Feelings..nothing more than feelings

My five sentence fiction story this week was’nt really fiction…it was fact.

And the girl in the story was me….I am the person who has spent the last few weeks in a downpour of emotions…the good, the bad and the ugly. To read this short piece, click here.

Yet I would not have it any other way!!

Being so consumed with feelings of sadness, joy, anger, disappointment, elation, optimism and fatigue…sometimes all at once…has made the task of focusing on anything, let along writing…a challenge.

Even as I type this I am less than certain that these words actually do justice to how I am truly feeling!!

But of one thing I am certainthe feelings that have consumed me of late are part and parcel of any given day.and because of them I feel alive, in the moment, the here and now…and that is something wonderful.

It has also prompted thought as to the motto I will live by in 2013….The phase I have stuck to throughout 2012 ‘Expect the Unexpected’ has a nearing expiry date.

It has served me well….taught be so much, revealed new truths about life, love, work and relationships.

It has set the foundations for new year ahead, and two quotes come to mind, both are strong contenders for motto of the year 2013

‘Fortune favours the brave’  Latin Proverb

OR

‘Whatever you do, or dream you can do, begin it- boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now’  Goethe

I have just under five weeks to make a decision about the words that I will live by in 2013.

Dear readers, which would you choose? What words will you use to shape the new year? With only 5 weeks left of 2012, it seems the perfect time to ask, put it out there and be bold!!

Five Sentence Fiction : Feast

As the sun heralded in a new day, cloaking the bedroom in orange light, she awoke from a dream.

The dream had placed her at the head of a long table, set up for an elaborate feast….there was enough food for 20 people, yet the only one knife, fork and dinner plate had been set.

All the food was labelled, there were ‘ disappointment’ cupcakes, ‘sorrow’ soufflé, ‘ anger and  jealousy’  assorted sandwiches ( with the crusts removed) and‘ grief and longing’ quiche lorraine.

Whilst the food labelling had made her hesitant, she had been ravenous which resulted in her gorging herself on dish after dish….stopping only when she could eat no more and her body was overcome with a heaviness that she had the insight to put down to the consumption of too many emotions.

Feeling sick to the core, as she got up to leave, a waiter appeared unannounced and presented her with a much needed glass of water labelled ‘restorative juice’ which once consumed set everything right.

What is Five Sentence Fiction??

Five Sentence Fiction is hosted by the lovely Lillie McFerrin…her blog inspires the creative writer in all of us!

http://lilliemcferrin.com/

In Lillies words….What it’s all about: Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.

Satay Beef with Bean sprouts, Green Beans, Coriander and Lime

If you are onto a good thing…stick with it! Low Carb, low sugar…no worries! Cooking with these two things in mind can be simple, cost effective and very, very tasty!

And so I present Satay Beef with Bean sprouts, Green Beans, Coriander and Lime.

Yes, the same base that was used in my Yogurt Chicken Curry recipe, but this time the bean spout mix plays second fiddle to a delightful sweet coconut and peanut sauce, slices of tender beef and garlic, onion and chilli.

Before you tackle this simple recipe…a disclosure

Disclosure: I am the first to admit that I don’t cook to recipes….I cook by sight, taste, smell etc…and the roll call of ingredients and there quantities probably best suit people who cook in a similar way, those who are happy to use my recipe as guide, a choose your own adventure approach to making this Satay Beef dish….You decided how much /or how little you use of each ingredients….cook on your terms!!All that can be guaranteed is that you will end up with a SUPER tasty meal to be enjoyed and savoured

Ingredients- Serves 4

500 grams of beef ( I brought beef cut into stir fry strips…cheats prosper!!)

Olive oil

1 onion, halved and then chopped into slices

3 gloves garlic

1 small red chilli, finely chopped

1 small can coconut cream (165mil)

2 heaped tablespoons Peanut Butter (I use 100% Natural Sanitarium Peanut Butter)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

Optional – 1 or 2 tablespoons of water to create sauce consistency if needed

Salt and pepper to taste

Rice OR

Bean Sprout, Green Bean, Coriander and Lime juice- Serves 2

4 Handfuls of bean sprouts

10 Green beans, roughly chopped

Coriander

Lime juice

Salt/Pepper to taste

Cooking Method

Slice onion, use a garlic crusher and crush garlic cloves.

