Our carpet is down!
I can’t begin to tell you the satisfaction saying that brings me, not least because the house no longer looks like a knockoff Dignitas clinic. I’ve never known someone match their carpet to the interior of a used commode before. The carpet was fitted by a pair of carpet fitters who had clearly just finished a shift as runway models for Abercrombie and Fitch – one was so good-looking I almost told him to go outside as he was smoking inside the house. Boom. Not our type – Paul and I prefer a more rugged/lazy look, but Christ it must be nice to be blessed with natural good looks. That’s definitely not me, I’ve got a face that would make an onion cry, but eh, I get along in life.
Part of preparing the house ready for the carpet involved moving all of our furniture into the bathroom, like a game of Hoarders: Tetris Addition. I took the opportunity to get rid of the giant media unit we have which holds the TV and Sky box and all the usual technological accoutrements that litter a living room. Bear in mind that wasn’t some fag-burned bit of Formica, it was a decent, solid piece of furniture in excellent condition – well, one of the little knobs was a bit loose, but what more would you expect in our house? Overcome with a pique of philanthropy (and partly because there was no way we were going to get it into the DS3), I rang a local ‘community charity’ company who collect secondhand furniture to furnish the houses of the disadvantaged – people who’ve been smacked about or smacked up. Great cause.
They promptly turned up, ran their fingers over the wood and told me ‘it wasn’t appropriate for their clientele’. Seriously now, I’d understand if it had a giant plastic cock stuck on the side or spent condoms plastered on the underside like smutty papier-mâché, but no!
I asked him why and he wheezed out that ‘it would just sit in the shop collecting dust’. Well heaven forbid! I feel it had more to do with the fact he couldn’t be arsed to lift it. I sent him away with a flea in his ear, and, in a proper huff, took it outside and smashed it into matchsticks with a sledgehammer. I know I could have stuck it on freecycle but I find that whole business very stressful – I once put an advert in there for a Nintendo 64 to take away and I got so many illiterate emails in barely-legible English that I thought I’d been hacked by a Russian Johnny 5. The art of please and thank you are seemingly lost on those who are desperate
for stuff to fill up their car-boot sale table for furniture. I did, somewhat meanly, follow that up with an advert for a spare Xbox 360 and then replied to each email who didn’t say thank you or please with a ‘you were the first to reply, but your lack of manners have cost you dear’. Oooh, what a sanctimonious arse. But I do so hate bad manners.
We once used freecycle to pick up a landline phone a few years ago – we went (on the bus, those were the days) to pick up a little answerphone machine only to find that when we got there that a) the tattooed wardrobe (who had clearly never used the phone to book a dentist appointment) who answered the door wanted twenty quid for it and b) it was so lacquered with years and years of nicotine that I didn’t dare dial a number longer than the speaking clock for fear of contracting emphysema.
Anyway, back to the carpet. It’s marvellous – the last big bit of DIY that we needed to do before we buy lots of nice things to fill the house up with. However, it’s not without problems. See, a new carpet needs a bloody good vacuum (yes it does, it’s an old myth that you don’t hoover a carpet) to get all the fluff off it. Grand, no problem, we’ve got a fancy Dyson Digital. Problem is, the Dyson Digital only lasts about six minutes on full suck (just like Paul) and needs emptying out after two minutes of vigorous vacuuming. I’d no sooner hoover one third of a room when it would turn off, needs emptying, switched back on and then beep – out of battery. You’ve never seen anyone hoover so fucking quickly – all I needed was Philip Schofield bellowing at me from behind a sheet of plexiglass and it would have felt like I was on The Cube.
But the carpet still looks lovely so it was worth it, right?
Now, because we’re pushed for time, I’m going to post a recipe for a budget snack idea – you might boke at the idea of a pickled egg, but trust me, when combined with a raft of fancy spices, you’ll be laughing. BUT THAT’S NOT BUDGET. Perhaps. But since joining Slimming World, we’ve got more jars of spices than we do individual atoms in our bodies, and I’m going to hazard a guess that you’re the same. I found this recipe ages ago and put it down in my notes, but not the actual source – so in the interest of full disclosure, this is someone else’s recipe and I thank him/her for it, but hell, it’s a pickled egg.
Three things first:
- buy your spices at Asian supermarkets – so, so much cheaper. Even if you can’t find an Asian supermarket near you, the ‘world foods’ aisle in Tesco generally has the spices there as well as the usual spice place, so look in that aisle and SAVE’;
- you don’t NEED a fancy ferris wheel spice rack…but if you want one like mine, you can find it on Amazon…I’ve helpfully made this sexy picture a link if you want to go find one…
- this is an excellent way of using up eggs that are about to go on the turn; and
- no lies – these taste and look amazing, but they’ll give you farts that could skin an elephant from half a mile away. I’ve never had a fart physically climb out of my bum before, but these were that powerful. Enjoy!
This is going to sound so pretentious but fuck it. I served the eggs with shredded chicken, homegrown tomatoes and rocket and podded peas. All from the garden! I had the gardener pick only the best.
to make yellow ginger pickled eggs, you’ll need:
- 175ml of white wine vinegar (80p in Tesco and you use half a bottle – 40p)
- 150ml of water
- five thin slices of ginger (remember: you should be freezing your knob of ginger, or if you will, a ‘Sheeran’ of ginger – do this and it’ll last bloody ages) – 4p
- a tsp of sugar (any, but brown will do) (don’t use sweetener – better doing without)
- 1 tsp of turmeric (85p in Tesco, use 5p worth)
- 1 tsp of mustard seeds (85p in Tesco, use 5p worth)
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom (85p in Tesco, use 5p worth, just smash them with a rolling pin or your husband’s face if you can’t find ground)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- black pepper
- you’ll also need a jar (sterilise it)
- however many spare eggs you have (I’m not counting these, but you can buy 12 for £1.75, so go mad)
To sterilise jars, the BBC say:
Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Wash the jars in hot, soapy water, then rinse well. Place the jars on a baking sheet and put them in the oven to dry completely. If using Kilner jars, boil the rubber seals, as dry heat damages them.
then to make yellow ginger pickled eggs, you should:
- set your eggs away boiling – ten minutes or so normally does it, and when cooked, plunge into cold water (the eggs) and when cold, shell the buggers
- tip all of the above into a pan and bring to the boil
- reduce, and allow to simmer for around six minutes
- place a couple of eggs into your jar, add a bit of the liquid, and carry on until the jar is filled up
- you’ll need around five days for the colour and the flavour to really sink in, but these are delicious and plus, they’re eggs – they’ll fill you right up!
to gussy it up:
- use quail eggs
- have jeeves boil the eggs for you
- add chilli
to cheapen the deal:
- you can buy a jar of pickling spices from most shops – cheaper than buying the individual spices, but you’ll get the use out of most of the above so it’s a worthwhile investment