Week seven: stuck in the middle


Wake up with: £80

Go to bed with: £62.32

Boo hoo, it’s time to fly back to the UK. Mum drives us to the airport and we hug goodbye. Should I be worried that she cried when we arrived, but not when we left?

I hate airports. I hate the whole ridiculous security rigmarole. Why do I need to put all my liquids in a sealable plastic bag? Why does it need to be of set dimensions? Why do I have to pay £1 for said plastic bag? The constant in-out, in-out, shake it all about of bags, passports, tickets and liquids is tiresome in the extreme.

This time they confiscate the beautiful silver-plated fork I bought at the recyclerie in Bordeilles. Honestly, I know I’ve suffered from Ryanair-rage in the past (no, I don’t want a scratchcard, I want you to stop making these incessant sales pitches over the tannoy), but I can be trusted with an antique fork. Still, at least I still have the spoon.

I’m so exhausted by the time we get home that we collapse on the sofa and order an Indian takeaway. It’s naughty, but worth it.


Wake up with: £62.32

Go to bed with: £55.33

After a morning restoring order to our flat and chipping away at the laundry mountain, we travel to Leyton for a friend’s housewarming. It’s a miraculously dry day and we spend the day basking in the sunshine, drinking rose and admiring the beautiful house and garden. We get home late and drunk. And so to bed.


Wake up with: £55.33

Go to bed with: £13.12

After a week’s break, it’s time to prepare for the return to work—and this isn’t going to be any old week. This is a super scary deadline week and everyone in my team is either on holiday or paternity leave, so it falls on me to pick up the slack.

Time to stock up on food and cook my little socks off so I won’t be tempted to stray off budget when it’s late and I’m exhausted and hungry.

First though, I set off on a foraging mission to collect elderflowers. In truth I know exactly where to find them in N16—I spotted them last weekend when I was out compiling my Stoke Newington top 10— but I can’t possibly reveal the source: first, because a good forager keeps her cards close to her chest and, second, because I’m pretty sure you aren’t supposed to pick flowers in London parks. Ssshhh.

saag aloo deconstructed for summer Indian food recipe


Wake-up with: £13.12

Go to bed with: £11.77

I’m extremely glad of my packed lunch, leftover five spice broth and pork dumplings, come lunchtime. It’s a nightmare of a day, rescued by the fact that, on the way home, I spot a little pharmacy on Kingsland Road and finally manage to track down the elusive citric acid for my elderflower cordial. It’s a case of 11th time lucky.

We have our usual Monday supper club, only dinner is served considerably later than normal, and I make chicken curry and a summer version of saag aloo. The highlight is definitely the super birthday brownies bought round by Casetteboy. I wish I had made up the recipe for those babies.


Wake-up with: £11.77

Go to bed with: £11.77

A complete contrast of a day today. Somehow, I have managed to end up working in the luxury industry. That means that I spend a large part of any given weekday writing about watches that are worth more than my house, expensive face creams and ultra-plush hotels. Today, it’s the opening of the Bvlgari hotel in London and I’ve been invited for a tour and a lunch. It is beautiful, but methinks slightly outside LoveRichCashPoor’s price range.

When I get home, there is no food in the house and it is very late. I want to give up and get a take away. Thankfully the husband stays strong and manages to talk me down from my curry goat ledge. He is duly dispatched to the shop for supplies and I make a pasta sauce for us both.


Wake-up with: £11.77

Go to bed with: £11.77

The husband emails me at work: a house that made the shortlist back in November has reappeared on Rightmove, and it’s £15k cheaper too. Our last appointment was cancelled because the vendor’s boiler exploded, we saw dream house number one that day instead. I ring the agent and book an appointment for Saturday. Please property god, let this be the one.

I’m a football widow tonight—there’s some Euro 2012 thing on apparently—but I’m grateful for the chance to curl up on the sofa in my dressing gown with the remote control and a bowl of pasta. Bliss. I watch Grayson Perry’s All in the Best Possible Taste, which is fascinating, although a little too disturbingly accurate in places—my Le Creuset habit marks me out as a middle class creative, apparently (true).


Wake-up with: £11.77

Go to bed with: £4.18

Curls is coming to dinner so we can be football widows together – hurrah! I haven’t seen her for years (okay, a month) so we have plenty to catch up on. Unfortunately, the cupboards yield little joy. I decide to make a polenta and courgette bake, served with crusty bread and a green salad. Peasant food for a peasant budget. The wine is not at all budget; Curls has decided that we are grown up enough for ‘good wine’ and brings a beautiful crisp Sauvignon Blanc.

  1. Meadowland said:

    I can’t believe they confiscated the beautiful silver fork at the airport! I rushed off do I could have a private weep in the car as too embarrassing to cry in airport. Fingers crossed for the house viewing.

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