I’ve started strongly on the culinary front this week, making my first recipe and my first soup. It's worth clarifying here (for the more pedantic among you) what I’m counting as a recipe: It's any meal where I have to check the recipe for instructions, ingredients quantities etc and something I don’t routinely make (although it may be something I’ve made before – this seemed a good excuse to indulge in some of my favourite meals that I don’t normally have a reason to put the extra effort in.)
Given it was my birthday, I made one of my favourite recipes from my Cornish heritage, some good old Cornish Pasties. Then, having some leftover filling of chopped onion and potato, and not wanting to waste it, I made a ‘What’s in the Fridge?’ soup – a mix of potato, onion, some old-and-going-soft broccoli and some spinach, boiled up in some veg stock with thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. While it looked like something Shrek would eat, it was actually pretty tasty!
Some of the key things I learnt about my colleagues: two of the older, retired board members met doing open university courses and are currently undertaking a module studying blues and jazz music, which seems to consist entirely of watching YouTube clips. Next term will likely be philosophy. Another member is going home for Christmas next week to work in a pâté factory (despite being vegetarian) – the pâté has to fulfill a number of ethical standards as the factory is the main supplier of pate to M&S in Scotland. It's amazing what interesting things you can learn about people when you get curious! The meeting was a great success in getting to know people past the transactional level of business and start to build more human relationships and I’m confident it will help the running of the charity in the long run.
On the exercise front, I have started a course of swing dancing for 7 weeks as one of my types of exercise to try – I’m amazed at how quickly I have learnt to put a few simple moves together and already feel like I’m actually ‘dancing.’ I need to improve on my ability to 'follow' (the men take the lead in swing dancing) rather than guessing what the guy will do next, or worse, trying to subtly (or not so subtly) lead him.
I have fulfilled my 30 minute walk for this week, cunningly combining it with an errand I had to run. While not a particularly inspiring walk, environment-wise, I did practice a new skill I have been learning to make the walk more interesting. I am currently doing an online Mindfulness course, which is all about focusing on the present moment, and not dwelling on past events or worrying about what will happen in the future. So, rather than letting my mind drift off to other things while I was bimbling along, I made a conscious effort to notice the world around me. Among other things, I saw a lady in a suit carrying a huge rake and a young man walking along wearing ski boots, with skis over his shoulder – the mind boggles as to where he was going to, in the most uncomfortably footwear known to mankind!
I also noticed this advert from Asda:
My tips for this week:
- Make the most of what you have around you – sometimes it might surprise you! (What’s in the Fridge?’ soup is a good example!)
- Make an effort to be more mindful and to live in the present moment – you never know what interesting things you’ll notice
- Get curious about someone that you work with or normally only talk to on a transactional level – you may learn something interesting about them, or discover a hidden talent!