Monday, 12 October 2020

Soup & Scotch Egg Self Help

10th October Saturday 20.00pm

I’m having a break from blogging for a bit but not from writing everyday.
That I would find an impossibility. I’m on my last night this week ( 48 hours total) after the same amount Of hours last week. Next week it’s the same
I’ve felt somewhat overwhelmed and not in the right frame of mind to publish
Yet I write?
Go figure.
I bought sweets for the day staff and an orchid for my trained colleague before I came to work as she has had a shit time recently.
Much shittier than mine .......
Lisa Tarbuck was laughing on the radio as I drove to work and this piece of nostalgia pleased me when she played it



I’m not sure, if I will post these mini snippets of daily life
But I will continue to write them until I feel ok to blog again.
I feel I have nothing worth reading or to share at the moment

11th October Sunday..2.20 am

He was waiting for his wife to pass away and she was comfortable under sedation. We talked about many things in the side room that night. But I particularly remember talking about Andrew Wyeth my favourite painter in those wee small hours before dawn. 
We shared anacdotes, they were less painful than reality.
He appreciated my love for Christina’s world but didn’t share my affection for it 
But, as it turned out we both loved Wyeth’s portrait of his wife Betsy in his piece Maga’s Daughter
Which remains in a museum in Seattle .
That was many weeks ago now and I’ve just been passed a note from the visitor, who was now a widower
He had found me a print of “Maga’s Daughter” in the US and was sending it me
I forgot my great niece’s birthday which is not like me
I’m not cooking on gas

Maga’s Daughter

Me looking at my much loved Christina’s World in MOMA New York 2014


12th October Monday10.35 am

I slept heavy. I always do after nights. 
Yesterday my family met for soup and Cornish pasties in the garden
It was lovely but I felt lacklustre and boring
We are talking about Christmas ....turkey sandwiches and soup outside
It’s a new Way of looking at things



12th October Monday 6pm


I actually didn’t get up until 1pm.
It’s pouring down and miserable 
I made cannon ball sized low calorie scotch eggs and spicy butternut squash soup
And I watched Sorry Wrong Number on the iPad as I did so
I feel brighter today


Bloody lovely


I feel better today
Rested and more in balance
The scotch eggs did it
Not the eating of said eggs ( I managed one at a push as it needed two hands to lift it) 
But the planning and making of them and some spicy soup.
Me time...gentle space time 
If I feel like this again (and more long stretches of nights amid lockdown are on the horizon)
I won’t feel ‘ obliged’ to blog 

To chatter away in that empty room

,




115 comments:

  1. Stay safe JG, I shall miss your daily blog, but will keep you in my thoughts, and those big feckin cannon ball scotch eggs !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will continue daily miss norm as long as I have something to say, something to share and as long as I can without stressing myself when tired
      Blogging is a joy
      It’s not work

      Delete
  2. I missed reading about your life John. I love your chatter x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I’m chattering away like a fat chipmonk tonight xx

      Delete
  3. Christmas is going to be very strange with presumably all the virus restrictions still in force. Sandwiches and soup in the garden could be exactly right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes...a re-evaluation of what Christmas means
      We talked about a family walk too...perhaps a new tradition

      Delete
  4. do what you have to do, john. the family garden pix looks lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got into a strange place where I felt I should blog with absolutely nothing to say

      Delete
  5. I still come here every day. Whatever snippets you wish to share will be OK with me. I would love to try a Scotch egg. I checked into ordering online, but wonder if the four day delivery (not to mention the $11 USD in shipping charges) would be worth it. Are they difficult to make yourself?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would send you my second egg but it is huge and the postage would be obscene

      Delete
  6. Look after yourself. Please.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is a break from blogging? Don't get me wrong, I am pleased you are back, but I can't tell the difference between your blog and any other type of writing which you post up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I just needed not to feel that I had to write anything which I felt I wanted to post.
      The diary is something I’ve always done before the blog in a tiny blue book
      I guess everything morphs

      Delete
  8. I'm sorry you feel/ have felt/ obliged to blog. Of course you do not *have* to, it is not a paid job or really any obligation. But I do miss you and your posts, and worry about you, when you go incommunicado at times.