Finely chop red chilli.

Place olive oil into fry pan and turn on the heat. Place onion, garlic and chilli into pan and cook until onions are soft.

Add beef to fry pan. Cook beef with onion, garlic and chilli mix (should take about 10 minutes)

When beef is cooked, add coconut cream and peanut butter. Stir through chicken mix. Add water if needed be to create smooth sauce consistency( 2 tablespoons should be plenty)

Simmer for 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and add the juice of ½ a lime. Stir lime juice through the satay

Serve with Rice OR

Bean Sprout, Green Bean, Coriander and lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Divide mixture into two bowls.

Eat and Enjoy!

This dish is heavenly, slightly addictive and a guaranteed crowd pleasers…even if you happen to be cooking for one!!

Morning Song : When Love Takes Over

Is it asking too much to insert song lyrics into a blog post and expect people to read it??!!

Well, hold onto your hats, for the 200th post in the Catch up with a Mate series, that is what I am doing.

I awoke this morning, and true to form, I walked over to my cd player and pressed play….expecting the soulful tune of Ms K.D Lang to herald in the morning. For seasoned readers, you will be aware that Ms Lang’s music has been played on high rotation in my home for the last 9 days.

K.D Lang Post to bring you up to speed

But not today…the tune that filled my tiny bed sit was David Guetta feat. Kelly Rowlands ‘ When Love Take Over’

And I just had to dance…right there and then at 6.23am, in my pyjama’s and bed hair….for I just LOVE this song!!

I connect to it…It makes me feel good….it forces me to be in the moment and be thankful for all that is good in this world.

Above all it speaks of love…and of late…that is all I want to hear about!!

It’s complicated, it always is, that’s just the way it goes
Feels like I’ve waited so long for this, I wonder if it shows?
Head under water now I can breath, it never felt so good.
‘Cause I can feel it coming over me I wouldn’t stop it if I could

When love takes over, yeah
You know you can’t deny
When love takes over, yeah
Cause something’s here tonight

Give me a reason I gotta know, do you feel it too ?
Can’t you see me here on overload, and this time I blame you…
Ohhh… Looking out for U to hold my hand, it feels like I could fall
Now love me right like I know you can, we could loose it all

 When love takes over, yeah
You know you can’t deny
When love takes over, yeah
Cause something’s here tonight

If only everyday could start with a song and dance..to welcome in a new day, new beginnings, new possibilities and opportunites to surround yourself with things you love.

If you could start each day to song, which would you choose and why??

I would just LOVE to know.

Five Sentence Fiction : Business

Word Prompt: Business

All she had done was ask a simple question ‘ How was your day at school?’

‘Its none of your business!’ came the response, a bedroom door was slammed and just like that her daughter was lost to her for the evening.

The shift in age from twelve to thirteen had heralded a change in behaviour….unexplained angst, frustration , tears and tantrums…Why had she naively thought that her child would not bestow upon the family unit the same tumultuous teenage behaviour she had gifted her own parents all those years ago?

She smiled and poured herself a second cup of ‘ Tranquility’ herbal tea.

In seven years, seven long years, the word ‘ teen’ would no longer be associated with her daughter’s age, she would be 20…Between now and then she doubted that ‘ Tranquility’ herbal tea was going to cut it…Her new drink of choice would have to be vodka!

Yogurt Chicken Curry with Bean Sprouts, Green Beans, Coriander and Lemon juice

This recipe( the Yogurt Chicken Curry part anyway) was bestowed upon me by a girl I had the honour of working with as a 23-year-old in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Sharanjit and I spent 6 months in 2002 working in a pub on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh called Deacon Broadies. We worked many shifts together, pouring endless pints of cider and serving haggis to the intoxicated.

I don’t know recall why the recipe for Yogurt Chicken Curry came to be in my possession…but as I was not a fan of haggis, I was certainly glad to inherit it!!

It came to me in spoken word form…and remained forever in my memory.

And 10 years later, I continue to cook Yogurt Chicken Curry…. It left a lasting impression, its simplicity,  flavour and  colour made it impossible to forget.

And it is fitting to include the recipe in my blog…for the dish is compliant with a low carb/low sugar approach to living. Instead of using rice, as a replacement the curry can be served on a bed of bean sprouts, green beans, coriander and lemon juice.

