Tuesday, 14 May 2013


Quotidian: Adjective
Of or occurring every day; daily.
Ordinary or everyday, esp. when mundane.

I LOVE words: especially, it would appear, words beginning with 'Q'. They are, as you can see, especially helpful when the urge to pudd-pudd across the iPad overtakes me when I have nothing remarkable to say.

M U N D A N E What a lovely word, almost onomatopoeic, it rolls off the tongue, it threatens to put you to sleep it sounds so beautifully, ecstatically O R D I N A R Y.

Yesterday was mundane. I tweeted on Sunday that it is more exciting to decide who you are going to be, than to decide what you're going to do. I like that thought. Let's ALL have a 'to be' list! On Monday I decided to be charitable, smiling and gracious. If you think I AM these things, you need to live with me for a while, then you would discover I AM indeed, but only sometimes... .


A tiny alarm beeps on my iPhone reminding me to take my tablets. I am already awake, listening to KUOW Seattle. I do this to help my blood pressure. Twenty years of arguing with the 'Today ' programme on Radio 4, did not do my blood pressure any good. You never have to yell at KUOW Seattle. Justine Willis-Tomms with her gentle, honeyed voice is interviewing a woman on being a woman and forgiving everyone. What's to yell at? See? Try it.

I have already decided which emails to read, (None.)what to Tweet, (Nothing. I may have overdone it on Sunday. Sorry, Followers.) and what to wear.(Kate's left-over aubergine jeans, a toning check shirt bought in a charity shop in Stroud for £2, over a white long-sleeved T-shirt on account of the weather.)

Bath. Search for Bus Pass, Spectacles, Keys, ( now missing for four days), Shoes. Pack smart Salvation Army tabard. Ready, unusually, to leave the house at time agreed. Driven to Gloucester. Check in at the Salvation Army.


Today is a good day to decide to be charitable, smiling and gracious because I am helping the Salvation Army serve lunches to the street community. Pie, mash and peas.

I tell you, I LOVE this work. I have been helping out for two years now, and the women I work with are beautiful, kindly, earthy, fantastic, saints. I play at being what they are, and they don't see it. That's part of the joy of being with them, they are giants upon the earth, and they don't know it.

So, Kathy. Jeanette, Sandra, Lynn and Major Iris, I take my hat off to you. You give without stinting, and I'm not talking about food. You make me laugh, and cry, you wrap me up in the warmth of your love, and I leave you feeling blessed.


Doors open and our people come in. I serve the tea, which is where the smiling comes in particularly handy.

My earlier optimism on Bob's bed proves to be unfounded. He hasn't got one.

'Bob, I CAN'T send the forms in unless you make your outgoings a LOT more than your benefits.'

Bob needs his benefits. He has Huntington's disease, he is going to die slowly and horribly and he needs a bed. His outgoings are inflated by the painkillers he buys to cope. We both know we can NOT put this on the form.

I HAVE to sort this out before I go on holiday next Sunday, for six weeks. I'm thinking of making a home visit.

Andrew gives me the thumbs-up. The weather has been warmer so his arthritis is improved. He is a retired librarian and an accomplished linguist. I hope he hasn't remembered that he taught me how to say , 'Hello, how are you? ' In ... Can't even remember which of the Slav languages ... .

Patricia's looking poorly.

Pauline won't catch my eye. She hasn't spoken to me since I asked her if she had anywhere where she could take a shower before going for an interview... . Months ago. I have been advised this tack, whilst well-meaning, was a mistake. I see it was. I was only Trying To Help.

John is helping me with the teas. We have a new urn, which presents some problems. The drip tray falls off, we run out of hot water, we discuss his future. Yes, I think he should train to be a minister. Baptist is as good as any denomination, as far as I know, practically the only one I haven't joined and left. Neither of us believe in hell. Would this pose a problem for Baptists? I have a horrible feeling it will.

Another John, an addict, looks better than the last time I saw him, but that's not saying much. Nobody speaks about Flash any more. He's been dead a month. Memories are mercifully short on the streets.

Many of our people are Eastern Europeans. They are so grateful, so polite. We notice four new people today, and make them especially welcome.

So do the regulars. New people are told where food can be found, most days, where vouchers for the food bank can be had, advised to go and ask the Major for a clothing voucher, when the doctor holds a clinic at the Day Centre...


Clear up. Off then to catch the 1327 bus to Newent and home.

I feel like the queen. Not because of my regal bearing, but because I'm not carrying any money. No paper money, anyway, and I need to buy onions. I have decided to make French Onion With Oxtail Soup. The oxtail is defrosting, and I know I have no onions.

There's Gail, coming out of the chemist's shop. She crosses the High Street to meet me, and we discuss the War Over The Flowers. I'm not going to write about this in detail, it's one of those 'I did, then she did, and he did, and we're all at loggerheads,' things, that is now, thankfully, resolved. I hug Gail and pop into the green grocer's shop for onions.

98p a kilo. Good grief. What does a kilo look like? I reckon an onion weighs about four ounces. Already my brain is shutting down. 'Maths! Maths!' It shouts at me, 'Run!' But I persevere... Four ounces is about one hundred grammes, so that would be ten onions to a kilo... I look down at the handful of change I have and calculate... Four onions. Biggish ones...

Yes!!! Four biggish onions come in at 78p. I have 96p, so I'm well in.


The afternoon and evening are spent propped up in front of the TV, and making soup, and cyber-loafing. A word I heard for the first time yesterday, and determined to use at least once! CYBER LOAFING. I said, 'At least... !'

The soup recipe I snitched from a pub called The Lazy Trout, Meerbrook, in Staffordshire. It's SO delicious that the chef who invented it deserves a plug. It's worth going to Staffordshire just for that soup. Or come here - I'll make it for you!

That's ALL I did.

Which is just as well, because this blog entry is already way too long. I will spare you the recipe for the soup. Sometimes I just can't help myself, and recipes pop up in the unlikeliest places, but not today.



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