Al’s Christmas message

Russell never thinks Trisha will expose his infidelity to his wife. Even after he shags her for two years, then stops returning her calls. He ignores the email she sends, demanding an explanation. This unceremonious dumping makes Trisha angry, really angry. She wants revenge. She waits for her moment and she strikes … 
I’ve been catching up on some reading while I’ve been sick. In between yakking with the school mums, hanging with the kids, investigating Twitter and tinkering with my blog there hasn’t been much time for books lately. Over the past few days, I’ve been tottering to bed at 8pm, staggering out at 6am to blog, then tottering back again until the Sprogs hassle me out. My lurgy seems to prefer me in a semi-conscious state to an unconscious one, so it’s provided hours of opportunity for the printed word. I’m reading Jay McInerney’s The Good Life. It’s about couples having affairs in New York. As I read, I marvel at the way men believe they’re infallible when it comes to affairs. They think they will never be exposed. I find this particularly entertaining when it comes to high-profile men, because they will almost certainly be exposed. They must know this – deep down – but they just can’t help themselves. Let me rewind slightly – affairs weren’t the intended subject of this blog, consequences were – I feel for Trish. It hurts to be ignored, by anyone, for any reason. I wonder if her vengeance might have been avoided by Russell explaining himself. But people don’t talk anymore. They text, twitter, email, Facebook post … and it’s turning human beings into abstract concepts. We’ve become words on a screen, not living creatures with feelings. We collect Facebook “friends” and Twitter “followers” to make us feel like social animals without actually having to interact with anyone. We click the “like” or “retweet” button to show we care. But those words on a screen are so easy to ignore when you’re busy, distracted, lazy. You don’t think about needing the faceless person one day – a shoulder to cry on, a job, a favour, a secret kept. So Al’s Christmas message is this: next time you’re busy, distracted or lazy, find a moment to respond if a friend/colleague/acquaintance/lover/employee/freelancer reaches out to you. Life is short, the world is small. And, while I don’t know what the consequences are for Russell yet, I expect they’re not going to be good.

TONIGHT’S MENU: Fish, chips and bubbly on the beach, if the rain stops pissing down. Merry Christmas!

PS Loved the Baharat lamb last night … here’s how I did it …

Mix 2 tablespoons of baharat spice with a few slugs of olive oil (if you can’t find baharat, google it and make your own mix, it’s paprika, pepper, cumin, cassia, cloves, coriander, cardamon & nutmeg). Rub it over a lamb shoulder. Place the lamb shoulder in an oven dish with one cup of water. Cover tightly. Bake for 5 hours at 120C. Cut one sweet potato into small cubes, toss them in olive oil and bake in the oven until soft and golden. Prepare 1/2 a box of cous cous according to directions on the packet. Melt 50g of butter and a few slugs of olive oil in a frying pan, add four chopped shallots, one teaspoon of cumin and one teaspoon of chilli flakes, plus one sliced garlic clove. Fry until shallots are soft. Toss with the sweet potato and cous cous. Remove lamb from shoulder bone with two forks, it will fall off in soft shreds. Place cous cous on a platter, scatter with lamb, drizzle with a mixture of one tablespoon of smoked paprika (Woolies has this) with one tablespoon of olive oil. I served the dish with grilled haloumi, roast potatoes and green veg.

2 thoughts on “Al’s Christmas message

  1. Alana, I’m tempted to make this lamb for our Christmas Eve party tonight. Hope you are feeling better soon. Merry Christmas. x

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