It’s been raining all day today and Bret and I have minor colds. So instead of going on our Jesmond Dene bike ride like we had planned, we decided to have a day of library, shopping, and staying in.
Newcastle has many different regional libraries. But there are none really close to our house. Instead, we’ve gotta walk for about 15 minutes to get to the Byker Library, which interestingly also has a gym and pool. It’s quite a vibrant public place, and today we went crazy checking out books and cds! Some highlights include Lightspeed Champion and The Essential Simon & Garfunkel. I also got several books on gardening, including The City Gardener’s Bible, which I have already started; a very unusual graphic novel called Woman’s World; and a novel called Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living. However, I am a bit concerned because I have to make time to read for my book club, which has been going swimmingly, if you must know. For July, we’ll be going to Crook Hall to discuss Brideshead Revisited.
Anyway, so after our maniacal library spree, Bret and I parted ways, as he went to do a bit of grocery shopping and I went to do more clothes shopping. Plate Day is next Saturday, and I needed to get several accessories to go with my gorgeous new Adolfo Dominguez floral dress. I spent hours going from shop to shop, taking a quick sushi break in between. The worst was the shoes, because I only liked the ones that cost circa one hundred pounds. But luckily, I found some cute and affordable white wedges at Dorothy Perkins. Exhausted after an afternoon spent engaging in good ole fashioned British consumerism, I went home.
As I walked in, I couldn’t help but notice the wonderful smell in the house. Last week I bought some huge pink lilies, and they are very aromatic! Actually, a few weeks ago I was strolling down Gray Street, and the art galleries were having an evening event to promote Newcastle culture. I walk in to a gallery and notice that it smells absolutely divine! I ask the curator, and she tells me that she got the lilies at Grainger Market for just 5 pounds. So the next day, I rush over to Grainger Market during my lunch break to snap up these horticultural delights! For those of you unfamiliar with Grainger Market, it is a geriatric haven. I was the only person there under 75. I even witnessed an old man have a heart attack (this is not a joke: I really saw an old man have a heart attack. He collapsed, then awoke, was breathing horribly, and then started vomiting. Several people helped him, but no one was in the least bit fazed by the incident).
As I was saying, I walk into our flat and I realize that it’s time to prepare dinner. We have recently invested in a grocery box scheme. We used to do a ‘veggie box’ in State College, which would provide an array of seasonal locally grown veggies every week for a set price. But the one here is even better. We use G & S Organics, which provides not just veggies, but meat, milk, fresh-baked bread, and fruit, all organic for just 40 pounds a week. So tonight, I made the most delicious meal with ingredients from our box. First, of course, salad, with fresh lettuce, tomato, cucumber and radishes. Then I cooked up the rest of the lettuce with some frozen peas and some spring onions for a side dish. For the other side, I boiled up some broad beans and mixed in Parmesan and parsley with poached egg. For our main course, I made the absolute most wonderful pork chops ever. I don’t know why these pork chops were so tender- all I know is that I’ve never eaten any as soft. I put a soy sauce, orange, sugar marinade on them, and they came out lovely!
Anyway, so for the rest of the night, I think we’ll just nurse our colds and watch a movie or something. Hope you’re all doing well!