New Years Resolutions 

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I know, I know New Years resolutions are as uncool as tinsel and the word uncool but l happen to like tinsel and using the 1st of Jan as an excuse to rethink my life. 
1. Rethink my body image. I’m now 9st and I’m still putting on weight. Having been plagued with an eating disorder since I was 9, this is new territory for me and I hate it. Every day I look in the mirror, I don’t recognise my body anymore. I worry that people who know me will see me and think ‘wow, she’s put on weight!’. I do need to rethink my diet but I also need to accept my new body shape. It’s not the end of the world, just the end of my ultra slimness. 

2. Get off my fucking phone. This should be easier than it sounds as my phone is old and the battery dies on me at 30%! I want to concentrate on my crochet and art.

3. I need to get my teeth into my Women Together project. I don’t think we’ll really feel the full impact of the cuts until the end of 2016 which is a scary thought as things are bad enough already. My goal for the year is to offer more practical help rather than tweets and FB posts. I have a lot of stuff to go on the website – which I’ve yet to find on a Google search! Also, some way of setting up a fund for helping women would be really great. 

4. Buffer zones for abortion clinics – I’ve been working on this for over a year now and I’ve not made a lot of progress. There are now two petitions out there in the ether – check out my blog posts for more info. Hoping that 2016 is a productive and protective year for it. 

5. Seeing my life as worthwhile and meaningful. I need to stop wishing away the days and try to enjoy the year with my children. It’s so easy to get bogged down in it all and to think that life will be better/easier when another milestone is reached. I’m very lucky to have three fab children who may be challenging but certainly not dull! 

6. Get out in the garden more. I moved into this house last spring and I’m looking forward to turning my garden into a little oasis of green for as little money as possible. It’s not a very big garden however, there’s plenty of space for some nice plants. 

7. Find a way to manage my ME/ CFS better hahahahaha!!! I can try. Either that or I need to win the lottery so that I can afford a cleaner and taxis…. Pacing your activity is nigh on impossible when you’re on your own with three kids. My family and boyfriend help when they can but I need to know I can do it all by myself. Perhaps it’s my pride, I just want to feel like I’m making a fair contribution to the life I have and the lives that I created. 

8. And finally …. Not really a resolution….this is the second year anniversary of my suicide attempt – New Year’s Day 2014. It doesn’t feel as poignant as last year, there’s a sense that I’ve moved on a lot since then. I’m glad that I am still here, still alive and experiencing life from the Sun’s heat on my face to the cuddles at bedtime with my children. I could have been two years dead and life would have been so very different for my children, different in a bad and dark way. Whilst I’ll never be the life and soul of the party, I hope with every atom of my body that I will never feel that desperate again. 

So there you have it. That’s my list for 2016, I’m sure I’ll think of more to add. In the general scheme of the relentless march of time, a new year doesn’t really mean a lot but I see it as a chance to try again and put my failures behind me. Maybe give it a go and be uncool too! 
Love and hugs and all the best for 2016. May it be full of tea and crochet if that floats your boat.

Exxx 

PS one more …. Get my poems published in my own book …. 

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Christmas Poem 

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Time to brush the dust off my Christmas poem – three years old now! 
Christmas in the UK
It’s mild, wet and windy

No snow on the ground 

The kids are running riot

And the Christmas tree’s turned brown 

The Silver Band are tipsy 

As they play carols on the street

No one wants breakfast

They’re all full of sweets! 

Turkey in the oven

But I’m having nut roast

I need special gravy

Such a pain for the host

Presents are opened and everyone’s full

Time to relax now and and watch Dr Who

 Children in bed now, the clocks ticks past two 

Another Christmas is over, another Christmas is through. 

Exxx 

Non dairy pavlova 

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Watching the amazing Nigella Lawson on her BBC 2 Simply Nigella show, I finally found a recipe that I could make but no…!!!!! She finished if off with cream. 

Whilst I’m a vegetarian, not a vegan, I can’t eat dairy as it gives me the most awful migraines 😦 I then started my journey to look for a non dairy whipped cream and found  a recipe for one on The Guardian website. 
Here are the links:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/may/09/dairy-free-food-whipping-whipped-cream
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/lemon_pavlova_50340

I was lazy and didn’t do the ice bath or the melting of the fat first. I also didn’t add the lemon to the meringue and I think I will if I make it again as it was mega sweet!! 