    lizzy x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The obligation stems from wanting to and not being able through tiredness , fatigue etc
      Next time, if I’m not up to it, I just won’t bother

      Delete
    2. Just please do not ''pull a Hippo" [disappear]?
      Christina's World is a complex meeting of sweet pastoral charm, yearning melancholy, and life's realities. The young woman was handicapped and I believe Wyeth had been criticized for using her illness in his art. "Anna Christina Olson suffered from a degenerative muscular disorder that prevented her from walking. Rather than using a wheelchair, Olson crawled around her home and the surrounding grounds, as seen in Christina's World.''

      Delete
    3. The painting has always affected me greatly

      Delete
  9. Feeling "obliged" to do anything is not good. Doing whatever whenever you feel like it is much better. I would pay good money to try that scotch egg and soup - it looks very fine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew..both were bloody lovely
      Truly
      Another lesson to learn
      Proper cooking
      I’d got out of the habit

      Delete
    2. Ah... I think the last time I actually "cooked" anything was a mere vegetable curry in, eh... 1978. Prior to that, eh... scrambled eggs on toast many times between 1965 and 1973 and... eh... nope... There's a thought eh? Heating things up does not count, of course.

      Delete
    3. If you email me your address, I shall make you a scotch egg and send it

      Delete
    4. Thanks, but no need for that.

      Delete
  10. I love reading your snippets of everyday life , about the anecdotes of your animal family,film reviews ,village life . I think you are immensely generous with what you share and I really value you and your world x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jane and I love doing it
      It’s a habit and part of my life for a decade and a half
      But I’ve never had to cope with full time night shifts, and lockdown
      Before
      Now I will listen to My body and take a day off blogging when I need to ....it’s part of my daily routine

      Delete
  11. Do what's best for you! We will be here...

    ReplyDelete
  12. The kindness of the man to find a print of Maga’s Daughter for you shows how much he appreciated you in what must have been an incredibly difficult time for him.... turkey sandwiches and soup sounds fine it’s family that make it special x Tweetart

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was incredibly interesting
      An art dealer and one time travel writer

      Delete
  13. Replies
    1. Tell me how and I shall explain..
      I just feel better today
      Whether that is a combination of not feeling I have to write anything coupled with a good night/ days sleep
      Some therapeutic cooking
      A good movie
      Who knows

      Delete
  14. There are those of us who must write, no matter what. An hour or so after I took my fall and broke my ribs, I sat down and wrote about it. Sometimes I wonder if I'm simply a narcissist and sometimes I take comfort in thinking that writing is one of the greatest joys of my life so why deny myself that?
    Same for you, John Gray.
    And we who get to read the words that you write are grateful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It’s a habit and something very necessary
      But with tiredness and lockdown it suddenly felt like a chore
      I let that bother me rather than just to say I’m not writing anything today

      Delete
  15. Those long shifts, and the commute time add to them, must be really draining. And you’re heading into winter with less light to brighten you up, it’s no wonder your batteries are flat.

    We understand, and of course you should only be blogging when you want to. We have come to care for you, and your menagerie so we do like to know you’re safe and well. Not to forget that we appreciate your skilful writing.

    That Scotch Egg looked delicious, can we have the recipe please. Even if you photograph the page of the cookbook.

    A Christmas party of hot soup and special sandwiches sounds a great plan. Will there be Christmas pudding with brandy sauce? That could be made in individual (Physically isolated!) dishes too.

    ReplyDelete
  16. It’s a low fat scotch egg
    As follows( my own recipe)
    800g low fat pork mince, season with Lots of herbs of choice ( mine coriander )
    Garlic paste, salt, pepper, Worcester sauce
    Leave to firm in fridge
    Boiled egg.....cool
    Wrap in lots pork meat
    Cover in PANKO breadcrumbs
    Dip into egg
    Cover in second coating of breadcrumbs

    Cook in hot oven until panko breadcrumbs brown ( my huge eggs took an hour)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I make a Slimming World friendly version. Thaw out a couple of Linda McCartney rosemary and red onion sausages then mould them round a boiled egg and bake in oven or Actifry for about 20 mins. Gorgeous with salad, cheese and chutney for a quick lunch or tea.

