Ridiculous Things That Have Been Said To Me

This post could go in the category of Life (because it happened to me), Humour (if you take pleasure in laughing at me because in happened to me) or I could add a new category called Ridiculous but I won’t because I hope not to collect too much of ridiculousness in my life henceforth. I’ll just make do with putting this in both the first two categories. You might be appalled or you might snigger, don’t let me limit you. I have shared these Ridiculous Things That Have Been Said To Me verbally with a few people and I wanted to widen the net simply because the whim took me.

Now, most of the most Ridiculous Things That Have Been Said To Me are courtesy of my soon to be ex in-laws. Either they have no boundaries or I have way too many. Oh, all these things also came out of the mouths of the female in-laws, you know as they say, women really understand women best. Sheesh.

1. Why didn’t you change your name? I thought this was being asked of my surname which I had not changed after marriage. I was at once put right on the intent of the question, she meant my first name. Duh!

2. What do you wear to bed? Asked by the one person who should have never asked me this question. I’ll let you guess who that was.

3. You have big teeth. I have been to several dentists, none who have stumbled backwards, backtracked and tripped over things in their hurry to get out of the room and away from this person with giant teeth.

4. Why is your hair so black? I was so tempted to say something sarcastic about how I was born a blonde and then got cursed by an evil witch who cast me into the darkest shades of brunette-dom. But I didn’t. Because the sarcasm would have been wasted on that person.

5. You must get your eyes fixed. You cannot marry with glasses. Oh, how had I missed the masses of unmarried spinsters who ended up that way due to myopia!? *I did get Lasik surgery done, but that was for the pure pleasure of being able to wear sunglasses, not marry.

6. I haven’t heard you sing or dance yet. Um, last I checked, that is not part of the job description of being a daughter-in-law.

7. You have been married a year now. Time for a baby. Alright, since you clearly are the right one to make that decision.

8. If I had time, I would redecorate your whole house. Yes! That makes complete sense because I am the architect and you are……..? Also, I love how everything in your house is pink, totally my colour. Not.

9. Are you sure you want to wear what you picked out for your engagement ceremony? Why not wear what we bought for you? (Something you have never seen or tried on yet. Or bought jewelry for.) Do I need to respond?

10. Why did you buy:

  • These curtains
  • These knives
  • This tablecloth
  • These cushion covers
  • This table
  • These plastic containers
  • These coasters
  • This dress
  • Those earrings
  • That bedsheet
  • Those ornamental candles
  • These teacups
  • This flask
  • Those slippers
  • Those glasses
  • That frying pan
  • That oil
  • That flour
  • That brand of dishwashing liquid
  • That ladle
  • And on and on and on…………….and on and on and on…………..and on……..

11. Why don’t you dress like me, or her, like us? Because I am a different entity, with the right to have my own choices, with an aversion to the kind of things you wear, especially all that pink and sequins.

12. Don’t talk to my son while he drives, he’ll get distracted. Don’t talk to me ever, I’ll believe in your intelligence a little less with each word.

13. He’s a child. Fondly said of my above 30 year old husband.

14. You mustn’t use birth control. Ah….like the ancients.

15. Why did you have to work? Why couldn’t you just look after the house and my son? On learning of the imminent separation, from my mouth not her cowardly son’s.

Is it just me? Do I attract people like this into my life or was this just one of those times the person up there thought, let me throw this girl into a world where she will never fit in and have a few laughs. If so, person up there, I am waiting for the apology gift and it better be good.

Baked Penne with Minced Lamb in a Herb Tomato Sauce

As promised I am starting my new series on Food and to start off I’m going all the way to the wonderful country of Italy. Pizzas, pastas, calzones and risotto are some of my favourite indulgences and also a part of my comfort food repertoire. When I’m down and need a little pick me up, Italian food does the trick beautifully. Today I will share with you my recipe for Baked Penne with Minced Lamb in a Herb Tomato Sauce. Now, I make my pasta sauce from scratch, if you prefer to use some out of a jar, I won’t judge. Also, here in my small town, we do not get all the ingredients necessary for cooking from around the world so I innovate and use my imagination a lot of the time. Onwards to the recipe! *Disclaimer: I do not cook with exact measurements, it is usually a pinch of this, a dash of that so the quantities I will provide will be approximate and please feel free to adjust them according to your taste.* Baked Penne with Minced Lamb in a Herb Tomato Sauce – serves 3-4 Ingredients: For the sauce: The sauce takes a good 2 hours to develop flavour so be sure to start early.