This was the first time I’ve made a meringue since school so it was rather cracked …. Didn’t fall apart when cut so that’s a positive! The kids all loved it and there were no complaints about the soya cream. Finding a decent recipe for whipped cream work revolutionise my food! There are so many desserts out there that I haven’t been able to make (yet to find a decent chocolate alternative 😦 ). 

I hope to find more dairy free and vegan recipes next year to try and share with you all 
Love, hugs, tea and crochet 

Exxx 

  
   

And so it is Christmas … (CW) 

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Christmas is an odd time of year. I was very lucky to have

l
  

lovely family Christmases when I was growing up. The excitement of the wait, the decorations, the tree, the ever increasing open doors on the advent calendar… Even when my mum had to work a couple of times, she still managed to make Christmas for us later in the day.
Fast forward quite a few years and then there was Christmas as a young, single parent. That was when the shine started to go out of the tinsel. I loved the couple of days I stayed with family but then it was back home to a house that was difficult to keep warm and that darkness you can only get from feeling like everyone is all jolly.
Don’t even go there with New Year’s Day! Many, many years of going to bed early only to be woken by WWIII in the form of fireworks. Then there was 2014…. 
Anyway, Christmas had become an odd mixture of joy and sadness. I think that is the way of things as you get older, more loved ones not being there anymore – some move away and some have died. Then I met my ex husband and everything seemed to sparkle again. 
After only two months of dating, he proposed on Christmas Day in front of my family. I was so happy, I was also so relieved to leave the stigma of single parenthood behind. With my sparkly diamond on my ring finger, I felt like I could take on the world.
This lovely cloud floated around for a while. I’m not sure when the rot set in but when we were married in the Spring, I wasn’t as happy as I should have been. Christmassy became a time of worry and stress. 
There was the worry over money for presents, the extreme worry over how much he would drink (and that was a lot), the stress of trying to keep up a happy front. This became increasingly hard as family fell out with him and didn’t want him there. I was emotionally torn apart. I now dreaded the start of Autumn when Christmas loomed large wherever I went.
Arguments over how much alcohol he had bought and how most of it had gone before Christmas Day still linger on in my mind. Needless to say, he had to buy more. The time he threw away youngest’s Christmas dinner that I had just put in the blender – she was 8 months old. I told him off and he reduced me to tears. I served our Boxing Day Christmas meal with teary eyes to a silent and miserable table. 
I’m doing my best to enjoy Christmas this year. There are triggers and memories with each tradition that I have to face but I am determined that my children will have a happy Christmas. 
It breaks my heart when I think of all the women out there right now who are dreading Christmas. To those women who might not be alive to see the new year in or who spend Christmas keeping the tears from flowing like a never ending river….I am with you and I believe you. I’m holding your hand and feeling your pain, your fear. He will use Christmas as an excuse to be extra vile and abusive. 
There are helplines out there, people out there who care and want you to be safe. I won’t think any less of you if you can’t make that break this Christmas or any Christmas. Please know that there can be joy and light again though. I hope you will find a way to leave one day and what ever day of the year that happens to be – may it feel like the best Christmas you’ve ever had. 
Much love 

Exxx 

 

Non egg fried rice 

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Thanks to The Morgans for the recipe.

Ingredients
Enough brown rice to cover the bottom of a large saucepan to a depth of 2cm

1 pack of silken tofu or tofu that isn’t in the chilled section

2 dessert spoons of tamari 

1 dessert spoon sesame oil

2 cloves of garlic crushed 

2 tsp of turmeric 

2 tsp of ginger 

3 tsp of dried coriander 

1 mug of frozen peas 

1 salad bag of spinach 

Black pepper 

Cover the rice with boiling water. Approx 3cm above the rice level. Simmer for 5 mins, stir, cover and then leave for 25 mins – turn off the heat. Cover lid with a heavy tea towel. 
Meanwhile – drain the tofu and mash in a bowl. Add the sesame oil, tamari, turmeric, ginger, coriander and frozen peas. Leave to marinate. 
When the rice is cooked, ensure there is no water left over. Fry the garlic in a frying pan. 
Before it turns golden, add the tofu mixture and fry for about 10mins. Add the rice, stir and ensure it’s piping hot. Serve immediately.
Serves 3-4