Schadenfreude, mattresses and wild garlic

So I want to know if I buy an EMMA mattress will I wake up like this?

Emma Mattress - Home | Facebook

And will I be sleeping like this?

Emma Mattress - Posts | Facebook

It reminds me of the 1970’s Martini advertisements which I only drank in my teens because I wanted to become one of the ‘beautiful’ people.

Martini Advert 1970s Fotos e Imágenes de stock - Alamy

It didn’t work!

Back to EMMA which I am sorely tempted to try especially as they offer a 200-night free trial period – it’s a win win situation unless I am missing something. I would love to wake up feeling refreshed, jump out of bed with vigour, full of positivity and happy to start my day.  Are there people out there who really do jump up and feel wow what a great day – good to be alive?  If so, whatever they are taking I want some.  And now more than ever. Even pre COVID days – historians will now be calling this period PC and AC – I would wake up   trying to claw open my eyes, very slowly crawling out of bed and trying to muster every ounce of inspirational energy to start my day. Apparently, the experts say it is sleep inertia and has to do with my REM sleep. Considering what happens to me when I am asleep – the bizarre adventures I go on it is probably not surprising that I am exhausted when I wake up

 That said I do remember back in the day the luxury of a Sunday morning, pre children, lounging in bed with coffee and the Sunday papers.   Which of course I could do now except that every day is a Sunday morning! So, where’s the fun in that.

Ok so you haven’t heard from me in weeks (writer’s block – yes honestly been staring at a blank page and am two weeks behind delivery of two promised articles ) and all you are getting is misery and moaning.

But having just watched a very depressing documentary about someone else’s misery I am now feeling a lot better. Think it’s called schadenfreude – there isn’t an English equivalent because of course we Brits don’t have it! But the   Japanese have a saying “The misfortune of others tastes like honey.” The French speak of joie maligned, a diabolical delight in other people’s suffering. In Danish it is skadefryd; in Hebrew, simcha la-ed; in Mandarin, xìng-zāi-lè-huò; in Russian, zloradstvo; and for the Melanesians who live on the remote Nissan Atoll in Papua New Guinea, it is banbanam.  Think that’s the island that I wrote about earlier in my posts when I was looking for somewhere to escape to.  

 A 2015 Germany study found that football fans smiled more quickly when their rival team missed a penalty, than when their own team scored. “To see others suffer does one good,” wrote the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

Indeed, the wonderful Mr Bennett in my absolutely favourite Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice, which I have read numerous times and watched – well certainly more than 10 times – I just love it when Elizabeth and Mr Darcy finally get it together. I am an incurable romantic – said, “For what do we live but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?” Ok so now I don’t feel so bad. I am not alone. That’s the thing about one’s dark or ugly thoughts, I tend to think that I am the only one who has them

 So, I shall stop beating myself up and accept that I am just not a perfect human being.

Walking in my woods today with the pungent smell of wild garlic I was remined of my early posts more than 12 months ago.  Who would have thought that here I am more than a year later still in semi-isolation?  But come April 8 I get my second vaccination and once it has kicked in, I AM OUT – yes, I will be careful but friends I AM COMING OUT.

And for those of you who have access to the abundance of wild garlic available right now I leave you with that very yummy recipe for Wild Garlic Soup that I posted 12 months ago.

2 x medium white onions thinly sliced, 2 x large potatoes washed and diced to fingernail size. Bay leaf and thyme if available. Glass of white wine. 1 Vegetable stock cube. 4 large handfuls of Wild Garlic. Washed half a lemon.

Sweat the onions with little olive oil, low and slow and season well with salt. When starting to get translucent add bay leaf and thyme.  Caramelise the onions to a latte-ish colour, then add the potatoes with more salt.  Bring a pan of water to the boil. Blanch the wild garlic leaves, a handful at a time for about 15 seconds, moving them around so they cook evenly. When out of the water cool them quickly in icy water or under cold running water. Set aside

When the potatoes have started to soften crumble in the stock cube and wine. Reduce by half, add litre of water and cook on gentle heat for 20 mins until potatoes are soft

Blend the blanched leaves, the onion/potato mix and stock until a velvety vibrant mix. Return to pan add squeeze of lemon and heavy crack of black pepper. Serve with lots of toasted buttery bread.

