Spiralizing out of control

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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

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Ingredients:

One medium-sized courgette, spiralized

A handful of fresh sage, chopped

A few walnuts, chopped (from a bag of Lidl mixed nuts)

Olive oil

Parsley and/or lettuce, chopped to bulk out

A little parmesan, grated (also Lidl)

Lemon juice and zest if desired

Salt and pepper

 

Method

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.

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Spiralizing out of control

  1. I think the advice you got is excellent. The trouble with self employment is that you are required to find your own work and if you don’t you don’t get paid! We all think that won’t be a problem and for most, when all is well in their world, its not. What we don’t bargain for is life throwing spanners at us and our reaction to them! Our particular spanner at the moment is a particularly big one and it has knocked both myself and my husband for six. I have been diagnosed with breast cancer. I am about to start chemo, having had the lump and a lymph node removed and it has knocked both of us sideways. I haven’t done anything much since I found out about 6 weeks ago and hubby is barely managing to go to jobs he has to do and of course because most of his customers know him well, they are not asking him to do anything except emergency stuff just now cos ‘he’ll be looking after me’, which is suiting him just fine but our finances are suffering dramatically because of it. Not to mention the cost of cancer! I’ve had to buy several scarf/hats to cover the bald head I’m assured is coming my way and I’ve recently bought some new makeup as I’m told I’ll get paler. I was going to go and get a haircut but changed my mind on that one – it didn’t seem worth paying for a haircut for a couple of weeks! Fortunately in Scotland the NHS gives you a free prescription for a wig and you can shop at any of the recommended shops for it, I had a lovely experience getting mine. Please don’t imagine I’m telling you this to get any sympathy, I’m really not, but when my husband and I gave up the day jobs we didn’t imagine ourselves having to face this kind of thing nor what effect it would have on us. I think you would say its low grade depression, its not affecting our demeanor greatly (if you don’t count me bursting into tears if anyone is nice to me lol) but our get up and go has gone and thats a bit of a disaster when you’re self employed. I think my advice to anyone hoping to do what both you and we have done is to make sure you have some money tucked away to call on should something like our experiences comes along, particularly if there is still a mortgage to pay. At least we don’t have a mortgage any longer and both of us has a small pension to live on till the state one kicks in! I hope you manage to get through this period without resorting to returning to the day job and I hope Jon’s adjusted medication makes all the difference to him and he feels better soon. Sorry for such a long comment!!

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    1. Get some tissues, I’m going to be nice to you! So sorry to hear you’re going through this. I’m glad you felt able to share what’s going on. Of course it wouldn’t be natural if you didn’t both feel low and knocked for six, but as you say, that’s not much help when you feel you need to be full of get up and go. I suppose that is going to have to be one of the worries that you ‘park’ for the time being while you both concentrate on what’s important, which is you, your health and wellbeing and of course your husband’s too. I hope you both have people around you that you can be completely real with, who won’t back off if you tell them you’re struggling! Usually people want to help but don’t know how – sometimes it’s good to take them up on their offer and just say something like, ‘Can you take my husband out for a pint – he needs a night off!’ or ‘Can I just have a good moan?’ I am really hoping and praying that your chemo is not too debilitating and of course that it is quickly effective. Keep in touch and take great care!! xx

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