22 January 2022
When your 82 year old mum announces that she has ‘taken up Tai Chi’ and your only claim to 2022-fame is a 16 day winning streak on Wordle, you realise it’s time to start taking the new year a bit more seriously!
It is on a family meal outing that my amazing mother, half-way through a recommendation for an ‘apple, spinach and ginger smoothie’ she starts each day with, pauses to casually throws in, as an aside, her foray into martial arts. The rest of us nearly choke on our nachos!
” It is supposed to help me improve my balance…”
she explains calmly, with an air of innocence but a mischievous sparkle in her eyes.
Well, balance or no balance I have to say she is looking fantastic on it! And it it in that moment, right there and then that I decide to shake of the mild torpor and feeling of a ‘covid-hangover’ with which I have stumbled through January and get up and do something! So here is last week …
I run! With gloriously-perfect timing one of my run buddies re-emerges from a long, post-corona recuperation and we hit the Lancashire hills bright and early on a chilly Saturday morning. The exercise is good, if tough, but the chat is even better. It is, we agree, the loveliest of ways to kick off the weekend.
And secondly , I go vegan … well I attempt exactly one vegan meal! Towards the end of December 2021, I did go further than this and propose a ‘Veganuary’. To my surprise, Smallboy, the most committed carnivore on the planet, was very much up for the challenge. I, however, did not get my act together at all and New Year’s day came and went without so much as a carton of almond milk being added to the supermarket trolley. This week, with renewed vigour, I determine that all is not lost and that one vegan dish per week still constitutes quite a culinary change and onTuesday night, we contemplate … tofu.
“The thing with tofu, Mum, ” advises my Eldest confidently over the phone, “is to build in flavour and texture. I often coat it in flour and deep fry; it is really good!”
‘What could be simpler?’ we tell ourselves as we chop for a stir fry. Probably many things, I would now conclude. Before our horrified eyes, both the tofu and flour disintegrate into a mushy paste in the wok and feature as scarcely more than a smooth thickener in our sauce, when we eventually slop the meal onto plates. Nonetheless, we are hungry, the sauce and veg are very tasty and I am close to ticking it off as a plant-based triumph until Small boy observes,
“Err Mum…I think we used egg noodles!“
Arghhh; next week we will do better!
And last but not least, I, or should I say we, will also continue to play Wordle. Yes, I discover that my son has also discovered the daily word puzzle and tends to solve it at least 1attempt more speedily than me. “I always start with ‘adieu’ mother … 4 vowels…’ he explains and I have to admit; that is pretty smart!
So wisdom and inspiration from the older and younger generation for me this week. It has been a pretty good week, so long may it continue…