Home and Choice

IMG_06082015 has definitely been the year of home and choices. One evening after coming back from a camping holiday I chose to make a call to the what was then the owner of our new house.  It was a tentative early evening call, in response to an email my wife had sent me to check that the house was indeed still up for sale given that it was fixed price (an unusual state for the neighbourhood we wanted to move into).

Within 15 minutes my son, freshly swapped out of his pyjamas and I were knocking on the door.  I’d not been able to get hold of my wife as she was visiting an aunt at the hospital….she’d also forgotten her phone.  30 minutes later though I was outside on the street about to turn the corner when she drove by, she’d also made a chance choice to drive a different route home than normal and there we were both outside the street.

At that moment there was another choice to make, do we rudely chap on the door again, or do we come back later.  The couple had just sat down for their evening supper, the decision, the choice had been made though and they’d seen us walk down the path.  I’m not sure they believed our coincidence story of a chance meet on the street.  They didn’t mind they wanted to sell there house.

The move was set in motion, a call, a choice, a chance for a new home and a new agenda.

This was written as part of the day 3 writing 101 challenge

November 2015

 I commented recently on cravelife, how November for me is the calm before the storm and a month of comfort food.  Having sat down and thought about the month ahead, there is a lot going on and for me the storm started way back in May when we kicked off a house move.

I’ve learned that:

  • Everything they say about moving house is every bit as stressful as they say it is
  • Having the re-wiring done whilst living in the same building is just like moving house, except you don’t know where your stuff is
  • If you know where your stuff is, then it’s covered in dust

The things I’m looking forward to:

  • Finishing the decorating
  • Getting a couple of new carpets down
  • Closing the door on the workmen
  • Getting back to my cook books

Tick Tock Writing 101

The clock starts, I’ve been here before and I start to stumble. I stumble at the reasons why and then I wonder if I’ll stall a few days later. I keep coming back for more and I try again. I’m a persistent offender, a yo yo writer. Still I come back for more.

Blogging 101 is my friend, an implicit accessory to my crimes. I get all excited that I can do it this time, that I’ll go the distance, the habit will form and I’ll crack the hidden formula of what it takes to be a writer.

Maybe this time I’ve found the secret sauce that’s within me and that this time I’ve discovered that I need to define my own success.

I’m writing to track the progress of time, my journey with food, the family, the environment we live in. I write to beat the teachers who back in the day said I couldn’t and I write to prove the teachers who said I could that they were right.

The minutes are coming to a close and I’ve made it through today’s task. The minutes went by quickly and I’m excited, I’m back.

Santa Caterina Mercat

Santa Caterina

As I close my eyes and picture myself being transported, I can feel the tingle of excitement down my spine. I’ve been here before, part of a weeks vacation for a 40th birthday celebration.  The air is both full of the smell and the noise of a cosmopolitan city.  The sun is shining, it’s shorts and T-shirt weather.  As the familiar building comes into view, I’m struck by the architectural resemblance to the Scottish Parliament building back home.   I can see the doors are open and notice a sense of relief pass through me as I acknowledge I’ve not messed up on the strange european opening times.   

As I walk through doors the air gets noticeably cooler.  I’ve a tough decision to make do I turn left to marvel at the fruit and veg stands and partake in a fruit smoothie, do I continue through to the open fish counters or do I turn right and perch myself at one of the open eateries where taking part in the bar camaraderie is a way of life rather than a holiday luxury.  

I choose to sit at the bar, I order a small beer and a bowl of olives and pause for a moment.  Something isn’t right.  The moment needs to be shared, I’m not looking for nostalgia or longing here.  I close my eyes once more and this time when I open them I find my wife staring at me with a glass in hand, wondering where I’d been for a second.  I assured her that everything was just fine now.  The beer cold and refreshing and the olives sweet to the bite much better shared in company.  

To the task in hand, armed with our pigeon Spanish we set about gathering the ingredients for an evening meal.  We both look around marvelling at our good fortune to be able to explore and buy the ingredients for our evening meal.  The difficulty being what not to buy as the choice is so great.  In the end we settle on the ingredients for a Paella, the pull of the fish to great to ignore.  

Thanks to @writing101 for taking me back to Barcelona


I sit and write this choked up with what is promising to be a stinker of a cold. I have a cup of Lemsip by my side made up in my new heat sensitive pac man mug.  Even that isn’t cheering me up today!

Lemsip is a weird concoction of what I think of as powdered lemon and paracetamol.  I never know whether it really makes a difference or not.  After drinking, I can’t taste anything for a good hour or so afterwards.  Having now read the ingredients and wishing I hadn’t I find myself wondering if I’d be better eating an orange and just taking a paracetamol in order to ease the headache and speed up recovery.   At least that way  my taste buds will still be in operation.
In terms of making a difference it’s one of those weird catch 22 situations.  How would I feel if I hadn’t taken my cup of citric acid.  Would I feel the same or am I reaping the benefits as I type and take part in the @writing101 challenge.