment for a flu vaccination. Never heard of it before!

Halloumi fries, Christmas lights and morning purrs

Not much of a Sunday if you have to work all day. Today is all about the simple pleasures.

1. Halloumi fries with tomato salsa

2. A pat on the back for crossing items off a to-do list. I love making lists and I love crossing items off them. I want to learn to reward myself at least emotionally for getting things done. We focus on what we don’t have instead of what we do have, on what we haven’t done instead of what we have done.

3. Christmas lights. No tree this year because of the kitten so lights and tinsel will have to do. They are so pretty I might never take them down.

4. Morning purrs. They really set you right for the rest of the day even though they make you want to get up even less.

5. The Matrix. I hadn’t watched it since before my red pilling moment. It’s so tight, it’s a sight to behold. Watching it now knowing what I know helps making sense of further underlying meanings.

Sausage rolls, my own bed and meditation

I’m feeling particularly irritable tonight. It could be simple tiredness or it could be hormones. Either way I’m not feeling particularly grateful tonight. One more reason to try.

1. Home-made mini sausage rolls, well, Frankfurters rolls with two-mustards dips. The dip is courtesy of Nigella Lawson.

2. My own bed. This is an old favourite and it doesn’t get out of fashion.

3. Lentil and grain soup. Because it’s winter. Even when I make it without soffritto.

4. Meditation when you’re feeling extremely irritable. Either it calms you down or it makes you fall asleep.

5. A weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It’s horrible to say but the idea I can spend one Christmas without having to worry about anything or anyone else was very appealing.

City airport, fish chowder and sleeping on planes

Finally home. I haven’t been away that long, only forty-eight hours, but it’s always good even though sometimes, it wouldn’t hurt him to show some enthusiasm I’m back. It’s in one of those phases where everything I say seems to irritate him. He was annoyed with me because I don’t make up my mind where to go for a short break in Spring even though when I ask him what he wants to do he says he doesn’t know. Marriage is hard. What’s the right thing to do?

1. London City Airport. 35 minutes door to door by public transport. It will never get old.

2. Fish pie that was actually fish chowder. Don’t ask. Still good though.

3. Friends who take you to the airport.

4. Coming home to kittens. The joy. I had missed them both of them even Diana who’s not very affectionate, because my sister’s cat isn’t as well-behaved.

5. Snoozing on planes. In my older age, maybe I’m getting better at sleeping sitting up. That would be revolutionary.

My stepmum, cauliflower cheese and the darts world championship

1. My stepmum. I had some annoying things to do this afternoon and I was grateful to have her by my side. She’s practical and so chilled. She’s definitely one of the good ones. She’s truly amazing.

2. Cauliflower cheese. Fluffy and cheesy. And slightly crisp at the top.

3. Rest. They have been long difficult months and I was grateful for the chance to rest this morning.

4. The world darts championship started today. Quite excited as this is our new Christmas tradition.

5. Efficiency. It’s rare especially in Italy so when it happens you can be sure I’m grateful. Today I was able to open a bank account relatively quickly and I was shocked it almost knocked me sideways.

Truffle spaghetti, closure and tiramis├╣

1. Closure. A painful chapter of my life is finally over. It’s tinged with sadness having lost something along the way but it’s done.

2. Truffle spaghetti at Armando al Pantheon in Rome. Heaven!

3. The love and support of my friends and part of my family has being what has pulled me through the last few months.

4. Tiramis├╣ at this place called 100 Tiramis├╣ near Piazza Navona.

5. Marriage proposal. When I landed in Rome this morning there was a guy waiting for his girlfriend. He was about to ask her to marry him. We couldn’t stay and watch but I hope it went well.