You are welcome to follow my lead, or use rice ( but I must say my bean sprout mix was super tasty and complimented the curry perfectly)

Yogurt Chicken Curry

Disclosure: I am the first to admit that I don’t cook to recipes….I cook by sight, taste, smell etc…and the roll call of ingredients and there quantities probably best suit people who cook in a similar way, those who are happy to use my recipe as guide, a choose your own adventure approach to making Yogurt Chicken Curry….You decided how much /or how little you use of each ingredients….cook on your terms!!All that can be guaranteed is that you will end up with a SUPER tasty meal to be enjoyed and savoured

Ingredients below will serve 2 adults

1 Chicken Breast

Olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon fresh ginger

1 brown onion, finely chopped

1 small red chilli, finely chopped

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

Handful of coriander, chopped

4 tablespoons of natural yogurt

Lemon juice

Water

Rice OR

Bean Sprout, Green Bean, Coriander and lemon juice

4 handfuls of Bean Sprouts

10 Green beans, roughly chopped

Coriander

Lemon Juice

Salt/Pepper to taste

Cooking Method

Chop onion, use a garlic crusher and crush garlic cloves. I also use garlic crusher to mince the ginger ( once I have prepared ginger by removing the skin and cutting into small pieces)

Finely chop red chilli.

Place olive oil into fry pan and turn on the heat. Place onion, garlic, ginger and chilli into pan and cook until onions are soft. Add teaspoon of cumin and turmeric. With a wooden spoon, combine spices with other ingredients.

Chop chicken into bite size pieces. Add to fry pan. Cook chicken with onion and spice mix( should take about 10 minutes)

When chicken is cooked, add 4 tablespoons of natural yogurt to fry pan. Stir through chicken mix. Add water if needed be to create smooth sauce consistency( 2 tablespoons should be plenty)

Simmer for 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and add the juice of ½ a lemon to the curry as well as some chopped coriander. Stir both ingredients through the curry.

Serve with Rice OR

Bean Sprout, Green Bean, Coriander and lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Divide mixture into two bowls.

Enjoy…let the sights, smell, texture and taste of a dish guaranteed to transport you somewhere special…for me, each time I eat this dish, I am back in Edinburgh Scotland!!

Who knows were it will take you!!

Ode to K.D Lang

Friendship Fire starter: something that promotes friendship, encourages a catch up or strengthens a bond between two or more people.

Dedicated to my childhood friend, Cameron…a true global citizen xx

Canadian singer, K.D Lang released her album ‘ Ingénue’ in 1992.

In 2002, I found myself sleeping on the floor of a mouse infested bed-sit in Soho, London. My childhood friend Cameron, had thrown caution to the wind, and relocated to the UK.

He had arrived with a small back pack and big, big dreams. Coupled with unwavering self belief and determination, the world was his for the taking…London was just the beginning.

Yet something was missing and I identified this as being the music of K.D Lang…

So I brought this cd for my friend and all the stars aligned.

Fast forward to 2012.…and on the weekend I found myself in another charity shop. I find a divine black top, and hold onto my treasure as I walk to the back of the store…to the music section. More dust-covered cd’s that apparently nobody wants…..except me.

And there she is Ms Lang‘s ‘ Ingénue‘….waiting for me….

20 years after the albums first  release

10 years after the music was the soundtrack to my childhood friends life changing move to London town….

Finally, in 2012, I am ready to listen

As I drive home from the shopping expedition, I play the cd…and am moved to tears

Beautiful music, songs of love, longing, desire and heart-break.

All the important stuff, the only things that matter

And I am hooked….addicted…the songs have been played on high rotation ever since….nothing else makes sense to me at the moment except K.D Lang and her lyrics

The song that has stolen my heart?

Still Thrives this Love

Why?

Because only recently have I come to realise that despite everything I have been through, the ups and downs, the speed bumps, wrong turns, flat tires and train wrecks….Love remains a constant in my life.

For many years I had denied loves importance, ignored it, feared it, banished it from the landscape of my life.

But it never truly left my side, it was always there…I just didn’t realise it

But as the saying goes, that was then…this is now

Still thrives this love

It propels me forward, and with each considered step I know I am heading in the right direction.

