Day 151

Level 2 Chi Kung.

Jack is still saying that he is too ill to go to school, so I got an appointment for Nick to take him to the GP while I was off having my knee X-rayed. I had a slight snag getting to Lewisham Hospital for the X-ray. I had to wait 17 minutes for a bus, so I was pleased I had left home really early. Unfortunately I then fell asleep on the bus and woke up halfway to Elmer’s End – many many stops past Lewisham Hospital. I had to hop off and get a bus back in the other direction and, by the time I had found radiology, I was about 15 minutes late. The staff on reception were lovely, said not to worry, everyone was late on account of the terrible traffic, and I said ‘Yeah, the traffic is terrible and then of course it doesn’t help if you fall asleep on the bus and wake up half way to Elmer’s End.’ They both cracked up and the guy said ‘I come the other way and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been trying to get to work and ended up in bloody Blackheath!’. Had the X-rays – sadly they don’t give you the results, so I will have to wait a week or so until the results get back to the GP.

Stopped on the way home to make a start on the Christmas shopping and, all important, to buy the children’s Christmas jumpers. Had chosen the jumpers and a pair of PJs for Katie and queued for ages to pay, when I realised that I had obeyed the hospital’s instructions to leave all valuables at home and didn’t have my wallet. I left the bag of shopping behind the counter and whipped home (crucially remembering to get off the bus!) and returned with my wallet. Having picked up the trolley as well, I took the opportunity to stock up on fruit and veg at the market: lovely pears, plums, capsicums, broccoli, huge bag of carrots, a big bunch of coriander and the most beautiful aubergines. It reminded me of an interview on NZ TV years ago with a greengrocer who was trying to get people to buy a wider variety of vegetables. They had been stocking aubergines for a while but didn’t really know what to advise when customers asked how to cook them. But she had noticed that one regular customer came every week and carefully scrutinised the aubergines before selecting two to buy along with her other fruit and veg. Assuming that, since she bought them every week, the woman must have some wonderful aubergine recipes, she decided that the next time the woman came in, she would ask her how she cooked them. The woman, looking embarrassed, admitted that she didn’t actually eat the aubergines, she just left them looking beautiful in the fruit bowl until they shrivelled up and then threw them away!

Picked Katie up from school and decided to make her dreams come true. Yes, we made eclairs! Well, cream puffs, anyway. My previous attempt at choux pastry – Delia’s Smith’s giant parmesan puffs made for Kay Redmayne-Porter et al, before Jack was born – were an abject failure (totally flat), so it has taken me a long time to pluck up courage for another try. This time I stuck to the gospel according to Edmunds and they puffed up beautifully. We even piped the mixture onto the tray. Edmunds says ‘teaspoonfuls’ but Katie is fascinated with piping on account of it featuring so heavily on Great British Bake Off, so I thought I would make all her Christmasses come at once.

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