Over the border!

I have been quiet for a while, not because I have had nothing to write about but because I have been too busy to sit down and type about it all!

Now that restrictions are easing and I have had both my Covid vaccinations I went to visit my daughter for a few days. Some of you may remember that she works as Learning Support Assistant in a primary school and it is easiest for her if I visit during the holidays so I went for part of half term.

As you can imagine it was wonderful to see her especially as the last time was August! We packed a lot into a few days. The lease on her rented house was coming to an end and although she could have renewed it she was considering moving. She has made the house into a lovely home and has some fantastic neighbours but the landlady is very reluctant to spend money on maintenance and repairs. Last winter the badly fitting, single glazed windows and lack of loft insulation meant the heating was not up to the job and the house was very cold. Then 2 neighbours (both in rented homes) announced they were moving – who would come in their place? It seemed sensible to look at other houses to rent. So once again I found myself viewing properties with one of my children! Front runner was a very similar house to the one she was in, on a quiet estate within walking distance of the town center, but with a slightly different layout of rooms and much better maintained. As in many towns and cities, especially those built in the 60’s and 70’s the suburbs are arranged around roads which radiate out from the center of town and the buses run along those radial roads, So to visit friends a couple of miles away in the next ‘village’ means a bus into town and another out, or using the car. So paradoxically living near the center should help her kids’ social lives! After a lot of weighing up the pros and cons including the hassle of changing her address on everything, dealing with the benefits system and packing everything up, she decided to move and we set the wheels in motion.

Two viewings of the place on different days meant we were in town so I hit the charity shops to replenish my wardrobe after being unable to do so through the Covid restrictions. I had noticed that another aspect of my rut was that every morning I pulled on jeans and a t-shirt type top, the only decision required being short or long sleeves, then a fleece hoodie. Sometimes they were clean and tidy clothes suitable for being seen out in and other days they were gardening wear with stains and holes but that was the only difference. It was so long since I had worn earrings that the holes had almost healed over and I abandoned my watch when the battery ran out. By going into ALL the charity shops we found a skirt, a dress, a pair of smarter trousers and several tops in my size.

A selection of my finds – some are in the wash!

And as we were out and spending money (It hardly hurts at all to wave a plastic card over a machine which beeps its thanks!) we had a pub lunch one day and ate out at Wagamama another evening. If any of you know of a good cookbook or website that would introduce me to cooking Japanese cuisine (bearing in mind that my local supermarkets have limited ranges of ‘world foods’!) please tell me. What we had was delicious but very new for me. The pub lunch included a particularly nice relish which I managed to re-create at home – recipe below.

Red Onion and Red Pepper Relish

Sweat half a kilo of thinly sliced red onions slowly until beginning to soften, add one and a half red peppers cut into short thin strips and continue cooking until everything is soft and starting to melt. Add salt, pepper, a generous slug of balsamic vinegar, a desertspoon or so of dark muscovado sugar, a heaped teaspoon of grain mustard and a splash of blackcurrant vinegar (or pontack sauce or red wine vinegar). Continue to simmer for another ten minutes or so stirring frequently for the flavours to mingle. Check the taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Either pour into a jar and store in the fridge OR pour into a bottom lined cake tin, top with a circle of ready rolled puff pastry and bake at 200 deg for 20 mins then invert onto a plate as a tart for a delicious lunch. I made it when friends came and they asked for seconds so it must have been OK!

There are at least 2 more posts about my activities in my head and I will try to get them onto the screen soon!


10 thoughts on “Over the border!

  1. Laurie Graves June 24, 2021 / 12:23 pm

    How great it must have been to visit your daughter. (I haven’t seen my children for 18 months. Sigh.) Sounds as though the decision to move was a good one. As a Mainer, I can certainly sympathize with the high cost of heating a house. And what pretty clothes you found at the charity shops! Doesn’t it feel good to be out and about, to eat at restaurants, to be with those you love? Sheer bliss!


    • Going Batty in Wales June 26, 2021 / 2:54 pm

      It was such a special visit in lots of ways and I certainly felt very blessed

      Liked by 1 person

  2. nanacathy2 June 24, 2021 / 1:16 pm

    I can imagine what a wonderful time you had with your daughter. Family is so important. That relish sounds delicious. I will give jt a go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales June 26, 2021 / 2:55 pm

      I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. tialys June 24, 2021 / 2:26 pm

    I wonder if healing up earring holes and stopped watches are a common theme of the pandemic – both things happened to me too.
    I hope your daughter finds a suitable place for her and her children.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales June 26, 2021 / 2:57 pm

      Thank you. She moved into the house we viewed together last Friday and is gradually getting her new place sorted out.
      I am sure that the pandemic was part of my not wearing earrings or nice clothes – no reason to dress up and go out!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Luffy June 24, 2021 / 9:26 pm

    Check out the Wagamama cookbook. It’s a great introduction to all types of Japanese food. ❤️


    • Going Batty in Wales June 26, 2021 / 2:57 pm

      Thank you Luffy. I will look for that.


  5. onesmallstitch June 27, 2021 / 6:45 pm

    Thanks for the great laugh – your description of what clothes to choose in the morning could be me. Your visit with daughter sounds wonderful, she must have been just as happy to see you and have your help in the moving process. I haven’t worn earrings since I lost a favorite one months ago when struggling with a mask. I have at least a dozen Japanese cookbooks but two favorites are; The Food of Japan – Authentic Recipes from the Land of the Rising Sun, from Periplus World Cookbooks. It has an excellent section on traditional ingredients – and gorgeous pictures. The second is “Japanese Farm Food” also the story of a family – author Nancy Singleton Hachisu is an American married to a Japanese living on a Japanese farm – hard cover, published by Andrew McMeel Publishing – I use it all the time. Enjoy, have fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales June 29, 2021 / 8:55 am

      I have made masks with elastic that goes round behind my head not over my ears – when I wore the more usual sort I kept pulling my hearing aids out!

      Thank you for the cookbook recommendations. Luffy suggested the Wagamama one as did a friend so I have that on order but I will also look for the ones you suggest. I am quite excited at having another type of food to explore.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s