Z looks down

The day started perfectly well. Wink came through for coffee before leaving for Wiltshire, because she’s got a pre-op appointment at the hospital in Bath tomorrow morning. I gave her our last few slices of bread because she’d run out, so got a loaf going. Then I sorted out the Christmas beef, prepared a cottage pie from the little bits and put aside the chunks for Tim to make a rogan josh and sliced some onions and garlic for French onion soup. Eloise cat appeared looking hopeful, but I’d saved her some snippets of beef so she was very happy.

It all went very well until around half past three this afternoon, when Weeza texted, very upset because someone had slashed their tyres in the night. They’d left their car in the road – not blocking the road at all and mostly in their own frontage – for a couple of nights because they had two loads of wood being delivered. They have no idea why anyone could have done such a thing. Their car, which they bought second-hand, has London numberplates and perhaps someone thought it was a second home owner, illicitly visiting from the city? Or some random nasty person, but why pick on them? Anyway, the police have the details and it’s going to cost them £500 for new tyres; the only small consolation being that two of them were due to be replaced soon anyway. This is a country road in a lovely rural village, the village pub is shut so no one was lurching home drunk (not that it’s really that sort of pub) and they’ve upset no one. They’re devastated.

Then a friend phoned to tell me that our mutual friend Jo has died. 96 years old, so it’s not as if it’s a premature death, but she was in hospital because she’d had a minor stroke and she caught Covid there. If you’re one of those who says “aha, but did she die FROM Covid or WITH Covid,” please don’t to me. She wouldn’t have died two days before Christmas if she had been allowed home for her sister to look after her, as they both desperately wanted. I grieve for her sister Lilian, also in the 90s, who will struggle to find the will to live without her, especially now when friends can’t rally round as we’d like.

So I can’t be very upbeat this evening, but at least I invented a reasonable meal tonight. I had half a pumpkin, cooked, which I layered with fried breadcrumbs, browned pine nuts, fried tomato and fried halloumi. Cream flavoured with nutmeg was poured over and the whole thing was baked, while I cooked mushrooms in butter, then added white wine, garlic and cream. I think that more creamy sauce would have added to the pleasure but I don’t really want to eat a lot of cream at one time, so perhaps puréeing some of the pumpkin into the cream, let down with a little milk or water, would have made it more saucy. Anyway, it was a leftover-storecupboard thing, so that’s always good. The chickens will love the little bit of pumpkin left over.

And now I’m going to bed and will start again tomorrow. Goodnight, friends.

5 comments on “Z looks down

  1. dinahmow

    I’m sorry about your friend and her sister. And Weeza’s car.
    In a few hours, we’ll shred the calendars and hang new ones, fervently hoping…
    Take whatever goodness you can find in the remnants of 2020 and begin 2021 on an upward beat. Love to all.

  2. Blue Witch

    So sad to read about your friend. Are these the ladies you sometimes mention who you (used to) pick up to take out? It’s this generation that I feel most sorry for – have lived through wars, rationing, the problems of the 1970s, and now have to go out to Covid. I hope her sister is OK and that some way can be found to support her.

    And as for slashing tyres… moronic. What is the matter with people? It is actually quite hard to slash tyres – try cutting them up to make things from old ones!

    We had a spate of flat tyres, and found screws in them (and not any of the sorts Mr BW has), always in the centre of the treads, so not able to be repaired, and also obviously deliberate. We were constantly worried about ‘the next time’ and had to spend 5 mnutes each time before we went out having to look round the car. A local friend had had similar problems (we had joint suspicions as to who was responsible, just no proof), and suggested we do as he had done and install CCTV and amazingly we haven’t had any problem since. *touches wood* I think this series of incidents was the final straw that made me think, “I don’t want to live here amongst these changing type of people any more.”

    Hope Wink managed to get to Wiltshire (and presumably back) OK.

  3. Z Post author

    Well, I’ve ordered a supply of artist stuff as recommended, so next year I’ll try the drawing thing. Start the year with a mixture of optimism and bewildered despair!

    Yes, the two sisters, both retired nurses, immensely tough and stalwart people. Both married relatively late and widowed relatively young, they lived next door to each other for a while but, for about the last 25 years, lived together. I used, as you have remembered, to pick them up and take them to Norwich for our monthly lunch club. Though they’ve lived in three different houses over the years, it’s all been in the same road, so they have a lot of supportive friends nearby, as well as the rest of us.

    Weeza and Phil are going to install CCTV. As they say, it’s cheaper than new tyres. It was clearly done with a very sharp knife, not a random thing by someone in a bad temper. It’s bewildering. And yes thanks, Wink is home again and all’s fine. Saturday week, I’ll drive her down, she’ll have another Covid test and then isolate for another three days before the op – all being well.

  4. Blue Witch

    Will Wink be live blogging her op as you did? 😉 (that’s still your greatest blogging triumph I think)

    I do think that if nurse standards of yesteryear still pertained, we would not be seeing the current losses of life that we are.


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