Friday, 6 July 2018

Slowing ....

So I went to a foot specialist who says I have a damaged tendon plus ligament trouble. I must completely rest the ankle, not even go out to the corner shop, and the priority is to get the swelling down so I can start strengthening exercises. The good news, though, is that I can cycle if it doesn't hurt me to do so. ( My neighbour suggests a crane to get me from the front door to the bike without walking.)  Next up, I have a dentist appointment to fit  a crown on a molar. So you see it's all loads of fun here. 

As I can't go far, I've been photographing plants right outside the door. Taking time to look closely is always worth doing. These fairly ordinary fuschias reminded me of little dancers, bobbing about in the breeze.

 And here is a look at the most wonderful petunia flower, seen against the sun.  This plant survived the winter, which pleased me, because I haven't been able to find the variety ("Night Sky") this year. I think it looks as if it was designed by a  top dress designer, with a jewel at its centre.

I also discovered this plant, which self seeded in a forgotten pot.  It has a lovely pink-white flower and a spreading habit. I have no idea what it is called - does anyone know?  And, I wonder how large it will get.

I've also been reading.  So far the book I like best, and am recommending to everyone, is "Golden Hill" by  Francis Spufford.  Oddly, it didn't appeal to me when I first saw it in the bookshop about six weeks ago. It's about a young man who turns up in pre-Revolutionary New York with a draft for a huge amount of money. Why has he come, who is he, and what does it all signify? Ho hum. I just didn't want to know, so I left it on the shelf......

But then the following week I returned and it was still on the shelf, so I took a closer look, as I was intrigued by the cover showing a man leaping over rooftops. This time, I decided to buy, and ten minutes after starting it, I realised it was well worth my time.  I loved the way that ever more information about the man was revealed, putting what had gone before in perspective. I loved the detailed descriptions of life in pre-revolutionary New York, a period I'd never previously given a thought to. The use of language is wonderful;  not quite eighteenth century, but full of the characteristic quirkiness and liveliness of the period. Best of all I like how some mysteries remained till the very end. (And even then, I ended up wanting more..)

Spufford is a very distinguished writer of non-fiction, but this is his first novel. I've ordered one of his non-fiction books, even though I suspect I won't like it as much as the novel. (On the other hand, I thought I wouldn't like the novel. So who knows?)  

 Since I am being so inactive compared with usual, I'm restricting my food intake. I like fruit and veg best, so I'm mostly living on those plus low fat proteins like egg, chicken, etc, with no-oil  citrus dressing.  Before my ankle went wrong, I had such an amazing salad in The Watts Gallery cafe that it inspired me to develop my own versions. The secret seems to lie in combining many different raw foods, cut small.    

The leaves for the salad above were from the farmers market; noticeably better than the supermarket leaves and almost the same price.  I always soak and cook my own chick peas/garbanzos with salt, sugar and vinegar so they don't end up tasting like little balls of plaster, and toss in items with a bit of flavour, like tiny pickled capers, pomegranate seeds or even shreds of ginger root. 

And other bloggers continue to inspire and interest me.   I got a lovely surprise a few days ago. Joanne, over at one of my favourite blogs, Cup on the Bus, said she was going to send me two hand woven towels!   Joanne and her sister wove professionally for years, and if you click the link you'll read about a very unexpected note which her sister received from someone who'd bought one of their sweaters in a thrift store.

The towels arrived in a most enticing package, covered in US National Park stamps. Made me realise how much I'd like to visit some more American National Parks - what a good idea to publicise them in this way. 

And here are the towels themselves! I was very pleased with the colour. Our kitchen is white and orange, with touches of dull yellow and cerulean blue, so this pumpkin shade goes well.

I've also been looking at YouTube for workouts for folks with ankle injuries. I've been using this, from Caroline Jordan Fitness.  Her enthusiasm is so relentless that it makes me feel exhausted just listening to her, but it is a useful workout.  However, with any luck I'll be able to 
go out on my bike.  Sure, I won't be able to get off it and walk around, but I am looking forward to it all the same.  


