Prudent and sensible lost.
The mechanic's bill arrived and it wasn't as bad as I'd feared and I went ahead and booked a weekend in a rainforest. I like being married. It means I get to organise birthday presents which involve great pleasure for myself.
I still want to write like Deborah Challinor. I lay awake at night plotting a West Coast historical drama, one with a strong and likeable female protagonist whose main aspect is not sexual gorgeousness. I feel like I'm swimming upstream a bit on this, even just thinking about it. Last time I wrote more than five pages, I was in Santa Marina de Valdeon, a tiny hamlet in the Picos de Europa in Spain. My obsession at the time was the marriage of my Irish great great grandparents in Canterbury in 1880. They lived in two quite separate parts of Canterbury, one in Lincoln and the other in Chertsey (which is near Ashburton). I was sure that the travelling Catholic priest had arranged their meeting and marriage and I wanted to tell that story. There is one surviving photo of them, or at least we think that is who the photo is of. He is older and kind of distinguished looking (albeit in a working class rugged style rather than aristocratic distinguished) and she is young, still in her teens, and with her (greasy) hair down rather than tied up. Was she at risk of marrying a Protestant? Or too far from home and been found drinking rather than praying? Had he asked the priest to find him a respectable Irish wife who would cook and clean for him? We know very little about their marriage, except for whispers, rare and quiet whispers, that she drank and was a scold. One of their sons refused to have alcohol in his house later on.
Back in reality land, fast food. I'm feeling rather jaded on the anti fast food judgementalism which pervades our media (none of which mind accepting the advertising buckaroos of fast food corporations). I eat 21 meals per week, which is 84 meals for my family which is about 336 meals per month. I really don't think it constitutes gross neglect or financial mismanagement if we buy something quick and fatty 3-4 times out of 336+ meals. When we lived in Auckland, in a fashonable suburb (double income no kids days), we sometimes bought souvlaki or felafel. I love them and find they are only a little more costly than fish and chips (certainly no more than McDonalds) and yet they contain a satisfying amount of vegetables and good quality protein. I'd like to see more souvlaki bars as an option for buying fast food which has more than one tiny shred of lettuce in it. Not more judgement on those evil OTHER people who buy and eat KFC.
Tonight's fast food at home:
4 groper flaps, chopped into pieces, marinated with the juice of one lemon and some finely choped ginger (for how long? Until I got the veges chopped)
savoy cabbage and leeks and a carrot, sliced finely.
Heat some olive oil and a nice big piece of butter in a frypan. Then add the veges. Then add the fish mixture. Put a lid on the mixture. Stir it quite often. Slosh a bit of soya sauce on it. Serve on the rice when the fish is cooked. The fish ends up steamed rather than fried. Tasted good. The short girl didn't like it. What's new? The rest of us liked it a lot, and we still love the short girl, even if she is a particularly infuriating type of eater.