  • Ripe tomatoes – 6-7 (if small)
  • Garlic – Handful (again depends on size and your taste) – roughly chopped
  • Red onion – 2 (medium size) – finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Minced meat of choice – 250 gm
  • Dried rosemary – 1 pinch
  • Dried thyme – 1 large pinch
  • Dried oregano – 2 heaping tablespoons
  • Freshly ground black pepper – 1 heaping tablespoon
  • Cumin powder – 1 big pinch
  • Chilli flakes – A few hearty pinches
  • Butter- A tablespoon or small knob
  • Sugar – according to taste
  • Salt – according to taste
  • Water – 3-4 cups

And 250 gms of penne cooked al dente and cheese of your choice to sprinkle on top before baking. Method: 1. Brown the minced meat in a frying pan in olive oil. Keep aside. IMG_20140804_184710[1] 2. Make a cross-shaped score on each tomato and blanch it in hot water for under a minute and then plunge in cold water and peel off the skin. Place in a mixer/blender and pulse to as rough or smooth a paste as you prefer. I went for the smooth variety here. 3. Peel and roughly chop the garlic and stir. Add to the same pan that you fried the meat in with some more oil. Be sure to add the garlic before the oil gets hot or it will burn. I know it seems like a lot of garlic but I promise it is worth it.   4. Once the oil gets hot and the garlic starts to sizzle, add the finely chopped onions. Stir until soft. IMG_20140804_184703[1]   IMG_20140804_185031 5. Add in the tomato paste you made earlier and start to build flavour by adding salt, sugar, thyme and rosemary and pepper. Add half the quantity of oregano. Stir well, cover and cook on very low flame, checking every 10-15 minutes. IMG_20140804_185236 6. The water will have evaporated some and you will be left with a thicker sauce, taste it again and add salt or sugar as you see fit. I also add just a pinch of chilli powder and turmeric powder (it may be just the Indian in me but I think this brings out the colour and flavour). You can also add the cumin at this stage. Add remaining oregano. IMG_20140804_193807 7. Keep checking the sauce and keep adding water so the sauce will not catch and burn. Cook it covered for 1 and a half hours. IMG_20140804_195753 8. At the 1 and half hour mark, add in the browned off meat to the sauce and add more water and cover and cook for the last half hour. IMG_20140804_203103 IMG_20140804_203123 9. When the sauce is cooking for the last 15 minutes, you can boil the pasta in well salted boiling water. Add a few drops of oil to the water as well. Follow cooking instruction on the packet. IMG_20140804_210306 10. Just before turning off the flame, add a small knob of butter, for flavour. Can be avoided if you prefer. IMG_20140804_205421 11. Combine the pasta with the now meaty sauce and add to an oven safe dish. Layer on top with cheese. (Where I live we don’t get fresh lovely cheese so I had to settle for the processed slice kind which I do not personally prefer. A good generous layer of mozzarella would have been the best thing.) Sprinkle with chilli flakes and bake at 180 deg C until the cheese is melted and yummy! IMG_20140804_212844   IMG_20140804_213031 12. Serve straight out of the oven and Enjoy!! :) IMG_20140804_214038 IMG-20140804-WA0001[1]   You can substitute all the dried herbs with fresh ones if they are available to you. When using dried, I always rub them together in my hands to release aroma and oils. You could also garnish this with fresh basil, oregano etc. but I didn’t have any. I hope you enjoyed this recipe and try it out! Let me know if you enjoyed this in the comments below.

Old Brainstorms and New Ideas *hint hint*-Food!

