Of Camomile Tea, Cameras and Brilliant Books

I don’t know about giving up alcohol for January (and if you’re asking, no I haven’t; a nice glass of Grenache with dinner, and now I am slugging back camomile tea in anticipation of an early night) but I seem to have given up blogging.

It’s not intentional, I just seem to have been busy. And I was eye deep in my book, The Book Thief, which a friend of Cousin’s gave me in the summer. If someone had told me in my faraway youth that in my sixth decade I’d finish a book sitting on the hall carpet because I couldn’t wait to get to the sofa I’m not sure I’d have believed them. But that’s what happened. My bus journey ended about five pages short of the final page. I came home, took off my outdoor things, sat on the floor to fuss MasterB and opened the book again.

I had spent the afternoon with a friend who is being treated for the big C. She’s a bit wobbly, but boredom is the main enemy. The idea was to wander around not far from her home with cameras. She bought her partner a Canon a few years back. He studied all the options, said this was the one he wanted, unwrapped it and hasn’t used it. So she’s swiped it from him.
At the End of the Street
We didn’t have a huge amount of time as I had promised her some beetroot risotto, and realised at the bus stop I had left it at home, so had to scurry back. Her phone has died and she needed to return it to the manufacturer, so we next spent much of the dwindling daylight in a post office queue.
Little Shard
But it was nice to be out in the air, chatting, being amused at things we saw, staring at new buildings and ones scheduled for demolition and redevelopment. The air was crisp, and the clouds would have pleased Constable, although I am not sure it would have been safe for him to lie down in Blackfriars Road to study them.
Cloud ReflectedSkyscrapingNew and Shiny
Best of all, she enjoyed it. I don’t think she’s been able to see her pictures yet as her computer is taking hibernation quite seriously. I’ve only just downloaded mine, and we took them two days ago. When she was first diagnosed, one of her colleagues who went through the same thing a few years ago told her to make it her time. So we talked about what she might like to do, and photogrpahy was quite high up the list. She’s just had her fourth round of chemo, so it has taken a while to get this far, but hopefully it’s just the beginning.
Dog and Pot
Due for DemolitionUnder Construction

I got a message from her tonight to say the risotto was splendid too, so all in all a pretty good afternoon.


14 thoughts on “Of Camomile Tea, Cameras and Brilliant Books

  1. I seem to have given up blogging too, as I’ve been busy doing other writing stuff. And my Christmas stuff felt forced. I have read The Book Thief but didn’t enjoy it. I get the impression that for some books I’m not the target audience, like the Time Traveller’s Wife. I know it’s popular though.

    • Yes, lots to say, and time disappearing like water vapour.
      It took me a couple of tries to get into the book thief, and then I was gripped. Like you, I did not enjoy The time Traveller’s Wife. I loved the concept, but I became quickly bored with it and abandoned it. But I met someone who thought it the best book ever. Maybe I should have persevered.

  2. Chef de chemo cuisine! My only customer commented that after a while everything tastes awful so one might as well go with spices or exotic flavors because it all tastes like cardboard. I must try this beetroot risotto which you have mentioned on multiple occasions. A friend with massive digestive issues was most heartened recently by the idea of risotto sans Parm. It was a breakthrough in her very small comestible world.

    I’m going to flunk London 101 but where is the dog with his head in the kettle?

    • My friend says there are days where everything tastes foul, then she reverts to normal. More of a problem is the steroids which mean she is munching her through twice her body weight at mealtimes.
      I shall put up a post with the beetroot risotto recipe so you can try it.
      As for the dog and pot, it is at the junction of Blackfriars Road and Union Street, opposite southwark tube station. Here’s the refhttp://www.southwark.gov.uk/news/article/642/sculpture_to_be_installed_commemorating_the_life_of_charles_dickens

  3. Your friend with the big C must be very happy that you’re her friend, Isobel. True friends are there for you in the bad times, not just the good times. The photos are great. Must cook the beetroot risotto again. It’s delicious, as you say.

    • She is getting a deal of support. One friend is on a mission to supply her with hats as her hair is slowly going. It turns out that hats really suit her, so she gets lots of compliments. She is very independent and trying to maintain as much of her usual life as possible.

    • Before she was diagnosed, the plan was for four of us to meet up, catch up and eat risotto. Her chemo and the effect it has on her taste buds in the days immediately following, has made coordinating this meal much more complicated. Hopefully we shall get it together soon!

  4. Don’t worry about not blogging at times Isobel. I have a real block at the moment & then no time when I want to write. So glad your friend enjoyed your dose of medicine!

    • I have so many thoughts running about my head and no time to set them down on paper to untangle them!
      I haven’t had much time to read others’ posts either.

  5. Blogging (and visiting other blogs) is something to do when there’s nothing else happening….good books, good friends, fresh air and exercise are really more important anyway. Love the idea that a book so captivated you that you read it while sitting on the floor! Your friend who is in treatment is lucky to have you to help her get into doing some fun things like photography and the beetroot risotto was obviously a hit……all I remember of my “journey” was that most food had NO taste – and eating was a chore but then nobody made beetroot risotto for me! LOL Enjoyed all the photos – including the one you sent to me!

    Hugs, Pam

  6. Don’t want you to give up blogging Isobel I missed reading and commenting on blogs while we were away, but the ocean called to me. I agree that your friend is lucky to have you to support her and keep her thinking of other things!

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