yesterday i won a bet! about a week ago herself dragged me off to our local library. m is an inveterate researcher and she had questions about village history. myself ... i felt that visiting the local library would be a complete waste of time! for one thing, the place is tiny, for another it is only open for a few hours on some days of the week. my imagination conjured up a disinterested, part time librarian... my demanding new yorker !... well, who needs such aggravation? however, herself is a fair challenge to my indolent habits. after some discussion, i reluctantly agreed to accompany her. somewhat sulkily i must admit.
i was wrong! the local library was perfect, very small but positively stacked with delicious books. the librarian assured me that she could order any book my heart desired. herself addressed the question of local history and lo... local librarian has spent two years of her life researching and writing our village history. she has tales and fables, truth and myth and photographs of the past and how it was. local, part time librarian is a font of knowledge and eager to share.
we hear tales of witches, mermaids, curses and ship wrecks... we are royally entertained, the library remains open past closing time as herself and the part time librarian delve into the distant past.
local history and gossip, who could ask for more. apparently there is an ancient shipwreck in the bay and when the tide is out, the masts are visible.
yesterday herself expressed a need to drive down to the water and read (there is a rather noisy job of work being executed at my place of residence and her tender, sensitive, opera singer's hearing was being abused by the constant hammering!). i parked the car and took myself off for a wee walk about and a cigarette. i returned and my lady was not reading but exercising her brain with a sudoko puzzle. i settled down with my book, enjoying the warmth of the sun shining through the car windows. herself ... she dozed off, i may well have closed my eyes for an instant. time passes. my lady awakes and expresses a desire to WALK along the beach. such an opportunity should never be ignored, i positively leap from the rav. and so ... we find ourselves wandering along the shore. myself collecting the multi hued pebbles which decorate the sand and herself collecting shells. herself... "do you think that is the wreck ... over there? me ... "nah, tides not out, wreck wouldn't be right up on the shore!" herself... "wanna bet" note to reader... herself considers me a bit of a "know it all", she might be right ... possibly. me... "sure, you can buy me a twisted if that is the wreck" heself... (pretty damn sure she is right!) "make it something worthwhile" me... "like what?" herself... "a dessert at the garden centre". whew heavy stuff man! still, my new glasses and my common sense assure me that no way could the bronx babe be right. me ... "ok, lets walk" herself... "i dunno, maybe not now. it looks like a long way, i kinda need the bathroom." me... "heh! ...chicken?"
we walked... i was right... no wreck! man! i can taste that banoffee pie already ;-)
today was brain scan and blood tests results day and good news was on the menu. i have a brain ... oh yeah! and what's more it is in fine fettle. all my tests came back A for ok, it appears that i am one healthy human, perhaps a little creaky in the joints but otherwise... practically perfect!
now here i must pay tribute to herself ("at least give me some credit!"), for she it was who delved into the dark world of drugs. researched my medications and found that one particular medication has some rather nasty side effects. uhuh! cholesterol in my family line runs high and handsome... familial i think the catch word is. the result... powerful medication is required. powerful medication indeed! it would appear that in sufficient dosage this particular powerful medication is more than capable of causing... 'cognitive dysfunction'! yikes! apparently the statins cause 'inevitable damage to the mevalonate tree'. imagine that, no friggin' wonder i was starting to exhibit symptoms usually reserved for the somewhat brain dead... stopped taking the statins, revival, return (almost) to normal. i am able to sit without falling asleep, i occasionally remember something of importance. i am almost able to conduct a decent conversation.
at the very least i am now able to understand that my functional failures do not (as yet) signal an untimely descent into the sad, grey world of early onset dementia.
cheese wise ... south africa offers a fairly limited choice. the uk, another story entirely, a confusion of choice! but ... uk cheese is not american cheese! the mozzarella, the parmesan, the ricotta available in our supermarkets may be imported from italy ... why, you might wonder is the woman racketing on about cheese?
herself has arrived, safe and sound on scottish soil. a little late due to a three hour delay stateside whilst the airline searched for a co pilot! i kid you not, herself has a way with her, weird and wonderful situations arise all around her! my apartment appears to have grown in her absense and she now realizes how fortunate i was to secure this home of mine heh, heh ... just goes to show the difference a little sunshine makes!
back to the cheese question... so... herself has decided she will impress my friends and family by throwing a dinner party ... no really! you thought she didn't cook? well... she doesn't, not normally, not if she can possibly avoid... pots, pans, the whole darn kitchen and cooking scenario. but... the woman comes from an italian family and she loves to eat and she loves to entertain. eating out in a proper restaurant in the uk is an expensive business. let's face it, friends and family are not going to be impressed with a take away from the kings arms ... heh! now when herself put her mind to it, she would make the most delightful dish of chicken parmesan. of course that was before she became a flesh abhoring vegetarian. however, she still makes a pretty mean eggplant parmesan! but... british cheese ... will it do???
which explains how we came to be sitting at my small kitchen table, surrounded by many different brands of mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan. herself had decided to taste test her way through quite a few of great britain's italian type cheeses! cheese wise... things appear to have improved since her last foray into scottish supermarkets. a satisfactory ricotta was found, the parmesan passed muster and although the mozzarella was not really up to italian/american standards... even though imported directly from italy! heh, heh... herself finally found one she felt she would be able to work with.
rock on! darn i love it when herself pretends to be all housewifely!! if pressed, i would have to admit that my lady has made me several cups of coffee in the week she has been here. unprecedented!
all i have to do now is locate an eggplant (aubergine to the brits and brinjal back home in south africa) and voila! i will be eating italian!
now, where was i... been a little distracted lately, what with my visitors and all!
my sister patricia (used to call her pat but since she turned sixty she seems to refer to herself as patricia ... more grown up/sophisticated i guess!) and brother-in-law tony have flown south, to the shores of home. unfortunately they appear to have taken patricia's sun angels with them. man, that girl has powerful sunshine magic! we hardly had a drop of rain in the month they spent here. except for the time they spent on the isle of skye, then, it rained here in ballantrae whilst the sun shone on skye. they did get wet once, the pair of them caught a bus into stranraer and were rained on. i was seriously happy about that as i had begun to fear my beloved sister might be a weather witch!
btw, while acting as tour guide, i discovered port patrick! a quaint and pretty seaside village, with sufficient antique and curiosity shops to delight the heart.should you ever find yourself on the west coast of scotland, i heartily recommend port patrick as a port of call. however... may i recommend, should hunger pangs gnaw at your belly... do not seek sustenance at the wee tea room at the top of the hill. they do the most unimaginative baked potato i have ever tasted! i am sure, (in my search for more affordable eating) i ignored some excellent restaurants!
next monday herself arrives! well hopefully ... always presuming, we do not manage to have an interesting enough philosophical disagreement in the interim to inspire a ticket cancellation event. that has been known to happen!
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
"There are too many people, and too few human beings." Robert Zend
"Strength is the ability to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands, and then eat just one of those pieces."