#437 Petrol cashier’s kindness

 

My gratitude came to me today at the insanely early and God-forsaken hour of 5:45am.

Godly indeed. Blessings certainly came my way.

Are you one of those people, where upon waking up, sudden thoughts and ideas and reminders, just pop into your head?

Pop, pop, pop!

Well as I was getting dressed for work this morning, I realised astutely, and begrudgingly, that I was fairly sure I had to fill up the car with petrol.

Damn it. The cons of working so far from home. I knew the tank would take me there. But the one time I tried pouring petrol in the city before my trip home, I was stuck in further traffic for so long, that I swore I would NEVER do that again.

I would have to do it then. Now. 5:30am.

Which I’ve done heaps of times before. No biggie. My car dash confirmed what I dreaded as I got in – yep, need the juice. Off we go, driver.

Standing in the freezing cold, rain whipping about me despite the elevated shade, it didn’t occur to me. Then, as I finished filling up the tank, it still, didn’t occur to me. Then, getting my wallet out of my bag, still, it didn’t occur to me.

As I opened up my wallet to get my card out, to make my walk across the petrol station to its indoors, I stopped.

Shock. Horror.

My card wasn’t there.

And just like that pop!

Another memory. 15 MINUTES TOO LATE.

The night before I had swapped the money Hubbie had in his wallet to take with me to work, for car parking, and put my key card in his wallet, just because, in case. I knew he probably wouldn’t need it, but you know.

I was being nice.

I didn’t even have a credit card. He had that too.

(Face palm).

I went back to the car, and got my mobile too. I didn’t know what I would do, other than I think I needed all the back up and technological gadgets I could get, for some unknown reason.

As the man at the counter called out “number 6?” with a smile, I grimaced.

“Yes, but I don’t have my cards! I’ve left them at home, and…”

I started rattling off random things. Should I call my husband? Should I get him to drop off the card? Both ideas were inconvenient – if I went home I’d most likely have to leave my driver’s licence with him, and that was if the cashier let me drive home. The other option involved Hubbie having to take baby girl with him to the petrol station down the road, just so he could give her scatterbrained Mum a freaking card from his wallet that HE DIDN’T EVEN NEED THAT DAY.

I waved my phone about. “Can I somehow pay, with this?” I racked my brain, realising that I didn’t even think our credit card had a mobile app, and even so, I didn’t have the card number on me!

And then as I was rattling off things sporadically, I came to some kind of end result…

I showed him my bank app, and asked “Can I pay the business through my account?”

Well, it wasn’t the business account I paid. But the man had given me his personal account number, and I transferred the funds into that. He didn’t explain, but my perception was that he would fix up the till, from the money I had put in there.

He held up his phone when it was done, and said “it’s gone through” with a smile. I didn’t step forward to check, as there was a queue of people in front of him waiting to pay for their items the normal way. I just thanked him profusely and left quickly.

But I wondered. Should I have taken a photo of his phone’s image, ensuring I had proof I had in fact paid? Would he report me to the cops and keep my money for himself?

Would my writer’s mind just shut up???

It’s sad that as we get older, we are often told to watch our backs, be wary of other’s intentions, and make sure we are not taken advantage of. I reminded myself of the facts – I had needed his help, and he had come through for me, going out of his personal way to do so.

And then, I said “breathe SmikG. This dude saved your arse.”

So, at 5:45am, I was grateful to the petrol guy. I think that station has gained a constant income from our family, from now until FOREVER.

#436 Tea and reclaimed Easter egg muffins

You know how some days you just need a tea? I’m talking to you coffee drinkers out there. I don’t have to reconvert a tea aficionado to know how good a drink of little-itty-bitty leaves can be.

But today, I knew from the morning, on this cold and dreary day, that I would eventually need a tea. My soul was asking for it. And how rude of me to ignore the inner wishes of my psyche, so of course, I complied.

But I went further. I had seen a fellow facebook ‘friend’ post a photo of some muffins she had made using some box mix, and thrown in a whole heap of chopped up Easter chocolate, to use it up.

‘What a great idea!’ I had thought. Hubbie and I are way more cake people than we are chocolate ones. However if I left baby girl to her own devices, she may just block herself up on all the Easter treats she received this year, let’s be honest. So I have most of it stashed away, and like all the other years before it, it would eventually get to a crumbly white faded texture, and then we’d throw the poor chocolate away.

But this?! Popping chocolate into a plain old muffin mixture? I could do that every week!

So I found a reasonably simple muffin recipe I had, that used orange and strawberry as an afternoon treat, and instead substituted that with a bunch of Easter eggs chopped up.

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I was surprised at how good they were. And as per usual, my soul’s wish for tea, was touched indeed. Ahhh 🙂

#412 Rediscovering Rakija

I haven’t had it for a while now. Almost a year now, to be precise. And I know this, since I remember in the cold months last year, I wrote about my newfound affection for the plum drink.

Well, the Rakija is back. Tonight, after not passing a thought towards it for what seems like ages, when Hubbie asked “do you want some hot rakija?” I went “uhhh… yeah.”

Hell yeah.

This stuff has gusto. It has vibes. It has strength, sweet potency, and pick-you-up, throw you-off-the-balcony, though-you-will-bounce-back-because-you-are-Superwoman-now, kind of vibes.

It was insane. The rakija sent me through the roof. I was like “what now? Move over red.” While Hubbie crashed and burned because he hasn’t been feeling the best of late, my shot of 40% sent me off into the stratosphere, flying amongst comets and stars and extraordinary out-of-this-world planets.

