Z eyes July

It’s going to be a relatively busy month – which means only that I’ve more in my diary than I have had since February, after which I cancelled everything before we were locked down anyway. I’ve got a haircut booked, as I said the other day, I’ve had the MOT done on my car, the dental checkup that should have happened at the end of April and was postponed for three months has been confirmed and I’ve got a flurry of online meetings coming up. Most people, apparently, have bookcases as their backdrop. I have a cage with a cat in it.

Having safely got my MOT, I’m going to change my car in the next few weeks. I’ve had it nearly five years and I had to buy it in a hurry. My previous car developed a fault on the way down to visit Tim, when we were barely on the way to becoming “an item” and I left it at a garage in Reading. It turned out that the repair would cost more than the car was worth, so I accepted an offer for scrap and Tim drove me to Norwich, where I bought a second-hand car on the spot. It’s been very good, a 1.6 litre Hyundai automatic, I’d not mind another much the same. I feel that a car is likely to be expensive once it approaches ten years old; this is eight and I’d rather not have any problems. A very good car might be worth keeping longer but this, although it’s been excellent, is bog-standard as cars go, frankly and I would rather not take the chance.

I managed to miss a couple of courgettes which instantly became marrows, dammit. So I picked everything that was worth picking and am in the process of making courgette and apricot chutney, adapted from a recipe in a vegetable cookery book. It’s adapted because the writer credits another cook, who gave her his grandmother’s recipe, which she clearly had not tried out. It gives ingredients but not all the quantities and it omits to mention cutting up the apricots and apple. It also says to put the spices in a muslin bag, which effectively nullifies any flavour from them. But corrected and tweaked, it’s a good recipe and can be used immediately, it doesn’t have to mature though it also keeps well. The mixture is steeping overnight and I’ll make the chutney tomorrow.

I still had the two original marrows, most of them, so I’ve made a soup from the same book, with onion, garlic, marrow, stock, mint, basil and coconut milk. I know, it doesn’t sound that enthralling. But I had all the ingredients and hey, worth a go. We haven’t eaten any yet and we’ll have some for lunch tomorrow. The writer raves about it but, tasting it, it’s more ‘interesting’ than necessarily delicious. We’ll see. If we don’t like it, I’ve wasted half a tin of coconut milk, that’s all.

I let Frostier out yesterday with her three chicks. They had a lovely morning pottering about and later, when it rained, they returned to the coop. I released them again today and it rained again this afternoon. I went down to check and the covering over part of the coop had shifted, so wouldn’t have given any protection, so they were standing disconsolately in the rain. I put a little food in the coop, they hopped in and I covered them over. What good chicks and mother. One of the Fosters has disappeared again, however. She is clearly sitting on eggs, I’m sure she hasn’t been taken. I’ve looked for her without success, though I’m very bad at spotting nests so I’m not surprised. I was stupid ever to let the bantams hatch their eggs, i should have known better. They are so maternal and lose no chance to lay away.

3 comments on “Z eyes July

  1. Blue Witch

    “It also says to put the spices in a muslin bag, which effectively nullifies any flavour from them”

    I too have books that say this. Probably a sign of the times, harking back to a time when people preferred things much blander than today. I always double if not quadruple spices for most things anyway (as I suspect do you)!

    Good luck finding a new car. There are amazing deals around on new cars right now as there are so many sitting around. Some deals I’ve seen are better than you’d pay for a 3 or 4 year old similar model. Then there’s the hard negotiating (aka playing the salesman to get to the price you want to pay). If you wait a couple of weeks, until it’s almost the end of the month, and they’re trying to make targets set by the manufacturers, there will be even better deals.

    Given many brands now come with 3 or 5 years servicing thrown in, if you do the sums, you could get new for significantly less than you’d pay for 2nd hand, considered over the car’s useful lifetime. By the time it comes round to replacing it, we’ll all be on hydrogen models anyway (and not battery) – hopefully.

    1. Z Post author

      And reduce the sugar, too.

      I’ll look into the car thing this week. I know roughly what I want, though I don’t care what make it is.

      1. Z Post author

        Having just looked up the new equivalent of my car, which is nearly £23,000, against a three year old similar one, which is just under £10,000, I think I’ll be sticking with second hand. Even a discount isn’t going to halve the price.


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