  1. Is it a balloon flower? Strange little fellows; the one in the front garden keeps moving about. I hope you have years of use from the towel.

    1. I hadn't heard of balloon flowers before, so looked it up and it's not. I am wondering if it is a shrub as it spreads out sideways quite a lot. A visitor commented on how nice the towels were a couple of days ago.

  2. Well, i hope it heals up soon so you can be back to your usual rounds. It's no fun being housebound and even then only able to hobble.

  3. Sometimes an enforced rest brings with it great pleasures, like books that need reading, music that needs heeding, and salads that need eating!

    Take care, Jenny. :)

  4. Strange that you can't walk about but you can cycle! I hope your ankle completely heals very soon.

    I know all about having crowns fitted, and it's no fun at all. In the mouth and to the bank balance!

  5. I am so glad you had your ankle checked professionally and are not only relying on self-diagnosis (and self-therapy). Hopefully, you'll soon be able to start exercising and then you'll be aout and about walking again! Plus the "fun" with your teeth... Looks like I am not the only one whose year so far has been unusually full of health stuff to deal with.
    The salad looks great, and your description of what you use for salads would be mouth-watering if I had not just had breakfast :-)
    Thank you for the book recommendation, I've never heard of the author. What are his non-fiction works about?

  6. Great post, the book is added to my reading list.
    Prayers for your ankle healing up well

  7. Oh goodness - are you truly fed up? Having to sit about with your foot up with the sun shining invitingly over your gardens must be tough. Am glad you can find some compensation - and hope you are up and dancing soon.

  8. I, too, hope your ankle heals quickly and painlessly. Love the towels, oh there are some talented folk around. Have noted the book and author, hitherto unheard of, and joined in your love for flowers, especially those that surprise me by seeding and flowering all on their own and turning out to be quite beautiful.

  9. It looks a bit like a balloon flower to me as well (platycodon). Did it look bulbous like a balloon before it opened?
    I think that you did the right thing to have your ankle checked out - tendons and ligaments can often be more painful and difficult than actually breaking a bone.
    The little hand woven towels are delightful - what a lovely gift to receive.

  10. Perhaps the flower is related to a mallow? Not sure about the leaves. I love when volunteers just bloom in a pot! Sorry about your injury and I do know how that goes as I have been there a few times, but not smart enough to chance my intake of food. Best advice is to be patient with your body. Exercise, but do not push too much.

  11. Congratulations on the petunia photo. Dappled light can ruin many a photo, but I think it made this one, partly because those hilites are now blown out.

  12. Oh Jenny, I'm bummed that you are somewhat laid up with the ankle. It has to be very frustrating -- but at least you know what it is and have a plan. Are you using loads of ice? Hope so and hope all is helping. Certainly your indoor photography is magical -- wish I knew what the plant was, though. Love the fuschia dancers! The salad looks wonderful -- I've been in salad mode, too. And the book sounds very good.

    Hang in there -- I'm hoping soon you'll be able to walk with that and then who knows what all!

  13. Take care of that ankle. Long term loss of mobility is a curse

  14. Hello Jenny, Your injury certainly is not curtailing your interest in life and beauty. Please continue to heal, but don't try too much too soon.
    p.s. Some people are so skilled--I cannot believe that those towels are hand-woven.

  15. I'm sorry about your ankle and the bother with the dentist. Things have a way of piling upon us sometimes. Your salad and book sound divine. Here's hoping you have both good rest and rapid healing. As for the national parks, I'd come quickly before the prices are raised, the lands are drilled or otherwise befouled.

  16. I'm so sorry about your ankle...hoping for speedy healing. At least you seem to make the best of being housebound. Photographing flowers, eating delicious salads, and reading interesting books sounds like a good time to me!

  17. I do hope the ankle now behaves with resting and encouragement. The bike riding sounds like good medicine too. I took one look at your delicious salad and went off and added a few more things to my shopping list. We enjoyed wonderful salads like that on our recent cruise, and felt exceptionally well by the time we came home :) What a cute little self sewn pink flower - I hope you find out its name soon!

