Previous readers may recall that a few months ago, I had to go for an MRI scan on my heart. Exciting. I described it at the time like being sucked into a Polo-coloured sphincter. Well, after weeks and weeks of fitfully looking at the letterbox waiting for news, I finally got a letter from my doctor yesterday which said everything was OK, heart was beating as it should be and I had nothing to worry about, bar being too handsome for most people to deal with. Typical NHS restraint. I’ve actually (touching wood) been remarkably lucky with my health so far – found a lump in my boob a year or so ago but it turned out to be nothing exciting (I’m surprised it wasn’t an M&M, to be honest) and a couple of bouts of anxiety throughout the last few years. I don’t want to dwell on anxiety, but it’s a very funny thing – people who wouldn’t take the piss out of you if you had a broken leg or lost the sight on one eye feel quite chipper making snide comments about anxiety behind your back. I don’t see a mental illness as less important than a physical one, but the world has a long way to go before that status is reconciled.
The only injuries I’ve ever had of note both have typically me causes – I’ve got a scar on my forehead from
a killing curse launched at me by the greatest Dark Wizard who ever lived cartwheeling into the side of a door. I remember going downstairs (the cartwheel having been done in my bedroom, which was surprising because it remains the only bedroom I’ve ever been in where I had to back out onto the landing to turn around) with a cartoon egg-shaped lump on my head only for my mum to hoy a big bag of peas on it and sat me down in front of Countdown until I stopped trying to make an 18 letter conundrum. The second time I tore my lip open and bent (but didn’t break) (I don’t think) my nose to the left by using my face as an impromptu braking device on my bike – forgot that my brakes didn’t work as I thundered down a hill the only way a fat lad on an old bike can, hit the front brakes, bike stopped immediately and I sailed through the air like a clay pigeon. Only I landed on my face. This time, I think I was knocked out, as my only memory is my sister running home to get my mother who took me home, wrapped a tea-towel from the side in the kitchen around my face (I can still taste I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and strawberry jam if I lick the scar) and left it to sort itself out. I’ve got a big scar on my bottom lip which I can see if I push my lips flat against my teeth, but other than that I’m fine. Actually, reading all this back, it makes it sounds as though I grew up in Mr Bumble’s workhouse, but that’s far from the truth. My mum just didn’t want the nurses to question all the other bruises and marks on my body.
And that’s a joke too, before anyone tries to respectively put us on the register. I always received medical aid where necessary and my parents were – and are – very loving!
Speaking of very loving, how about this for an evening meal? Up here in Geordieland, we call an evening meal made up of lots of different little things (normally sandwiches, cakes, pork pies etc) a tea-tea, but I know there’s lots of others. Paul informs me he used to call it a picnic tea but I find that hard to believe because it conjures up a charming spread served on gingham tableclothes and bone china, whereas I know from his many tales that he never tasted food that didn’t have 4% Lambert and Butler ash in it until he moved up here.
Like yesterday, with this being more of an ensemble dish, there’s little point in doing a recipe, so instead let me break down the various bits:
pickled onions – you can have most pickles for nothing on SW, so fill up – and try sauerkraut, it’s bloody delicious, although too much pickled cabbage will leave you with veritable knicker-stainers later. Open a window.
tomatoes – buy a variety to add colour and keep them out of the fridge – they’ll taste so much nicer.
pitta chips – you’re allowed one wholemeal pitta as a healthy extra – toast one, cut it up and serve with…
…sweet potato houmous – blend one large cooked sweet potato with four tablespoons of fat free yoghurt, one garlic clove, two tablespoons of lemon juice, salt and a 200g tin of chickpeas. Don’t blend it too smooth, it’s better with a few chunks. Just like the best of us.
roast potatoes – cut up some new potatoes, put them in the Actifry with an Oxo cube to cover them. Delicious.
pastrami wraps – make a sauce of four finely chopped gherkins, four tablespoons of fat free fromage frais and half a teaspoon of mustard powder. Smear onto a slice of pastrami, stuff it full of rocket and roll it up.
chicken wraps – nowt more fancy than a gherkin wrapped up in a slice of chicken!
square egg – they taste so much better than a normal egg but I’ve heard it makes the chicken walk funny. WELCOME TO MY WORLD, COCK.
A perfect picky dinner. Now off to watch Before I Go To Sleep with Fattychops. 100th post coming soon!