Indulgence …

Tonight I am feeling fed up. Is that allowed? I think it is. For tonight at any rate. I will not stay fed up for long. But just now I am having a wee bit of a wallow. Indulge me.

I have not slept for a while. Which is not helping my mood. I am not good at sleeping but even by my not-very-high-standards the last two nights have been dismal. Dawn breaks here at 4:30am, I have discovered.

This is not why I am fed up. It has to be said it does not make me feel bouncy and full of fun, but it is not the reason why. No.

I am fed up with feeling poorly. I had my accident on the 30th day of November, 2010 at approximately 11 o’clock in the morning. I know this because I had been listening to Woman’s Hour on Radio 4 and it had just finished.

I do not look like this anymore. I have come a long, long way. However, since then, I think I have had about five weeks of feeling well. That’s not much, is it? On the up side, at least I know that I can feel well which presumably means I will be well all the time again one day. But I do rather wish that day would hurry up.

Today I went to the hospital. Again. I saw my lovely Maxillo Facial consultant. Again.

‘Hello,’ he said, then with irony, ‘it’s been an age!’

‘I know,’ I replied, ‘you must have missed me.’

‘Oh, I did, I did! That’s why I had to get you back.’

‘It’s because you love me, you can’t function in clinic without me.’

‘Very true. I think I see you more than I see my wife!’

Having dispensed with our banter, he decided that I am ill. Six years to become a dentist, a further five years training to be a doctor and then years working through a surgical program to diagnose that I. Am. Ill. Hope for the NHS yet, then. There are two working theories: a) I have chronic infected sinusitis which is a known but not frequent complication following my type of injury or b) I have an infection at the site of my other metal plates or in the bones themselves. Neither option is good but a) is infinitely preferrable to b). So more antibiotics have been commenced. Nose drops have been added to the mix. Steam inhalations have been ordered. An ENT referral has been made. An ultra sound scan is being organised. I will return to the Max Fax clinic in two weeks. Because he cannot function without me. Obviously.

Having indulged me in my moaning, I would like to share another, nicer, indulgence with you. Before I went to the hospital, I pottered up the garden in search of chillies, would you believe. I got side tracked. The redcurrant bushes that I had given up on were weighed down with fruit! I was beside myself with happiness. It does not take much. I picked over 600g and set about making Currant Shrub which should be ready in time for Christmas. My gift to you for making it through this dismal post is the recipe. Enjoy.

Currant Shrub

Makes about 1 litre

300ml strained redcurrant juice (1kg redcurrants simmered for 45mins in 400ml water should yield at least this)

600ml rum or brandy

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

1tsp grated nutmeg

300g granulated sugar

Mix the redcurrant juice, rum or brandy, orange zest and nutmeg together in a large wide-necked jar. Don’t worry if the mixture becomes a gel, it will liquify once the sugar is added later. Seal the jar and leave for 7-10 days in a cool, dark place.

Transfer the currant and alcohol mixture to a pan, add the sugar and heat gently to about 60c. When the sugar has dissolved, strain the liqueur through a jelly bag or muslin. Decant the strained liquid into a sterilised bottle and seal with a cap.

Store for several months in a cool dark place so the shrub can fully mature. Use within 2 years.


7 thoughts on “Indulgence …

  1. Sorry to hear that you are still feeling rubbish – it looks like a really nasty fall you had, and I think you have every right to feel grumpy! I hope that the new antibiotics sort you out.

    In the meantime though, I continue to enjoy your blog- it has really inspired me to use the fruits of nature! I have never looked forwards to the turning of the seasons and the ripening of berries so much! That redcurrant recipe looks wonderful but I don’t know of any redcurrant bushes sadly.

    Hope you feel better soon,

  2. so sorry that you are still feeling so poorly. I do know what it feels like to be under the weather fo so long. And can only say that you WILL heal and just to be kind to yourself in this time, and enjoy the foraging and creating that the illness is giving you some space to indulge in. Love you lots xxx

  3. Yes, what Joy said. It isn’t pleasant to be ‘interesting’ to Max Fax people. Could be worse, mind you. If you lived in London, you could have been referred to the old ‘alma mater’ and be peered at by 100s of students……

  4. I am sorry for your troubles. I understand how exhausting and draining it is to have a long term illness. If internal infection is suspected I would like to recommend two alternatives which you can take with your anitbiotocs: one is Manuka honey with a grade of at least 15+. It comes from the Tea tree in Australia and will significantly boost the antibiotic action of your meds. It is used in this country for those infected with MRSA for whom antibiotics are nearly useless.

    The other is Osha root tincture. This is a Native American root with antibiotic properties. You can order it from the Herb Pharm.

    Also eat lots of garlic. Garlic is a power house of antibiotic activity. It needs to be fresh and cut and left to sit for about ten minutes so the properties you need grow stronger. I make Boursin when I am feeling infectious.I eat it on crackers and spoon it on top of hot soup. To make Boursin you need one 8 oz brick of Cream cheese (I believe it is called soft cheese in the UK). Soften it to room temp and add four finely diced fresh garlic cloves, and 2 tablespoons of fresh italian parsley, chopped fine. Mix well and refrigerate at least several hours before tasting. Put fresh garlic in everything you can think of!

    Also try to up your potassium intake. Our bodies simply will not heal without enough potassium as I discovered when undergoing a two year alternative program to heal from ovarian cancer. There is a recipe for Hippocrates soup that kicks starts the healing process:
    this website has the recipe. You need to run the cooked ingredients thorugh a food mill. It is mild but very nourishing and it works.

    Other items with high potassium: green peppers, kiwi fruit, potatoes (baked are very good for you without butter), parsley, dill, tarragon, basil, tumeric, oregano, red chile powders and paprika (good sprinkled on sliced oranges); avacadoes, dark chocolate, dried apricots and prunes, pistachio nuts, pumpkin seeds, salmon, halibut, white beans, medjool dates, romaine lettuce, celery root.

    I am holding you inmy thoughts for better health.
    Blessed be,
    Jaqueline Biggs

    • Amy – thank you. Sorry about the redcurrants. Any raspberry bushes nearby?
      Joyful – you’re a darling. You give me inspiration and hope x
      Sue – the thought of ending up a KCH had I still been in London had not escaped me …!
      Jaqueline – Wow, what a lot of information! You are very kind, thank you so much. I shall enjoy following that all up.

  5. Pingback: More alco-frolicking & Rhubarb Schnapps « 'I know a bank where the wild thyme grows'

  6. Pingback: D-Day | 'I know a bank where the wild thyme grows'

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