      Delete
    2. Thanks John, the double layer of Panko crumbs sound five star!

      Delete
  17. I hope its not for too long , I love reading your blog x. but I appreciate that it can become a chore in these dark days . Its almost like we have reached that bleak spot after christmas and before spring except there are months instead of weeks .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It wasn’t
      Just a long weekend

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your recipe for scotch eggs. I think they will be delicious.

      Delete
  18. Not surprising you feel a bit off when you work those sort of hours. I've always found the process of making soup therapeutic and comforting when I'm feeling down, helps to keep the demons away.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous9:09 pm

    Wow have I missed you! So glad you feel more balanced and a bit better. Be well, good man, you deserve to. - Mary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just needed more sleep, a bit of company and a decision not to blog when I don’t need to

      Delete
  20. Your slice-of-life snippets are always worth reading, John!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Soup is my saving grace. Adore it. Tis the season. Love Stanwyck. Always reliable. Loved your outdoor luncheon. Beautiful pastry. Chin up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The soup was a physical sticking plaster over a tired body wound

      Delete
  22. Sometimes it is good to take a break from things, to change up the routine. It sometimes energizes me. Take care...

    ReplyDelete
  23. Sometimes we have a need to write and get feelings out so we can move forward. Writing because we feel we have to is never good. I like this diary style writing you have done here. Whatever you do, relax and take care of you. People that care about you are here whether you write or not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Going gently was always designed to be a diary
      I had to keep that going for me

      Delete
  24. Ooops Sorry John I hadn't even missed you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’ve hardly been gone sue....just being dramatic xx

      Delete
  25. Some just have to write. I always have. Mostly I've kept it - not easy as so much is on paper. It's somehow reassuring to read about, say, 1982, even the crap times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I didn’t blog . I would always now keep a journal

      Delete
    2. I'm always glad to read whatever and whenever you write.

      I've never made a scotch egg, think I'll have to try. Yours have inspired me, John x

      Delete
    3. Dead simple recipe see above x

      Delete
  26. It’s not an empty room, we’re all here waiting when you want to talk.
    Do what you feel, take the time you need, look after yourself. Much love to you. Your Scotch eggs look amazing!

    Debbie in London

    ReplyDelete
  27. I have only worked in a hospice as a volunteer on the nursing station after I retired from teaching John. It is a strange job - half of me felt drained and half of me felt fulfilled. You are 'in the thick of it' and you wouldn't be human if you didn't feel like you are doing sometimes. Frankly I will read anything you write even if it is just a row of ******* Take care dear heart, take your time, do your own thing - we all love you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat, finally it takes an objective voice
      This resonated with me “ half of me felt drained and half of me felt fulfilled”
      You have hit the nail on the head, thank you
      I’ve never felt drained from work
      Even when I was a ward manager on spinal injuries
      The hospice does empty your reserves...without you knowing

      Delete
  28. Perhaps, just don't feel you have to make us laugh every time you blog. We can cope with you feeling sh***y - happens to us all!

    ReplyDelete
  29. It's not quite chattering in an empty room...more like having a private conversation with multiple friends at once? And if what you feel like is some private time, you can't be upbeat, or feel that there's nothing you want to say today, that's OK. x

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  30. I missed you John but you must Always put yourself first and as I've got older I remind myself that if I can't be arsed I must not be afraid to admit it even if it's only to myself x

    ReplyDelete
  31. The combination of night shifts, lock down and hospice are not an easy combination for anyone. A bit of scaling back is important for your own health and well being. Your scotch eggs look delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Barbara Anne12:42 am

    I was elated to see your new post and enjoyed reading it all. Isn't it amazing what a well loved food can do for your mood?
    Ta for not staying gone for long but do feel free to take breaks prn! For you non medical folks, that means "as needed".
    Take good care of you, enjoy your music, the lovely art that surrounds you at home, and the heartwarming anticipation of the art print of "Maga's Daugher" that is coming your way, thanks to the kindness of someone.

