You can now enter this blog without fear, because all trace of its former smugness has gone.
I was pretty pleased with myself, wasn’t I? Dropping hints to those poor mugs still stuck in offices that I had found the secret to a better life!
Then came a nasty bout of anxiety and depression for my husband Jon. Two weeks of holiday, though lovely in its way, led to a couple of crises, with Jon wanting to be his usual happy holiday self but feeling dreadful. Back home, he has adjusted his medication and we are hoping for improvement.
With all this going on, I have not had the headspace to write, and rejections have been flooding into my inbox from agents I have approached with my novel. They have shown an uncanny ability always to arrive on a particularly bad day.
Down – are you? Here – have a kick!
Who knew?! The life of the freelancer is not all creative joy.
And Jon has been worrying about money. No donations necessary, I hasten to add – but his anxiety means that giving up my regular income doesn’t seem quite the stroke of genius it once did.
When I was struggling with all this, a wonderful friend gave me two pieces of advice that I highly recommend:
1 You will have to park certain worries (e.g. I will never achieve my dream of being a published writer – I’m not even writing!) and come back to them when the really important thing (Jon!) is better.
2 When things are bad, you have to take it one day at a time. Then you will not be overwhelmed.
And so onto money saving! Last year, expecting the usual enormous glut of courgettes, I bought a cheap spiralizer. A poor harvest meant that it has stayed in its box since then – but today, clutching a reasonably sized courgette and a few recipe ideas, I got it out.
I am not one of those carbo-phobic people who thinks that spiralized courgettes will convince my body that it has had spaghetti. Sometimes only real pasta will do. But I did fancy having a go at using up our plentiful home-grown courgettes and sage in an appetizing way, so here’s what I did:
Spiralized courgette with sage and walnut pesto
One medium-sized courgette, spiralized
A handful of fresh sage, chopped
A few walnuts, chopped (from a bag of Lidl mixed nuts)
Parsley and/or lettuce, chopped to bulk out
A little parmesan, grated (also Lidl)
Lemon juice and zest if desired
Salt and pepper
First make the pesto. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend into a smoothish paste. The parsley appears in most recipes to bulk out this pesto, because sage can be too bitter on its own. I have found that a lettuce leaf can be added if you don’t have much parsley. Add a squeeze of lemon juice if you like.
Gently stir fry the spiralized courgette in olive oil for about five minutes so that it softens a little but doesn’t go soggy. Add the pesto and stir through over the heat. Add a little salt, a good grind of pepper and a little lemon zest if you have it – then serve.