We got back from Spain in the early hours of 2nd January. We have left the sun, the warmth and the first class care and attention. I was tired but feeling very content, we have been so lucky to have two restful weeks – away from reality. And so on the first day back to my my actual life, when I finally woke up, I was full of energy giving, our house a new year clean. I managed to sweep the living room and dining room floors; changed the dining table cloth to something bright cheerful and springlike. I hit the kitchen surfaces made the place look less like a student hangout. I drove to Tesco bought candles, more cleaning cleaner stuff and other bits and bobs. By the end of the day I had the ground floor, looking and smelling homely and cozy again. So good to be home…

The next day was the first working day of the year and I was working from home. Despite my burst of enthusiasm the day before, I wanted to make a quick and easy lunch. I decided to revisit a recipe from the summer – simple roasted pepper orzotto. Not quite having everything in stock I used some mini-peppers, 800 ml of stock, crushed and toasted cashew nuts (instead of toasted almonds) and I opted not to add lemon zest of juice.

It was so good, quite morerish – we ended up with a second helping and almost a third. I managed to blaze through the tasks that had accumulated over my annual leave period. I managed to plough through my emails, triage some referrals and start thinking about my projects for the next year. I got quite a bit done. It was a nice start to the year, how long will this niceness last? Not long I expect, I work for the NHS…

The Quick Roasting Tin, Rukmini Iyer, page 66

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