    Hugs!

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  33. Thank you for sharing . Great, giant hugs to you.
    No , don't let go just yet, I need a little more hug.

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  34. Alternating shift really messes with a person, eh John? Gawd I hated it.

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  35. It is great to catch up, missed you. The scotch egg looks wonderful, I should try making them again. Your conversation on art, was comforting at the right time.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Be Well, write when you feel like it. You are loved.
    Winter is coming and it is getting dark early now.
    gayle xx

    ReplyDelete
  37. Oh i did miss you and glad you shared some of your daily doings. You are always the first blog i go to in the morning and the last one i check at night. Yours is so completely human and relatable. i can only imagine the burden of the heavy job you do so well. So anytime, anything you want to write we'll be here.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I have tolaugh at the way you're "not blogging" but have written a snippet each day and published them. It's a part of you and you can't stop :)

    I agree, blogging is joy, not work. Approach it in whatever way works for you with a medicinal scotch egg on the side

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Writing about my day, I HAVE to do blog or no blog

      Delete
  39. John there is no need to blog everyday it's your blog to write whenever the mood or time strikes you I don't see to many blogs where people blog daily and I'm totally fine with that, I shall always look forward to reading yours it's like a letter from a friend that I care about. Put your feet up and relax, no pressure after a days work John.
    I love Andrew Wyeth as well and have his book The Helga pictures.
    Margo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Helga pictures are striking but it is the portrait of his wife I found the most haunting

      Delete
  40. I dunno, John. I think this is one of your best blogs ever.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Caretakers often get burned out, and it sounds like that has happened to you. Self care is not a bad thing. Take some moments for yourself. It sounds as if it is over due. Andrew Wyeth is also a big favorite of my own. I saw his Helga collection when it was in Washington DC. My favorite picture has always been 'Wind From the Sea'. I always feel as if I can almost hear the seagulls and taste the salt in the air.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was tired and bored which is a lethal combination as it breeds depression

      Delete
  42. Nice to read your snippets, even if you think they are not worthy of being posted. For me, it's a brief few moments of life outside of the US and the storm that continues to brew here. I quite like reading about your day. Hope you are feeling well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like Rachel’s blog for the same reasons, her chatter about the mundane I find strangely interesting

      Delete
  43. I really like this diary format of your blog John. It reminds me of Alan Bennett. I bet you are feeling emotionally drained. It is hard to be there for everyone else without leaving yourself behind. Hope you get time to catch up with you. x

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    Replies
    1. Going gently was always going to be a dairy narrative of village life, that’s why I wrote it in the first place

      Delete
  44. I only wish I were this interesting when I felt I had so little to share.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Some shifts at work drag you down. I am on light duties due to a frozen shoulder and am on a mon- fri, 8am -4pm shift and I'm more tired than ever. Ready for a holiday i think.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Anonymous9:46 am

    Missed you but totally understand your feelings, burn out and the onset of Winter can make a body feel drained and heavy. Take care of yourself, those scotch eggs look scrummy.

    ReplyDelete
  47. The occasional post that you're okay, even in just a few words, will help enormously to keep us reassured.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Dear John, It may feel like an empty room, but it so isn't. I'm sure we all miss you - you write so well and so evocatively. Be gentle with yourself - it's a rotten time of year. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The sun is out today and I’ve another scotch egg to look forward too x

      Delete
  49. Perhaps you can just set up some posts to publish at a later date whenever you are in the mood to write, and not feel too pressured to post as often or to answer comments, unless you are in the mood too.

    Although it's nice to converse with readers via the comments, those that know us well enough know we will answer if we can and just read their responses if we are busy.

    Make yourself a priority, making those scotch eggs was a genius move, and they look good too :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just me being a drama queen
      Just should have said nothing and just waited a day or two lol

      Delete
  50. You're still blogging, in a way -- you're just writing your posts, collecting them and putting them up later. Which is fine! Whatever blogging rhythm suits you!

    Those eggs are clearly from a Scotch pterodactyl.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Sending hugs John. It's hard right now.

    ReplyDelete

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