Sunday, 7 March 2010

Geez, it's a long time

A day or two short of 4 months since I last sat down to write here. But a lot has happened since I left Torre on Xmas Eve last and all in chilly temperatures which are STILL hovering around 0C. Just a day or so after I landed at Gatwick I saw my first snow in, what, 6 years and up until this week I'd almost forgotten what a blue sky looked like! Jealousy dictates  that I keep an eye on what I'm missing on the Costa del Sol and I'm all too awarPICT0313e that it has been quite wet this last few months, albeit with warmer temperatures than here near London. But Snowdrops are out, Crocus as well and the Daffodils are waking up so Spring is on the way at last.

My attempt to sign-on for jobseekers allowance on the day after Boxing Day was turned into an application for Pension Credit by the departments concerned because they said that "you'll get more and wont have to attend the jobcentre every fortnight". After a frustrating wait of 5 weeks (due in part to the country coming to a standstill while the snow lay) I received my first payment, backdated to my arrival date (nice one) and now I consider that what was told to me at the CAB to be true, (I queried with them just exactly what a pension credit was, thinking that I might be being offered a part of my state pension early) that I have been "put out to grass" without affecting the national unemployment figure. Apparently HMG appreciate that, at my age and in the present employment crisis, I'd have next to no chance of finding work. So. A wee benefit each week, sufficient for my circumstances with no strings attached is my lot at the moment and I've no complaints. And to top it all a surprise letter 2 weeks ago informed me that I'm to receive a little something from the estate of one of my Aunts who died last year. Which means that I might be able to afford a cheap trip or two abroad this coming summer. I fancy Torremolinos for a few days!! All in all, life seems a little rosier now. I've even got a free bus pass for the whole of the country!! Not to mention a clubcard for Tescos!! I wonder if that is of any use in The Ship for Sunday Lunch?

I've had a go at making a cake (under the watchful eye of Mum), a Victoria sponge. In fact I've had 3 goes. First one was stodgy, second one less so and the third got the thumbs up and all with homemade lemon curd in the middle. So no more Mr Kipling. Here's something soupy though. I call it "All the Twos" but its actually :

Carrot & Coriander Soup (makes quite a lot)

2lb Carrots
2 Onions
2 Cloves garlic
2 heaped Tspns Coriander Seed
2 Ounces Fresh Coriander (including stalks)
2 litres Chicken Stock

Dice the carrot, onion and garlic and chuck in a big pot. Grind the Coriander Seed and throw that in as well. Add the 2 litres of Stock and cook until all is tender. Except, when nearly done trim the green coriander of any rooty ends, roughly chop and throw in to the pot then let it all finish cooking for the final few minutes. Blitz smooth and serve with a swirl of cream and some hot bread. (I bought a couple of small baguettes that needed finishing in the oven.)