I was going through a tiny little spiral notebook I keep in my handbag this morning and I came across a bunch of notes I had made for a little (unsuccessful) craft business I had set up a couple of years ago. I was ripping out the unwanted pages when I come across one titled: ‘Brainstorming’, and as I scanned down the list trying to make sense of what it was exactly I was brainstorming on that particular day, I realised it was blog post ideas. This was when I had just started my blog and it proudly boasted a sum total of One Post. It is amazing how a person can change in the span of a few months, I wouldn’t want to write about most of those topics today. Below I share those topics with you:

  • You’re God and I’m Superwoman
  • Crush my heart and hope to die
  • Winging a banana bread
  • Scars, sugar and soap operas
  • The dead cactus
  • Room for interpretation (movies, messages and moods)
  • The stuck duck
  • Maggi – the one pot wonder
  • Autorickshaws

To be honest I don’t even remember what some of them were about but thinking back, most had a negative, venting vibe to them. I wanted to give voice to my frustrations and I had wanted to do it eloquently and without interruption (as in a phone conversation). I am no longer that person. I am still more eloquent when I write than in a phone conversation but I don’t dwell on the half empty glass while claiming to be an optimist any more. It was a good thing to find this little piece of paper, it helped to remind me what a long way I have come these past eight months. There will always be a distinction of ‘before’ and ‘after’ November, ’13 for me I suppose but that’s ok, the more distance I cover in moving forward, the further back it recedes.

Onwards to the New Idea – I love food. Like LOVE it!

I watch almost every cooking show on TV, Masterchef Australia being my favourite. I did dabble a little with its English and American brethren but they didn’t make my mouth water or gape in wonder. No point then. I know all the top chefs of the world (who are featured on TV) and the other cooking aficionados who have no culinary qualifications and yet manage to put out seductive dish after dish. Nigella, I’d be your slave any day, just feed me with that trademark abundance of yours. I’ll even do the dishes!

I have never bought, owned or read a recipe book. I usually get inspired and just wing it (that’s where I was going with the banana bread post) and the results turn out surprisingly good! The inspiration can come from one of the cooking shows on TV or on my personal dining out experiences. I have recreated, in my humble kitchen, flavours from around the world, I once even planned on having a food blog titled, ‘The World On My Plate’ but that didn’t go any further than the title. I do however want to share my recipes/concoctions with you all though.

I have now a proud new category to add to my musings; Food. I would have loved to do one today but I think this post will drag on a bit if I do a recipe in this one. But, soon it shall be here! :)

The Dangers Of Texting – From A Repeat Offender

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I had an interesting conversation with a friend today; it was on Whatsapp, the wonderful messenger app. So, in essence we were texting, back and forth. I’ve realised, as wonderful as the written word is, it can open up a … Continue reading

A Day Spent Painting While It Rained Outside

As the title of the post suggests, I have been painting most of the day and because it was raining outside and our light has burned its fuse, in near darkness. That did not dampen my artistic drive today though.

I started with a piece for a friend who will carry my gift back with her to Czech Republic! I mean, that is a high in itself, my painting hanging on a wall all those many, many miles away. She is a real sweetheart and I wanted to do something nice for her, what better way to thank someone than some personalised art! I present to you my very imaginatively titled – Poppies 2

poppies

And then, I did a series of small canvas pieces, all sized 3″ x 8″. I really enjoyed doing these ones, each one is for a specific person and I’m really pleased with my output today. I feel really good about life and I’m raring to jump right back in! Here they are, the four, in no particular order:

heather

Four individual pieces

These are all painted with acrylic paints on un-framed canvas, for ease of transport. I really enjoyed painting with acrylics again as I’ve been experimenting with watercolours a lot lately. If you’re interested, I can be tempted (*ahem*) to do a post on them too.

Cheers, everyone!

A Friend (Nowhere To Be Found) In Need

Courtesy Google Images

This post started off a lot differently than what I am going to write about today. I initially went off venting a little excessively against a few whom I considered to permanently reside under the canopy of friendship for me. Maybe it was fate intervening that I was unable to finish the post that day. Whatever it was, I’m glad that the final product is this.

