A good day for shredding

Saturday August 13, 2005

Summer decided to take the day off today, turning over to a chill, grey, rainy fit of the sulks. I can’t say I missed it too much, though I’m pleased the forecast is for a return to sunshine in a couple of days.

I had a head under the covers morning, following on and serving me right for my festive over-indulgence at dinner last night. I don’t think the champagne did it—it was only a half-bottle and I’ve been known to sink an awful lot more bubbly than that with no ill-effect at all.

No, I think it was the roast potatoes. Can’t resist roast potatoes. Went back to the pot for a second helping and then, when I was cleaning up, there were a couple left and it seemed too wasteful for words to throw them out.

What I should have done is to pop the blighter’s in a little plastic tub in the fridge and then, today, grated a bit of onion into them and mashed them up a little in a drop of mayonnaise. I really must get into the habit of planning for left-overs.

Anyway, I wasn’t too hungry at all today. Missed breakfast, lunched on three ripe, juicy plums, and dined on a plate of salad with a jacket potato and a slice of very lean pork. It was one of those pre-packed, pre-washed salads, came in a disposable plastic bowl—nice, but not like the real thing. Buying ready-made salad is is another habit I need to break. I have a ready supply of clean tupperware-style tubs and boxes and am quite capable of washing my own salad stuff to store ready for assembly later. And into a decent porcelain bowl, too, rather than the plastic nastiness I get from the supermarket.

Cooking for one is a constant challenge. An art form, even. I’m not very good at it because even though I have an armful of recipe books and quite a lot of experience, I lack one vital ingredient—the will to get up and do it. If I lived in a town I’d eat out mostly, and stock up at the deli on the way back home. Here in the country there are no decent eateries in a five or six mile radius, and the closest proper deli is fifteen miles away.

I shall make a bit more effort to overcome the clasic solo cook’s barrier. You know. The one that goes something like “it’s not worth cooking just for myself.”

Two significant pieces of mail came along today. First was an Inland Revenue form for Graham, quite a nice one, wanting to start off a new file so’s he doesn’t pay too much tax now that he’s rejoined the regular tax-paying masses. The other was a form letter from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA, otherwise known as the joke factory), closing the file on the little blue Ford. I had a pang, but a momentary one. I was tempted to go through the huge wad of paper that accumulated for the dear old car over the twelve years of our life together and add up all the money I’ve spent on it over the years. Silly. I don’t want to know, and if I did, it’d be a useless figure. I have a car for my personal freedom as well as convenience and there’s no sensible way of putting a price on that. The new car is cheaper to run, and very much more eco-friendly. Even so the paper, and the bills, will mount up as the years go by until, at the end of five or six years, I’m faced with the same old problem once more.

I solved it today by sitting down with the file and shredding everything except the initial receipt as proof of ownership, the receipt from the Boston dealer for the trade-in, and this last piece of paper from the DVLA. It was a good day for shredding.



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