Thursday, 8 March 2007

in need of comfort

I've been off work for almost two weeks now. I've developed SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction), a condition in which my pelvic joints have separated. Things I used to do without a thought, like climbing up the stairs, walking and getting dressed, are now terribly painful. I was fitted with a support belt yesterday, an ugly thick band with three Velcro straps that sting my skin so I have to wear it over my clothes. This morning it took me forty minutes to walk a mile to the doctors' surgery for a checkup, and even longer to get back. I could only stare enviously at the old man walking sprightly just in front of me. Ah well. As my friend Kate said, 'Roll on, May!' I just can't wait until Bump comes out and the pressure on my poor old hips eases off.

Anyway, I've had a few things to give me some comfort over the past few weeks. Sadly, I haven't been able to bake anything as I can't stand for more than a few minutes at a time. I managed to cook a decent beef sinigang (tamarind soup) the other night, which Simon and Lucas thoroughly enjoyed. ('This is my favourite dinner!' Lucas said to us. I should let my mother know that, as it would make her heart swell to know that her 'Western' grandson appreciates his Filipino roots.) That's about it in the cooking department though. I can't wait until I'm well enough to spend a long time in the kitchen. I've amassed a lot of really nice recipes from the Internet and the magazines I bought to keep me company.

But I digress. Here's my list of comfort stuff:

1. Comfort food

Yummy chocolates. Yesterday on the way back from my physiotherapy appointment, I went to our local M&S and bought teacakes (the things covered in purple foil in the picture). They are absolutely delicious, these M&S teacakes. I've always been fond of teacakes. In the Philippines, there's only one chocolate manufacturer that makes them, and we don't call them teacakes. They are known by a less fancy name—chocomallows. I can't remember not ever liking these chocolates, and when I learned to make my own chocolates, they were among the first ones I made. They became a big hit among my customers too.

I also bought two types of Cadbury Dairy Milk Melts. I haven't tried them yet, but they look promising. When Simon came home last night, he gave me a bar of Green & Black's Maya Gold, and it was divine. Speaking of 'divine', Simon and I have a certain fondness for Divine chocolates as well. Mine is due to the fact that it's a fair trade brand, and Simon's is because their dark chocolate is very nice. I bought bags of their chocolate coins for Christmas, which were quickly gobbled up by my two boys.

I also bought and ate a big pack of Tyrrell's potato chips yesterday. I must say these are the best potato chips I have ever tasted! I first heard of Tyrrell's when its owner, Will Chase, raised a ruckus after Tesco's started selling his chips without asking his permission. He asked them to stop selling his products at once, and Tesco's had no choice but to comply. I immediately took a liking to him and his regard for the high quality and good reputation of his chips. He certainly has every right to be a snob about his products. These chips are so heavenly and addictive (and surprisingly, not that much more expensive than the more popular brands) I managed to eat a whole bag in three sessions.

2. Comfort reading

Good books always make good company. Need I say more?

Four from the library

And from my own collection, two books by two of my favourite artists

3. Comfort crochet

This is Zen, my blissful amineko, just waiting for his arms and tail to be attached

and his faceless, unnamed brother, with a duck friend (also faceless and nameless) and a pack of M&S shortbread fingers, which make a great midnight snack.

4. Comfort music

Simon gave me a micro hi-fi system for Christmas, which he installed in the spare room where I've been spending most of my time these days. I've been playing Vivaldi (for Bump), Cocteau Twins (because even after all these years, I still love them), Antony and the Johnsons, and 10,000 Maniacs (another old favourite, Natalie Merchant being one of the people I admire most in the whole world).

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