As anyone who has been a regular reader of the blog will know, the last seven months or so have been a complete re-everything of my life. I feel tempted many times to reveal what the event was that brought all this reassessing into play but it is a part of my life I consider well on its way out. It is slowly but surely fading out, not to the sound of any melancholic wheedling tunes on a flute but to the rousing chorus of “good riddance”! So I do not want to give the issue any more time in the limelight, suffice to say I spent many years living as half of a lie I wasn’t aware of and even though I struggled when I was first freed of it, I am now glad.

Ok, so back to the topic – friendship. I wrote a poem about change in friendship a few years ago. But even there I was optimistic of meeting after years and saying to each other, “You haven’t changed a bit!” Now, after my little personal tragedy I no longer feel confident enough to declare anything of the sort, I do not think that I will even meet them again in life, ever. I think we have outgrown our friendship so much that there is no going back. I really believe the old saying about a friend in need being a friend indeed. If a friend of mine called or reached out to me, after years even, with the sort of thing I was and am going through, I’d do my best to be there for them. I’d listen and let them vent to their heart’s content. I wouldn’t preach because everyone’s life story is so different that I wouldn’t assume to know exactly what they were feeling but I would try. One formula can’t be applied to the same problem faced by two different people. Such is life and if even that small mercy escapes you my friend, I’m afraid I was deluded to think we were still the best of friends.

This realisation hurt me a lot when it first hit me. I mean, this was the friend whose photograph I carried with me to college and the one I ran to with all my troubles and joys for upwards of a decade. I still have all the little trinkets and gifts she gave me and that framed photograph still sits on my headboard. I would have still been okay if it was the difference of opinion that was the only issue but I haven’t heard so much as a peep out of her, concern or otherwise, for the last six months. In the initial stage of searing pain she told me to pretty much suck it up and move on and I wasn’t ready to hear that and I didn’t need to, not then. A little bit of kindness goes a long way. I will always consider her a friend but there will be no more baring of heart happening. Recently another friend made all the right noises and sympathised when I told her but when I wanted to share in her life she told me that she was no longer comfortable doing that as we had not been in touch through my rough period. Ok, I get that too though it made me feel mighty silly for opening up my heart again. Strike two.

Since I have a lot of time on my hands, my thoughts tend to go off on many different tangents and I let them bounce around freely because I’ve found that I understand myself better through this exercise. When I did not have the support system I so desperately reached for in the initial days it pushed me a little ways back down the slippery slope. That’s not to say life’s all bad. Others have stepped into the shoes of those friends who had vacated their spots without telling me. A shining star in my life now is someone who I have known barely a year, just a few months when tragedy struck. She is a straight talking, no nonsense, fiercely protective sweetheart. No wonder we get along so well as I do not toy with bull beep either, I tell it like it is and I appreciate having someone like her in my life, someone who will keep me grounded. She only ever tiptoes on the line of being preachy but never over-does it. Another friend I have found to lean on in the last few days is one of the first people I befriended when I first started at boarding school. She has seen more than her fair share of pain in life and even though she hadn’t reached out to me then, I am glad I can be there for her now. Since she went through something similar to what I am now, she just gets it, I don’t need to make her understand. I hope they know who they are! Love you girlies!

The winding down of last year and the months gone by of this one have been some of life’s greatest lessons for me. Sure, some of them were painful and I naively wish that I had been spared but I am now a better person. Better because I understand myself better, I no longer view myself through the pronouncements of that other person to whom I handed off all the power to my life. I have nothing to be sorry for. I love and accept me for me and in that I do not need to give any form of justification to anyone.

After coming to this profound enlightenment (through a lot of reading of positive thinking, healing and spiritual blogs and websites and a whole lot of self-contemplation) I think it is only fair that I do the same for all the human beings I share my life with. My friend is living her life story and it wildly differs from mine and I am in no way entitled to her understanding or love or friendship. So, I let go now of that hurt and forgive her. I forgive myself also for any lack on my part. I forgive to move past it and give peace to my mind. And I welcome into my life all the goodness that is coming my way, the friends who are now helping me stay focused, all the new friends I will make along the way and for the new life that is beckoning me. My heart is full and my eyes are dreaming of blue waters and white sands. It looks like my dream to be somewhere by the ocean, sipping a cool beverage, book in hand, basking in the sun is on the brink of coming true!


Picture courtesy : Google Images