Just a shot of hot rakija.

I had an absolute ball with myself. The best part-ay EVER. No one else came to it, but that’s ok… I enjoy my own company 🙂

#410 Sunday Solitude

I’m actually surprised at how happy I was to stay at home today. Our quick stop by the shops was really, too much, as we would have gladly holed up in our home all day while the wild weather unleashed itself around us.

What was particularly great about staying home? Well, apart from the early Winter spell we were subject to, that made it especially fantastic stay-home weather, it was just the fact that it was long, LONG overdue. We haven’t just stayed home to not do much in a while, and I think our souls longed for the downtime.

Apart from ironing, washing, Hubbie preparing us a healthy lunch, while I prepared us a healthy dinner, and then him removing bug marks from our blinds, alongside some other random house odds and ends… I think the best part was when we woke up in the morning and then baby girl joined us in bed, all 3 of us cuddling together and snuggling under the covers.

We caught sight of our reflection in the opposite mirror, and it was the best sight ever. My family.

Sunday, solitude Sunday.

#355 A Frozen morning

Mornings at our household, even when work or appointments or commitments are not in the near horizon, are usually spent in the ‘keep-on-going-on,-going-on,-going-on’ stage.

Meaning it just keeps going on. In fact there is NO STAGE. We are in constant movement of not dawdling, ‘we-are-done-here-onto-the-next-thing,’ ‘let’s-not-waste-time-let’s-fill-up-our-days-with-as-much-productivity-as-we-can-muster,’ type thing.

We don’t give ourselves much chance to rest.

But today, it was cold. And baby girl wanted to watch some more Frozen. She has been really getting into the popular kids movie lately, and I don’t lie one bit when I say that when she is singing Let It Go, I’m actually finding it adorable.

I pressed play on the DVD player and it picked up where she last left off in the film. We sat in front of the TV, eating brekkie. And although I’ve seen bits of the film, and I know the ending, I happened to see the last 3o minutes of the film uninterrupted, as baby girl and I munched on butter and vegemite on toast, and I found my analytical switch, first awoken  by my Media Studies course back in my uni days, immediately turning itself on to critique, and discover, ‘just what was good about this film?’

I found, I really liked it. It actually is a great kids movie. It even made me almost cry at the end, at a most poignant moment, that made me initially go “woah – heavy much for kids?”

Of course any heaviness displayed in a Disney movie is short-lived. And I admit, I am that Mum, who will be the one instigating any animated films I take baby girl to in the future, because I LOVE THEM SO MUCH, but still….

I thought this movie was pretty great. And I found myself relishing the change in routine.

I didn’t push myself onto the next task, with my keen eye on the clock, getting baby girl on to hurry up, and rushing us out the door.

No. I let myself sink into the couch, I allowed my analytical switch to stay on as I simultaneously enjoyed this movie, and I glanced outside at the cloudy, windy weather, the branches on the trees outside being thrown about, and I thought

‘No thanks. I’ll stay here a while longer.’

I’d rather deal with MY Frozen, than that Frozen.

#354 Cinnamon Plums with French Toast

There’s nothing like a warm, fulfilling and sweet breakfast to start your Sunday morning. And when I prepared the cinnamon plums days ago, little did I know that on the day I would be eating them, the weather, cold and grey and windy, would be especially inviting for the meal.

All the better.

I love this Nigella Lawson recipe that I first had the pleasure of experimenting with last year, when I was trying to work out what to do with all these plums my parents and MIL were giving to me. Because they were from their yards, or the yards of someone they knew, I really wanted to put them to good and proper use, and salvage the natural and chemical-free aspects of the fruit, making them shine in a truly special way.

I loved the Nigella recipe, because the use of plums was

  1. simple
  2. was in conjunction with another fave meal of mine (French toast), and
  3. was able to be frozen

That was a BIG positive. With a fair bit of plum compote made from the one batch, I was happy that not even that would go to waste, as I could freeze any remains and easily defrost for use on a future Sunday.

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It really is a good Sunday morning breakfast meal.

I made the compote on Thursday, before freezing it and defrosting it overnight. It worked a treat, and anything that is delicious and the prep is fast and simple, well I’M ALL FOR.

And if you want the recipe… well, you know the drill.

#348 Banana bread

A cold February day? Under 20? What?!

Why, this dreary day called for nothing else but my humble and awfully dependable

Jamie Oliver Banana Bread recipe!

For the last few weeks I had been hoping we’d buy too many bananas and I’d have a few left over that were turning that deep yellow-brown, but in this household it seems bananas never last too long. We eat them every day, and no one more so than baby girl who includes them as a regular part of her diet.

So when the house was cold upon waking up, the skies were grey, and the mood was matching, during my grocery shop I deliberately picked up 3-4 ultra yellow bananas for one thing in mind.

That one thing in mind, came to fruition late this afternoon.

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I think the spectacular thing about this bread, which is soooo simple, is the addition of a sprinkling (or few tablespoons if you prefer as I do) of demerara sugar upon the loaf before you pop it in the oven for baking. It’s a Jamie tip, and it allows for a beautiful sugary crust that has you smacking your lips.

Like I said, simple.

And tonight I served it alongside some fresh vanilla ice cream, and really, what does a dreary day have on home-made banana bread? Nothing my dears, nothing.

Banana bread – 1. Dreary day – 0.