Today is the day ~ Glad

Today is the day when I shall focus on being glad. This is easier said than done as I am sitting here in my dining room, organising the wage run for our subcontractors, which if I am to be honest does not make me glad. The recent recession has meant that each Friday I have to practice my circus skills as a juggler, and rob Peter to pay Paul so for that reason I am not glad but if I am to practice being glad about other things I am sure I can manage that.

I am glad I have a roof over my head, and I am glad that I am in good health which is always something that one should be glad about. I am trying to think what else I can be glad about today. Well, the sun is shining and I have managed to pay everyone, and so far nobody has annoyed me. Mind you it is still early, and my daughter has yet to arise from her bed, and as on most mornings she is likely to get up on the wrong side of the bed and be grumpy. It is 8.30 on a beautifully sunny morning on the 21st May 2010, and by now you will most likely have come to the conclusion that my daughter is not an early bird who catches the worm, although on the subject of worms, the wriggly ones which can be found in the garden, and not the type that you catch from animals where you need to be wormed, I can recall a time when my daughter was four, and used to subject me to worm patrol on the way to nursery. You may by now be wondering what exactly is worm patrol? Let me explain. 

In order for worm patrol to take place, there had to be wet conditions. It had to have been raining overnight so that next morning worms would be out and about, worming along on their daily business which tended to be winding along the pathway through the park. The walk to nursery was always an eventful time as four year olds tend to be curious little things, and for most of the time rather sweet. Back then my daughter was a morning person, still in awe of the world around her and saving worms from hungry birds was the order of the day. At that time I was temping for Lewisham Council as a cashier. I would drop my daughter off at nursery, and then run to catch the number 75 bus. I was late most days, only by minutes but nevertheless late, and the head cashier would let me know it by looking up at the clock as I walked in, and then at his watch. He never said a word but the look on his face said it all. I always just said that the bus was late again. After all how could I explain that I was assisting on worm patrol. The things we do for our children, and the trouble we get in to for them!  Back then there was not even the slightest inkling that my darling daughter, saviour of worms would evolve into a tempestuous teenager as most children eventually do. That said, I am glad that we shared such times, so yes today I shall focus on being glad for the times I shared with my daughter when we were on worm patrol and be proud that I too was instrumental in the saving of worms. 

What else shall I be glad about today? 

Today is the day’ …was a collection of musings I wrote during the Peri menopause years. It’s spoken in the first person, and was based largely on my journal entries written around that time. Journalling is a wonderful way to express this, that and whatever else needs to be said whether aloud or silently…

© Liola Lee 2010

Chilli Tuesdays

Chilli Tuesdays have been a long standing culinary tradition here in our home or more accurately in our kitchen. Kitchens often tend to be at the heart of the home where  families gather and sit around the dining table to chat and catch up with the events of the day, in addition to telling stories and exchanging news. Our kitchen was and still is that place where minds meet, debate and tell tales if tales need to be told. Back in the days when our darling daughter Sam was a little ray of sunshine with the joy of childhood still raging through her veins, and no responsibility, she declared Chilli con carne to be her most favourite meal in all the world and please Mummy can you make it every week. It had to be Mum’s Chilli (mine) rather than Dad’s because Mum’s was more tomatoey with finely chopped vegetables which she liked, and Dad made his too hot and cut his vegetables too big as Dad’s often tend to do which she did not like. Like most Mums, I did whatever it took to keep the kids happy, fed and watered, and allowed them to be far too fussy where food was concerned. This was to prove a serious error in judgement on my part. To all you parents out there just starting out, do not do as I did and allow your children too much free choice  in the kitchen as  later down the line you will suffer the tantrums of them refusing to eat what is on the table. Tuesday was our ten pin bowling night where me and the husband would take a few hours out to go to the bowling alley for a bit of adult only time.  Sam would stay at home with her brothers and our lovely babysitter Daina. On this point I hasten to add that her brothers were old enough to look after her but made such a song and dance of it, that it was easier to ask Daina to come over to keep her company, and to ensure that our little cherub was content while we were away. The boys, her brothers were too preoccupied with going outside to play football or just hang out with their friends, as older kids choose to do in preference to staying home and looking after their little sister. Daina was sensible, reliable  and played games with Sam. Getting back to what became the dish of the day or rather the dish of every Tuesday, Chilli con carne became the staple supper of choice for it’s simplicity, and the fact that all the kids were happy to eat it, hence  Tuesdays have been affectionately dubbed Chilli Tuesdays ever since, even though now we do not eat Chilli every week.  This is because our dear little cherub is now all grown up with a responsible career and a sizeable salary, and Chilli con carne is no longer her most favourite meal in all the world . She would rather have a Dominoes or a Nandos. All that said, every so often I revert to cooking chilli on a Tuesday when the family needs to be grounded and a sense of normality is needed if there is really such a thing. When life becomes chaotic as it often does, and everyone is busy with the busyness that is life in the 21st century with us being on call 24/7 then just sometimes it is good to raise the old traditions that glue a family together before they become unstuck. This is just one of our traditions as daft as it may sound but all families can create rituals that give a sense of stability. We all need grounding from time to time and it helps knowing that things that we once valued are still there when the need arises. For the last eight months I have been following a vegetarian diet so the image shows a vegetarian chilli. The rest of the family still eat meat.

© Liola Lee 2018