Cooking conquests

Not so long ago a “ping” filled the nation’s kitchens,
and with it came a slight end to those pastries filled with ‘mum’s special ingredients’.

In life you see, the fact is that time flies.
We simply feel too tired to cook at the end of the day.

No you may not be called “Ramsey”, “Berry”, “Oliver”, or “Lawson”.
But you might be inspired by them to experiment with la comida*.

It starts with the £3.00 spent on veg.
It starts with the chop on the board.
It starts with the sound of the fridge door.

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There’s so much to learn from
Parsnips boiling,
Potatoes peeling,
or things sizzling.

Not least, you learn more about yourself as a cook.
– Are you someone who moves at a pace, as ingredients come together like drops of water to form a splash of a feast?
– Maybe having a recipe down to perfection means you slam a book shut in celebration, so flour cascades towards the worktop?
– or possibly you go so far from the recipes that they ought to be written in symbols, yet the very entity that is your culinary masterpiece has you grinning like a Cheshire cat?
‘Only I know what the secret ingredient is’.

Whatever the kind of cook, the therapeutic
dicing of tomatoes, or whisking of that egg
is universal.

Unpacking and arranging ingredients, with the
warm crinkling of the packets.
Mysterious aromas of garlic and onions,
and others which never quite taste how you’d expect.
Promises to yourself and others
‘next time I’ll not put so much of this in’.
– All these serve to add to the fun.

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Above all else is the pride as you think observe the food-tastic output.
‘Just look at what I did’.

Until tomorrow, when you clean.
The non-stick pan gets ‘stickier’.
The rice-maker becomes ‘inconvenient’.
The spoon is ‘damaged’ by sauce.

After that Captain Scott like expedition,
You decide to tidy along to the radio.
After all, it’ll make the time go much faster.

By Amanda Lynsdale

Notes:- Comida,the Spanish word for food.

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Massage therapy and Qi Gong

If you want to keep well and creative, I suggest a massive list of positive whole good things to do daily…so, along with gardening, meditation, relaxation, being grateful to everyone for their ‘small’ acts of everyday kindness, I have Massage Therapy from John Mackie.

I fell down the stairs 3.5 years ago, and as someone who values his fitness for gardening, self-defence, in a rough area – the roughest in Leeds – Holbeck, not Chapeltown! – it was a traumatic loss. Traumatic in both senses of severe damage: physical and mental trauma means not just psychological. The pains of tendinitis: heavy dragging sensation on foot, sharp shooting dull pains, in calf muscle, quadriceps, gluteus maximus/buttock muscle, dull, numb (which can indicate formation of scar tissue) tingling were indescribable.

I tried to get referrals to the physiotherapy care of my GP, but they didn’t do it – healthcare eh?! There was probably some stigmatization of me. It is well documented that mental health service users die younger on average, from severe physical disease and get less better heath treatment, because doctors believe they are making it up. Anyway, that’s only an aside.

I asked 3 GPs in my practice for a referral to a physiotherapist, several times but no joy. I plumbed for holistic massage therapy with John Mackie – he is trained in a wide variety of medicines. he knows and is practised in physiotherapy Chi Gong, Tai Chi, Reichian (body massage psycho) therapy. My whole system was suffering, and the bio-mechanics of my left leg, from the impact of 100s of pounds worth of pressure, as I rocketed down the stars. Somebody said, cruelly, ”Was I drunk?” ,”It was Monday morning”, I said and I drink a 10th less now down to 1 or 2 pints mild beer weekly. I asserted myself. People can be cruel. He shut up. Be assertive folks. 

I asserted my need for therapy despite the mentalist system, asserted my truth of health ‘gainst the fool with the cruel comment. Be kind to yourselves.  Deep down we are ALL OK, OK? Out of this practice of this wholesome idea I have been having massage therapy and Chi Gong, with John, since November 2014. although it’s fortnightly it really has helped.

I have had about 8 sessions, and I have noticed the muscle strength has returned almost entirely, however my balance is not quite right and I can fall over if not careful. I have to be mindful of my balance and take over, for now, this short-term conscious mind over body matter. (Normally, the unconscious, autonomous nervous system co-ordinates a healthy body without the need for conscious thinking).

The reason why I promote John Mackie are several:  He offers concessions; out of wholesome karma-choice I promote him spontaneously.. He is not a big commercial company; he is a holistic practitioner who is struggling to make money in the recession, as everyone is cutting back spends. He is a good listener/ diagnoser, and is clear in answering questions honestly, is open to feedback, attends Mind’s Peer Support Meditations with Steve Hart, e.g. Tuesdays from 5pm to 7pm, see other articles on Inkwell in this blog. Please see http://www.leedsmind.org.uk

John Mackie is a thriver not mere grim survivor. He is a good man indeed.

Milan Buddha Ghosh