Five Sentence Fiction: Character

What is Five Sentence Fiction all about?

Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.

Five Sentence Fiction : Blog host-Lillie McFerrin

 

Word Prompt: Character

It has been over 15 years since she had left school, yet her mind often wondered back to the glory days of her English literature class, circa 1996.

The teacher, Mr McGovern, had been wonderful,  and the books, authors and poets he had introduced to the class had left a lasting impression on her, shaped her into the woman she was today.

She had developed a love of poetry thanks to  John Keats and had been challenged in the classroom to have an opionion and to share it, use her voice ( which quiet frankly at the time had scared her senseless!)

But above all she remembered a line from the novel ‘ School for Scandal‘ by Richard Brinsley Sheridan‘ There are a set of malicious , prating, prudent gossips, both male and female, who murder characters to kill time’

This quote had remained at the forefront of her consciousness, it served as a constant reminder of the power of words, the written, the said, and of her life choice to only them for social good.

The Psychology of being TRAPPED!!

My mind wonders….this time last week, as I left the office after another day of administration something out of the ordinary happened.

The lift that was to release me back into the outside world got stuck.

I was trapped, with 8 other women in a metal box, dimensions 2m x 3m x 3m.

It was hot, uncomfortable, unpleasant and stressful.

But most of all …from my point of view….it wasn’t fair!!

It was Friday, and my free time was slowly being taken from me…each minute I was stuck I was painfully aware that after work drinks had started without me.

The psychology of being trapped is so interesting…as soon as I became aware that we were indeed stuck….I took in my surrounds…who I was with and started to observe their responses.

Some women were quiet, breathing slowly, not saying a word (their faces implying this is NOT a situation they were comfortable with), others began to talk, positive stuff, trying to lighten the mood, a natural leader emerged, a women who would speak to emergency crew who would eventually free us.

Yes, it was interesting being stuck in a metal box, dimensions 2m x 3m x 3m.

My reaction was of someone annoyed…I had better things to do with my time…this was not how I planned my Friday night…I wanted my freedom!! When the emergency crew advised that it could take up to 40 minutes to free us…well, quite frankly, that was not good enough…15 minutes waiting time was too long in my opinion.

I also wanted to know where exactly we were in relation to the ground…I did not like the idea of being suspended in mid-air! But we never received confirmation of exactly where we were…all we knew was that we were ‘somewhere’ between level one and the basement of the lift shaft.

And at the same time, though I kept this to myself( it just wasn’t appropriate to share!!) over and over in my head the Aerosmith song ‘ Love in an Elevator’ swirled

An hour in a metal box, dimensions 2m x 3m x 3m, is a very, very long time…especially if you share this space with 8 other women.

So when we were eventually freed, and set foot onto solid ground, there were shouts of joy and sighs of relief.

And finally our weekend could begin… this time on our own terms

The Funny Side of Ageing

My Grandparents are amazing people.

For the following reasons

  • They have been married for 68 years.
  • They are in STILL in love
  • They continue to add new digits to their age

My Nan celebrated her 92nd Birthday on Saturday the 3rd of November, and my Grandfather’s age is a mystery ( I would hazard a guess he is turning 89 in Jan, 2013…but he won’t confirm it…likes the secrecy!)

Despite not knowing the exact age of this man, one thing is true…My Nan is officially a cougar…she married a younger man….a tradition that my Mum also followed….Perhaps I will do the same?!

Back to the story….

My Nan and Grandfather are amazing people for they also remember key dates such as my birthday.

And this year, as I made a phone call to thank them for their gift…the conversation we shared was far more special than their thoughtful present.

‘Hi Grandfather, it’s me. I just wanted to thank you for the lovely card and gift’

‘Not a problem darling’

‘I put the money you gave me towards buying a new pair of shoes’

Brief pause

‘ You brought a parachute?’

Giggling as I reply ‘A parachute would have been more exciting….no, a pair of shoes’

‘Oh, that’s lovely….I’ll put Nanna on so you can tell her’

Priceless

It had me questioning my purchase….Grandfather was so right! Does’nt every birthday girl need a parachute?….Live a little, buy something outrageous, go a little crazy every once in a while…Shoes….how boring!!

Yet honestly is the best policy…. and the shoes are pretty cool!!

But a parachute….now that’s another story!!

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