Wobbles, WOW Wednesday, and Weekends

More time to cook at the weekend: Mediterranean roast veg and salmon, with buttered Pink Fir potatoes – delicious!

Hello, folks, how’s your week been? Did you all benefit from the extra hour last night?!

It’s been a busy week all round, and only got the time to breathe and write this afternoon/evening (Sunday). I’m in the third week of a new job, still finding my feet and feeling like the new girl, and this week has been hectic. Friday was the busiest by far, with staff off work ill or on leave and hardly any of us to man the ‘phones, which barely let up all afternoon! I was also feeling anxious about what hours I was scheduled to work this coming week as it’s half term here, and hadn’t been able to catch my line manager to organise. By the time I got home, I was really wound up and having a massive wobble, wondering if I’d bitten off more than I could chew, and whether I should just pack it in and accept that it’s too stressful for me. However, once I was in my pj’s and had relaxed, I felt a bit more positive about it all. Maybe it is too stressful for me and maybe I won’t last, but I can also have a more positive outlook, accept that I’m only 3 weeks into a new job, I can give it more time, and learn to ask for help! Wobbles don’t have to mean that your limbic brain is allowed free rein to bring you down completely: you can have that wobble and know that it’s probably based in fear or tiredness somewhere, and that it will pass shortly.

One thing I don’t often need help for is cooking, and I’m glad I had more time for it this weekend. I’m very grateful to come from a family where both my parents had a love of good food, were very creative in the kitchen, and taught us how to cook at an early age. They had both travelled, my dad in particular as he was in the Merchant Navy, and we ate truly international cuisine before it was usual here in the UK. I’ve had a spell of not eating well until recently, and it’s definitely affected my health negatively – you really are what you eat! However, I’m pulling myself out of it now, and am getting back to eating well more often (although the littlies are now demanding noodles in cups-style instant meals on the days I work!!). Jana Shirley runs a fab programme aimed at women, which guides and supports you to make permanent, healthy changes to your eating patterns and overall lifestyle, without it feeling like a slog, or like every other programme, well worth a look (link here).

You can’t see them all, but there are 5 veggies in the filling, sweet & regular spuds in the mash, and broccoli to finish – veggie heaven!

At this time of year, with clocks going back and the nights drawing in, we’re naturally drawn to comfort food, and larger quantities of stodge. However, as we’re getting less daylight, maybe now is the time for loads more veg to up our vitamin and mineral intake, and possibly act as a little buffer against the lowering of our moods that can happen during the darker, colder months. I’m sure you all know wrinkles for adding extra veg to your meals, and I don’t want to come across as bossy, but it’s so easy to do and well worth the extra peeling and chopping! I love seeing a plateful of riotous colour: the bright green of broccoli and kale, the rich, deep purple of red cabbage, sunny orange carrots, and zingy red tomatoes and peppers. Even when you’re at your worst, it feels like eating a rainbow, and you can almost feel the goodness zinging its way through your body!

Bright vegetables ready to roast, could just dive right in!

Our weekend at home has also consisted of furniture moving and dejunking on a large scale, as we’re having joiners in this week to install new fitted wardrobes. I’ve known what date they were coming for a while, but we’re still lastminute-dot-com in emptying the rooms for them to work!

Old wardrobes demolished, 24 years old and still quite sturdy really!
What an amazing brain she has!!
My daughter’s interpretation of some of my art work

As we cleared the first room, my daughter’s creative handiwork was revealed on the walls and old bookcase; in a way it’s a crime to get rid of and paint over it, but I took photos to remind us years down the line. She doesn’t hold back with her creativity, and I’m proud of that ability – need to take a leaf out of her book, I think!

Last, but definitely not least, WOW Wednesday had its second real life meeting this week, and it was so good to see some of the others whom I’ve not seen since March! We even had cake, as Lynda made a delicious date and ginger one to share with us all. WOW Wednesday has really been the making of me: it’s given me the confidence to start doing things I’d given up on due to good old comparisonitis, anxiety, and imposter syndrome. The amazing people who comprise WOW are worth their weight in gold, and have a fabulous range of experience and skills. It was lovely to have a gentleman this week in the shape of Angela’s husband Nigel, who’s a brilliant artist – check out his work on Instagram! It’s great to be part of such a diverse group of lovely people: we learn from one another, we accidentally network, share new resources and ideas, and show off each other’s achievements.

As we head towards the end of October, Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night are close but likely to be damp squibs compared to last year. We could moan about the loss of communal bonfires and parties, or we could create a special night or two in our own homes, and deliberately make it different, make it stand out for positive reasons. If you’ve never done it, you could have a go at pumpkin carving and stick some tea lights inside, or hollow one out for a food or floral display. Make some chocolate buns, and decorate with orange buttercream and chocolate sticks to represent a bonfire. Maybe you could find a creepy film and watch it with the lights off, curtains drawn, and loads of lighted candles to add to the spooky atmosphere! Whatever you do, enjoy the difference instead of yearning for what’s not happening – take some photos and tag me on Instagram to share, if you like!