“Let’s be careful out there”

Sex on the to-do list

Have you noticed how small tasks post Covid take on a disproportional significance in one’s life? The kind of tasks that one would normally just fit in around everything else can suddenly take up the most inordinate amount of time. and need to be scheduled, timed, and diarised.

Today’s task was  washing my hair. It is my Bete noir.  Fortunately, I have the kind of hair that can survive quite happily unwashed for up to 2 weeks. But when I can’t bear the itchy scalp any longer, I know the time has come. I think about it for few days, prepare myself mentally and then just go for it. Why now during COVID has it become such a big thing. Surely, I hear you say you did this pre Covid. Well no.  It was my treat to myself.  My indulgence. My hairdresser has a little salon in her garden, not pish posh, but cheap and cheerful. And that’s where I go to make myself presentable.

Now left to my own devices I endeavor to mastermind the hair dryer. No mean feat. After a few minutes trying to get that ‘oh so finished shiny look’ my arm tires, my shoulder aches, my fingers cramp up and I start to feel dizzy. So, I give up. And the result is a bit like this – not me but I do see a resemblance.

Bad Hair Day? Your Period Could Be Why — Bad Hair Day Causes

So, this morning at 5 am when I woke hot and bothered as the central heating had been left on all night, I googled how to dry your hair to get that ‘finished’ look.  Of course  I had been doing it all wrong. So, for   anyone else having blow dry issues I share this advice with you. .

Apparently, I was blowing in the wrong direction and thus opening up my cuticle and creating frizz. I was putting the dryer far too close to my hair while it was still really wet creating yet more frizz and  I wasn’t doing it in an orderly manner. Yes even more frizz.

Organisation is not one of my best attributes so it’s not surprising that the blow dry suffers. Which brings me on to the question of lists.

See this is just what I mean here I am waffling on about inconsequential stuff because my once quite interesting life has shrunk beyond measure.

I have become a devoted list maker. Without a list to adhere to I am lost. It’s my safety net and with a bad memory its an absolute life saver. On an  insomnia night, I  can be found propped up in bed at 3 am  writing my list for the day ahead.  Everything goes on it from remembering to take my vitamins, pay bills, dog walk, call friends, weeding, check my oxygen levels, call electrician, zooms, cleaning the toilets and so on. It can vary from as little as 10 things upwards.  Sometimes I  put something on that I have already done just so I can cross it off because the crossing off bit is the best. Hugely satisfying and one needs all the satisfaction one can get right now.

There are two kinds of people in life those who make lists and those who don’t. Maybe the non-list makers just don’t need them because they have great memories and are naturally organised. Never been one of those.

To-Do List Cartoon | Organization quotes, Birthday quotes funny, Funny  quotes

I have a girlfriend who is also a list maker at least she was back in the day when we had young children and we were busy juggling family, children, parents and work. She used to put sex on her weekly list. It was a weekend ritual that had to be adhered to. Now us mums know that while enjoying a bit of the physical is very nice, sex can be very low on our  list of priorities – a good night’s sleep being number one on the agenda. But sex only happens if you make it happen. Spontaneity   doesn’t occur when there are nappies, laundry, cooking, deadlines and school runs. Which is something my girlfriend knew only too well so one morning when she woke unusually early, she started thinking about her to do list.  On it was the weekend sex with hubby.   Not wanting to waste any precious time she woke him up for a bit of nookie. Afterwards he said, “darling that was lovely we should do this more often.” She hadn’t the heart to tell him she had just crossed him off her list. Oh, to be able to cross sex off my list now! I know careful what you wish for. 

“Let’s be careful out there”