  18. I do hope that your ankle recovers quickly. The fuchsias are beautiful (I have such trouble spelling that word). The novel looks interesting now you've enlightened us. Salads are staple for me: not straightforward ones but ones made of 'small' vegetable as you said and pulses and quinoa or millet plus feta cheese.

  19. I appreciate how your ankle will limit life, though it does make the family appreciate you more when it heals.
    But on a bike?
    Fuchsia's are great little flowers, so complex yet so marvellous. I have always admired them. All flowers are worth cogitating upon, they are so varied and so colourful.
    Summer salads (with meat) are the order of the day!
    I hope things heal quick for you.

  20. Dear Jenny,
    I love your salad, fresh veggies + egg + chick peas + capers = it sounds like very tasty meal. The Joanne's towels are pretty, they perfectly suit to your kitchen.
    About the self-seeded plant. Looking at the shape of leaves and a flower (if I'm not wrong) I thing it's one variety of Honeysuckle family.

  21. I hope your ankle gets better soon. You found a perky lady to help you with exercises, that's for sure. Suddenly being less active takes some getting used to. Hope it won't last too long.

    Beautiful flowers, the book looks good, and what pretty hand woven towels in just the right color.

    Good luck at the dentist's. I hope it's a good week. :)

  22. Take good care of that ankle, Jenny, and don't put any unnecessary strain on it (do I sound like a doctor, or what?). Long ago I had a similar problem with my right arm and was in pain for a year. Any slight movement irritated it.
    Out of the two evils, I'd probably rather hurt my ankle than visit a dentist....

    I don't know much about flowers, but those fuschias are wonderful. They do look like dancers! And that salad is extremely tempting.
    It was so nice of your blogger friend to send those hand woven towels. I like the pumpkin color.

  23. Hello Jenny, sorry to read of the tendon problem. Tendons take ages to heal because they don't have much of a blood supply, so stock up on books and flowers.
    I think your little pink wotsit could be a form of Malva (Mallow). There are lots of different ones, some big, some'll just have to wait and see!

  24. Sorry to hear about your ankle. Hope you can put it right. Joanne's towels are really lovely, she has a great skill. I read Golden Hill a while back. I was disappointed but I won't elaborate because I don't want to spoil your enjoyment. There's nothing worse than liking a book and then someone telling you all the reasons they didn't like it!

  25. I am really sorry to hear of your tribulations. Good that you can still cycle. Great photos. :-)

  26. Rotten luck! Can you borrow a wheelchair off someone? Just been on a wonderful trip through the woods at Wallington (a fantastic NT house near Newcastle) pushing one. We would have taken loads of photos had the camera battery not been flat! If you have a willing pusher, it can be great for morale!

  27. Hello, Jenny! Nice to know you saw a doctor to identify your ankle problem. Hope the swelling goes down sooner and then the tendon treated well and cured. When I had acute osteoarthritis, I also took photos of the flowers in my garden. My April and May posts were made up of the photos taken last year and the photos from my garden. The petunia seen against the sun looks like a universe like its name. I like your wholesome salad. My favorite seasoning is fresh lemon, olive oil (especially produced with unripe green olives), vinegar, and soy sauce. Take care of yourself.


  28. Great looking salad. This is certainly the time of year for salads given all the fresh ingredients that are available.

  29. I don't think there is anything ordinary about fuschias. They are gorgeous flowers. And that salad looks delicious.

  30. These are so gorgeous! Awesome photos too. We are also on salad diet.

  31. Hey dear Jenny!

    i wish hope and pray that your ankle is better now and you are back to your wonderful walks and wanderings!

    i loved these gorgeous flowers specially the blue one has phenomenal beauty within!

    this is great that you are taking light food which is best when one is not much active physically
    this plate of salad is so appealing!

    it happened to me sometimes either that on first look i did not find a book appealing but when took a close look and waved it's pages little i thought it can be interesting and it was when i read it !

    glad you liked the book and hope you will find his other work also finer
    take good care and stay blessed with positive attitude my friend!


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