Althea of Middelmost

Althea of Middelmost

groceryI get quite cross when I am at the checkout and I find my hard-worked-for goods are treated with disrespect. I wonder if instruction is ever given to the staff on the art of packing grocery bags. You don't put frozen peas and a packet of cat biscuits in the same bag because the cat biscuits will have picked up moisture by the time you get home and will be starting to go soggy. A packet of superwines shouldn't be bunged in with cans of baked beans or spaghetti – unless you are going to make a cheese cake.

electricityLast winter I had stopped at a Service Station to fill up. It wasn't one I normally stopped at and I got chatting to the middle aged gentleman behind the counter. The wagon was empty and was taking ages to fill, there were no other customers and the gentleman had quickly engaged me in conversation. We covered the weather and the last AB game and moved smartly into electricity prices.

silverbeetWhen I garden, I don't waste my time. Mother Nature has a way of making things as difficult as possible just to keep us on our toes and, over the years, I have developed a system that maximises return and reduces effort. In other words, I work very hard to be lazy!

cabbageOne of the key things at this time of the year is to not waste all of the hard work you have put into your vegetable garden. Having a Xmas holiday is not an option for me because of the enormous amount of produce I need to process in order to eat well for the next year.

student sleepingA student in front of me yawned, stretched backwards, gently refolded her arms and lay her head down. I didn't think my delivery was that boring and the others in the class seemed to be focussed. She was seated at the back so I left it. I was quite used to letting some students take a kip during Period One as most of them would have been up at 3am to put in a few hours asparagus picking (or similar) before school, but this wasn't one of those students.

jelly snakesI was at a friend's house chatting away over a cup of tea at the kitchen table. True to my friend, the table was laden with unplaced shopping, undone homework, uneaten Xmas treats and an unstored arrangement of flotsam and jetsam. As we gossiped away, one of her daughters appeared, snorkelled her way through the top of the table and surfaced with a partly eaten packet of jelly snake lollies.

"Can I have these, please?" the innocent sounding young lady begged.

"But you have already eaten half of the packet today!" my friend softly reasoned.

relaxTime ... how do you make time? Time is my New Year's Resolution. "Take time out to smell the roses" ... easier said than done. But done it's going to be and I started by recognising what I already do.  Every evening I pour myself a wine, I toast the day that's been and I congratulate myself on not murdering anyone during the previous twenty-four hours

resolutionTalking about my mother last article reminded me of something she always did at this time of the year. Without fail, at some stage on the 31st December, she would discard her apron and announce very loudly, "That's it! I am not going to wash another dish until next year!" Now, for a small child, this concept of time was incomprehensible and I would have horrifying visions of our house disappearing under a huge pile of dirty plates

natural beautyI was in at the Doctors flicking through the magazines as you do and I found myself reading an advertorial for a life-saving, youth-returning, new-to-the-market foundation type makeup. I paused and reflected. I am getting older and occasionally I catch a reflection of myself and think, "Who is that lady? Do I know her anymore?" I am changing. The texture of my skin ... the shape of my face ... lines are beginning to course across once flat spaces

chocolateWith Xmas just around the corner, chocolate (and many things related to chocolate) seem to be constantly in my face.

Poverty is a real trimmer and I know the times when I am not so poverty stricken because there will be purchased fruit in the fruit bowl and purchased biscuits in the pantry. I have always considered myself a 'chocoholic' but, after a substantially long period of 'poverty trimming', my personal view about chocolate has now been tempered.

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