Jaqui's Daily Blog

Recycling, Daily Surprises and a Flavoursome Meal

The blue-lidded recycling bin is still standing, straight and tall, lid crammed down on its contents of empty milk cartons, wine bottles, margarine tubs and old newspapers, exactly where I left it. Its companion in crime, the general rubbish wheelie bin, has already been emptied and has been left, stranded half way between our house and the one next door.

I look along the road and notice that most of my neighbours have not left their recycling bins out for collection. Only Alan across the road has both bins out and I suspect this is because he has copied me. I think I have mixed up my dates again. I wheel the recycling bin back to its spot outside the garage and wonder what I will do with another whole week of recyclables.

Indoors, I leaf through the 2015 diary in search of the leaflet helpfully delivered by the Council last month. "Don't throw away!" is the admonition written on the front. Well, at least I haven't done that, I congratulate myself. Mr B lifts an eye-brow and I confess I seem to have got it wrong, yet again. I do, however, point out in my defence that it is better to put the bin out on the wrong day, than to forget to put it out on the right day. I am sure you agree.

Mr B has been watching a cookery programme on TV and has decided that we need to cook a particular dish for our dinner. I need to buy lamb. And celery. And red wine. He has not taken note of how long this delicacy should be cooked and at what oven temperature but, as he says, we can surely wing that? I wish I had seen the programme myself, rather than having to rely on Mr B's powers of recollection. I promise to buy the ingredients on my way back from choir.

Over coffee, after we have sung our little hearts out for an hour and a quarter, I tell my friends about my Latest Mission. What if the dish I serve up turns out to be a disappointment? Everyone sympathises. Ann tells me how her fruit scones always turn out as flat and crunchy as biscuits. We all share stories about Dishes We Have Cooked Which Didn't Turn Out The Way Nigella's Did. Our choir conductor, the Redoubtable Muriel, says all this talk about fruit scones is making her feel hungry and heads off to order a couple before they all go. It would never do if Ann had to cook some more and they all turned out as flat as biscuits. I superstitiously pat my pocket in which resides the fruit scone I have already purchased for Mr B's delectation.

"I have a surprise for you!" I will announce as I open the front door. I bring him a surprise home most days. A packet of Puffed Wheat. Four Braeburn apples. The local paper. Occasionally he appears a trifle underwhelmed but I'm sure that's just because I haven't given him sufficient time to rearrange his features into a look of happy surprise.

The butcher doesn't have the exact cut of meat which Mr B has specified but he is willing to butcher a carcass for me. I nod weakly, even though I know that watching him with his knife and cleaver will make me want to turn vegetarian. The meat also costs a lot more than I had expected but I can't turn it down, not after my helpful butcher has gone to so much trouble for me.

Mr B thinks I have done well. What is more, he is going to oversee the cooking so I can't go wrong. He handles the important parts of preparation as in cutting up the meat. I peel vegetables. It reminds me of the early days of our marriage when we were decorating and I was only ever allowed to paint the skirting boards on the basis that nobody would be likely to get down on hands and knees to inspect the finish.

I am sure you want to know how it all turns out. Well, let me tell you, the meal is excellent, the meat flavoursome. You can tell, can't you, that we watch Masterchef Australia where "flavoursome" is just about the greatest compliment which can be paid a dish.

It has been a successful day all round. I have maintained my habit of producing daily surprises for Mr B. I have helped to keep our local butcher in business. We have eaten well. What's that you say? What about the recycling bin?

Well, there's always next week...

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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