Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Midweek musings

  • I love the sunshine for many reasons, but the biggest one is having the perfect excuse to buy pretty, short skirts - like the cream and blue patterned cotton skirt I bought from Top Shop recently. I also need to buy some of those incredibly comfortable but trendy Havaianas flip flops. M has a blue pair, bought by his sister's friend from Brazil, and I am very jealous. In fact, they remind me of the blue chapals you can buy for a few rupees in India and that you wear around the house. I should have stocked up in February.

  • No matter how tired we've been this week, M and I have been trying to set out for work a little earlier than usual for a couple of mornings just so we can stroll together in the morning sunshine, catching up with each other before we go our separate ways into work - he to Fleet Street, me to Oxford Street: walking through Fitrovia, through Covent Garden. We've both got some early meetings for the next two days but when we next get the chance we'd like to stroll through the quiet, leafy squares between Russell Square and the British Museum, and through Chinatown too. I can't think of a nicer way to start my day - well, I can, and we do, but... blush.

  • Beth at The Cassandra Pages recently celebrated 26 years of marriage. I asked her to post on what it took to grow a marriage to 26 years; another commenter asked her to post on what not to do in marriage. Beth quoted her grandmother's words of wisdom: "If you and he think you'll always be glad to see each other and have something to say to each other when you wake up in the morning, and don't go to bed angry with each other, you'll be OK." Whole books are written on the subject and yet here is the secret of all good relationships in a nutshell.

    On a related note, it annoys me when married people ask me how married life is treating me and then respond with "Oh, just you wait, it's all downhill from here". Some are jesting of course, but not all. So it was refreshing when I was sharing my irritation with a male colleague the other day. He's been married several years and he said marriage is the best thing he's ever done - despite the inevitable low points. He said that when people respond in a consistently negative way he wonders why the hell they got married in the first place. Or why they stay married.

  • Madrasi Chick wrote of her frustration at seeing this on the back cover of George Alagiah's book, where the BBC newscaster is described as "From an immigrant boy to an English man". The phrase wound me up too. As I commented on her blog, I resent the implication of 'progress' being made. I also dislike the implication that identity is linear and straightforward. Most people have many identities residing within them. My own parents, for example, were born and brought up in India, came to the UK as immigrants and in the 1980s became British for a variety of reasons. Today, they see themselves as Indian, as British, as immigrants, as settled British nationals (as parents, as spouses, as professionals, as middle class, as... etc etc).

  • This month's Good Food magazine has some lovely recipes for us to try this week: last night we made teriyaki beef and lettuce cups, tonight we're having pasta with parsley and hazelnut pesto, and tomorrow we'll most probably make the halloumi salad with orange and mint.

  • Tommy has bought an old Cranks vegetarian recipe book and has blogged a wonderful recipe for wholemeal cheese bread. I once owned this book and her posts on it took me right back to my teenage years as a vegetarian and then as a vegan. I often used to eat at Cranks in London - their branch off Carnaby Street had an amazing help yourself buffet counter with phenomenal sprouted bean salads, lentils, smelly cheeses and wholemeal baps. Masala Zone is there now. I was an ethical vegetarian back then and I wonder now if I would have needed to give up meat had there been the abundance of free-range, organic and "humanely" slaughtered meat there is today. I resumed eating meat because my uncle tempted me with Italian salami and bacon at a New Year party in New Delhi - but I think I was ready after 11 years to eat meat again.

  • I never have time to watch as much TV as I'd like, but I've been catching some Indian-related programmes on Replay: Anjum Anand's Indian Food Made Easy. I hate to compare, but it's difficult not to, but she's just a little bit more down-to-earth than Nigella Lawson. She wears an awful lot of makeup though. I want to see more of her family - especially her little girl. Sanjeev Bhaskar's trip through India. It's annoying when he makes comments such as how he experiences "a million exotic smells and colours" and how he finds it "unbelievably chaotic" but it's great seeing India behind the flacid commentary. And a documentary on the changes taking place in Calcutta. All part of the BBC's India & Pakistan 07 series. India should "turn 60" more often.

12 comments:

Mallika said...

The BBC would do well not to wait another 40 years before doing another India Pakistan season.

mumbaigirl said...

Happy belated birthday

childwoman said...

I wandered here from Broom's post....and I am blown away by your blog..so I just want to say...'Wow, who are you'!!??!! and you live an amazing and fulfilling life...reading your blog felt like one of the good day's I rarely have....and the soul warming books I read...

childwoman said...

I wandered here from Broom's post....and I am blown away by your blog..so I just want to say...'Wow, who are you'!!??!! and you live an amazing and fulfilling life...reading your blog felt like one of the good day's I rarely have....and the soul warming books I read...

Little Nutbrown Hare said...

Thank you for sharing your experience at Cranks! I was wondering where it was on Carnaby Street. Somehow I thought it was in the Leon area.

Planethalder said...

Mallika - I agree.

MumbaiGirl - Thanks!

Childwoman - I think alot of bloggers I read have busy and interesting lives but choose not to blog about it as much as I do.

My motto? Life is for living, especially when you live in a city as fun and full of opportunities as London. If you have a brain (and body!) you may as well feed it. I've always been like this, but being very ill with cancer a few years ago and not sure whether I would survive or not completely solidified my belief that you have to make the most of the life you have/are given.

Besides, I also have a husband who gets very bored, very quickly and needs to be doing things ;-)

Tommy - I can't wait to see more Cranks recipes on your blog!

childwoman said...

I am so sorry about the cancer bit. And I am glad you fought it....my mum's suffering from liver cancer, and she is hangin on.My life is stagnant, and I am trying to move it right now..with all the strength I have.

BONGO MIRROR said...

I've been with my sweetie for more than 20 years. My feelings about the marriage nay sayers are just the same as your male colleague's feelings.

I'd say that getting married was one of the smartest things I ever decided to to but it wasn't a decision I made alone. And, that's why it ended up being such a smart one.

Planethalder said...

Bongo Mirror - it is heartwarming to hear you say this, especially after more than 20 years of marriage!

Childwoman - I am so sorry to hear about your mother. It is not just hard for your mum but awfully hard for you too. Often when I was ill I felt stronger than my loved ones - bizarre really. Hang in there - you're going through a lot too...

Havaianas said...

You are 100% correct when it comes to havaianas ...

Silent One said...

So sorry to hear about your cancer and so glad that you have recovered. You are right about loved ones needing more support. I used to accompany my aunt here in the UK for her chemotherapy sessions and by the end of each session, I used to be so upset that she would comfort me !!!

Planethalder said...

Shop Flip Flops: Nice site to drool over.

Silent One: Thank you.