Zig looked tired on Sunday morning, so I suggested I cook lunch rather than we go to the pub. There was half a cooked chicken in the fridge, so I took the dogs for a walk and then went to the local farm shop/deli, which is fabulous (and expensive, but fabulous generally wins). I bought tiny home-made meringues and a few other bits and pieces for lunch, plus some olives and oil to bring home and chocolates for Tim.
Zig has to be careful with what she eats and I’m adept at catering for no-eats, as my mother had a lot of dietary requirements – Zig’s are a minor matter. So I made a simple chicken casserole, boiling the carcase to make the stock. It turned out better than I’d expected – I did take a lot of care, since I couldn’t gussy it up with extra ingredients. Then we had the meringues with clotted cream and lovely Norfolk jam that Roses had sent. Zig said she hadn’t enjoyed a meal so much since her operation in the summer, the one that prevented her from spending it with me.
We hope she can still come here, more chemo is likely first but if that goes well then she could regain strength. She’s not ready to give up and neither am I. We’re not deluded, but she’s facing forward.
Darling Indi, her spaniel, had seen my suitcase and knew what it meant, so she cuddled up to me, hoping that I might stay after all. When I return, she won’t speak to me for hours. She loves me and I hurt her by leaving. But I had to go and Tim was expecting me.
Twiglets were not forthcoming after all. He’d searched every grocery store in Reading, but it’s clearly not a Berkshire thing. He wondered if they are actually still made? Yes, I’ve been eating them this evening and I bought them last week. Anyway, he dipped little sticks in Marmite instead, it was fine. And dinner was delicious – a smoked salmon and lumpfish caviare starter, followed by braised lamb shanks. And the promised Rioja, which was excellent too. His spare bedroom was all that had been promised – actually, that was an en suite bathroom, come to think of it – anyway, it had a comfortable bed too and a very handsome wardrobe. I didn’t use the latter, of course.
He had offered me a spare log basket, which turned out to be full of logs, which he gave me too. I’m burning some of them this evening. Thank you, Tim, for your delightful hospitality.
Eloise cat was very pleased to see me and has hardly left my side all day. Roses had had some cow-related drama while I was away and had coped magnificently – she may well blog it, in which case I’ll put up a link. It involves a healthy calf but a sick cow, so it was a worrying time.
I haven’t done much this afternoon or evening. I have a haircut first thing tomorrow, then some cheques to sign, then back here for my coal delivery. Lovely Des is letting me have it at summer prices. And some repairs were done to the annexe’s gable end while I was away, so things have gone well, apart from the milk-fevered cow. We hope she’ll pull through.