Monday, 23 June 2014

A weekend of sneezing...

I suffer from hay fever but never take anything for it, so it's my own fault that I suffer. The reason I take nothing is because I feel that hay fever isn't a 'proper' disease that warrants taking drugs to alleviate the symptoms. Fine, take an Aspirin for a headache, enjoy a Lemsip when you get a cold, but hay fever? It's just a few sniffles, a bout of heavy sneezing and some itchy eyes, innit.
Phil and Matt at the Tatsfield churchyard, Saturday 21st June 2014.
Well, yes and no. When I reached the Tatsfield churchyard on Saturday morning, my eyes were getting itchy as Phil and I broke out the tea and cake. Yes, we had some honey cake made by one of Phil's daughters and it was fantastic. Andy missed a real treat, but then he did have a fortnight in the Canary Islands to compensate. Earlier I'd sent Phil a text declining a sausage sandwich – I had one the week before and, unbelievably, the clicking noise of what I thought was a bottom bracket problem, that had disappeared as I'd lost weight, re-appeared! Perhaps it was the sausage sarnie's fault, or perhaps I do need to fix my bottom bracket. I wasn't prepared to take any chances so the sausage sandwich was off the agenda, but a piece of honey cake was offered instead and that can't do any harm, can it? No, of course not, and it was very, very good.

Last week Phil and I had discussed how our respective mothers both made a decent corned beef tart – very easy, by the way, you get a tin of corned beef, a tomato and a potato. Boil the tomato and potato, mash it up and mix it with the corned beef, add, perhaps, a little tomato pureé and then put the lot in a pie, ie sort out some frozen pastry – or make your own – and make a pie, bake it for about 25 minutes, not sure at what temperature, probably 200 deg C, and Bob's your uncle. My mum's good at making it so I'll order one for a future ride and as an alternative to sandwiches at work.

Honey cake to go with our tea, courtesy of one of Phil's daughters. 
I'm really getting into comfort foods at present, having recently purchased a tin of Bird's custard powder. You can't beat stewed apples and blueberries (or blackberries, or both) with a bit of Bird's. And what's a better accompaniment to sliced bananas? Bird's custard of course. It's easy to make too. A little tip: when you're having bananas and custard, add about a teaspoon of banana-flavoured Nesquik to the mixture prior to adding the hot milk and returning it to the boil – wonderful!

So, hay fever. I grin and bear it when perhaps I shouldn't. As Phil and I sat at our usual bench in the churchyard, admiring the view and soaking up the early morning rays of what was a perfect summer's morning, the eyes began to itch and I rubbed them and for the rest of the weekend I was sneezing loudly, rubbing my eyes and generally feeling pretty crap. Saturday night I hit the sack with sore eyes. I didn't sleep too well and when I woke up around 0700hrs, knowing that Phil wasn't going cycling on Sunday, I weakened and didn't go, much to my own disgust. Still there were things to do, one of them being gardening, and mum was coming over for some lunch and a bit of weeding (there's a lot of tall grass lurking in my flower beds).

The hay fever wasn't as bad as Saturday, but it was still a bit irritating and my loud sneezing must have disturbed the hazy summer Sunday peace for many of my neighbours.

I hate missing a ride so next weekend the plan is to hit Westerham on both Saturday and Sunday. I might even get a ride in mid-week if I take some time off.

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