Monday 7 March 2011

Cutting one's thumb.....doh

Sometimes in order to write my novel, there is a complicated process of prep: Prepared dinners is a must, wood for fires too, a tiny space on the kitchen table would be awesome (though I realise I'm probably pushing my luck with this one.....) Seems simple? Yeah right!

On Friday I broke off from writing to have a cooking day. This gets me ahead of the game for the following week and makes school pickup at 5:30pm so stress-free. I remember hearing Nigella Lawson calling 5pm - 7pm 'stress-o'clock.' It's not quite that, now that mine are older and can help set the table, but it's still better to concentrate on them rather than half-listening while cremating something.

On the menu for this cook-in was a vat of beef stew. Then a stockpot of spicy ragu sauce and then a tray of brownies and batches of chocolate chip cupcakes. Fab.

By 10:30am I had trays of cakes baking so I set about the stews and ragu, chopping tons of onions to gently sweat down. Unfortunately the tip of my thumb got in the way............ouch! It wasn't that big a slice but it sure did bleed.

I duly strapped myself up and carried on, but the red stuff just wouldn't abate. It didn't hurt but it was slightly concerning to see the leakage. Thames Water would have been proud. At mid-day, the post woman passed me my letters over the top half of the stable door to the kitchen. She looked a bit queasy and strongly suggested I pop down to the doctor...... just a bit of blood, I was busy cookin'! It was very inconvenient.

After changing the bandages for the third time I phoned the surgery.

'Hi, can you tell me how to stop some bleeding; I've cut a little bit of my thumb off........' I could tell the nurse wasn't that impressed with my stuff-and-nonsense attitude.

'Come down please. We need to dress the wound.' It wasn't a request, more like an order.

Eventually I bought some time; pleading a cake in the oven.... Yeah, that ol'chestnut!

I'm all patched up now but gardening, cooking and bathing are all a bit challenging, all conducted wearing a white latex surgical glove held high above my head, away from any watery substances. Very Michael Jacksonesque without the diamante! (Fortunately it is Monday today and I'm back to my less dangerous activity, writing......phew!)

The other prep required for writing is continuous warmth. Sadly over the weekend it was clear, hurty thumb or not, that we'd run out of wood at Chez Larches. So after fresh boiled eggs and local slabs of bacon  for Sunday breakfast (heart attack here I come,) hubby marched us all down the fields to the little copse. We were to search out fallen trees and gather seasoned wood. There was a lot. I quite like this job actually, you feel quite proud having foraged for firewood, especially when a similar load of delivered wood is about £75. Having gathered it all in a pile nearest the little village road that acts as a boundary on one side of the fields, we chucked it over the hedge to hubby who stacked it in Dizzy and drove it home. Brilliant plan Batman!

It is a fact that without wood I cannot write, as there is no way on this planet that we can afford to put on the oil heating in this house, just so I can sit in one room aspiring to be ..... well, me (but published.)

Last night was bitterly cold and this morning there was a hefty frost, I was glad of the small paraffin heater in the greenhouse keeping seedlings of artichoke, kale, nasturtian, cabbage and orange geum safe, and that's to name but a few she boasted. I am definitely going bonkers as I pop into the greenhouse each morning to ask the new arrivals 'Hello, how are you all today?'

Today has been stunningly warm, melting away all signs of frost, although I understand that it will be back tonight. I'm rather hopeful that soon I won't need to light the fire to write...... I may even need to open the odd window! Here's hoping.


  1. I think there is a special atmosphere that a fire can generate that inspires creativity. Writing by the heat of base board heaters just doesn't cut it.
    s and chickens too. They are the only ones that listen in our household.

  2. Ouch! Cooking liek looking after babies is a very dangerous past time! Hope you keep lovely and warm....and writing!

  3. Sorry to hear about your thumb! sounds like a productive day, however. Your beef stew is the stuff of legend! I'm still wanting the recipe.


The Archers at The Larches

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Snowy and Moon

Snowy and Moon