This was the week of Black Friday which I was thoroughly sick of by Monday. Even Johnson’s Cleaners (where I used to drop off my shirts for ironing) sent me a “Black Friday” offer. I mean, are school tuck shops in on the act? Churches? Brothels?
Brothels. Hmmm. I see that Nigella is on TV. There’s an old saying that every man wants a wife who is a cook in the kitchen and a whore in bed. Nigella seems to be trying to turn that on it’s head. And anyway it’s not true. What every right-thinking man wants is Delia in the kitchen. End of story. I wrote last week that November is made for curries. I forgot to mention that it’s also made for warm, hearty soups, and if there’s one recipe I will fight to the death for, it’s Delia’s version of lentil and bacon. I cannot go through a week in winter without it. (Just watch you don’t pour in a big tin of chopped tomatoes, you only need half one.)
I like to browse a few travel blogs, sometimes just for the pictures of sunnier climes, and one of my favourites with some great photography from the American West is Wheeling It. This week, however, Nina posted a reflective note about the Darker Side of Blogging, which was really interesting for anyone who blogs regularly or is thinking about it. Another blog I follow, Julie and Jason’s Our Tour posted several photos of sunny Spain, although seemingly sleeping in an RV can be pretty cold at this time of year, even on the Costa del Sol.
The winter weather also had me thinking about buying decent footwear for walking as I need to keep up my Fitbit’s 10,000 steps a day. I have a pair of excellent shoes that I bought years ago, Brasher Countrymasters, but the padded heel at the back of the shoe (not the sole) has gone all weak and mushy. It’s quite irritating to walk with, feels not unlike as if your sock has rolled up within your shoe. Being frugal, however, I thought I’d see if I can find a cobbler – remember them? – who might be able to repair this. Do real ones still exist though?
Talking about winter, Captain Scott was once asked that within his band of men, how many were equipped to take on the leadership role if he were to die en route to the antarctic.
“One in twenty”, he replied.
“Is that an approximate or exact number?” he was further questioned.
I find this rule applies to other things. About one in twenty books I read I’d recommend to others as a must buy. One in twenty films is a must see. Same for box sets. And, having written the paragraph above, recipes. So I’m pleased to wholeheartedly recommend to you a book I’m reading this week that might be the one in twenty : Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Trust me on this, and put it on your Santa list. And I’ll try to let you know when I think I’ve written my one in twenty blog post that’s worth reading. Bear in mind, however, that this might mean I could write two hundred and then do ten in a row.