Sunday post: soup and stonechats

A round white bowl full of a red tomatoey soul with red peppers and chickpeas
Chickpea minnestrone


I’ve been feeling the caffeine withdrawl this week. Despite sleeping well, I’ve been irritable and fatigued, especially in the mornings. I hope my body adjusts to lower levels soon.

But I did some useful stuff. Got my hair cut and went shopping for clothes for work. I had a couple of nice birdwatching walks on the nearby wetlands. I saw goldfinches, dunnocks, stonechats, greenfinches and some weird ducks which I don’t know how to identify.

We’ve been cooking from my beloved copy of Flavour by Ruby Tandoh. We made the tomato couscous, the quinoa with roast cabbage and the chickpea minnestrone.


We finished up The Good Place. I wasn’t very impressed with the show’s ultimate take on the afterlife, but I did think the finale was a powerful episode about grief and loss. I cried through it and have been crying off and on today when I think about it.


I finished reading Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagoski. A useful book and post to come. I’ve almost finished Falling in Love with Hominids by Nalo Hopkinson and The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths.


The album of the week is Dark Chords on a Big Guitar, (2003) an album of cover versions by Joan Baez. Top track, ‘Motherland’ by Natalie Merchant.

Soundtrack to the End of Winter

The last couple of months have been quite challenging, as well as cold and dark, so I’ve been looking for music to accompany cups of tea and introspection.

I love Joan Baez’s Gone from Danger (1997). All except one of the songs were written by younger artists (Dar Williams, Sinead Lohan) and Baez brings a rich maturity to the material. As you’d expect, there’s a political undercurrent, with songs about immigration, child abuse and environmental issues, but it’s all comforting somehow.  The collector’s edition features a live bonus CD of performances in which Baez is joined by some of the songwriters.

I’ve never really been into Dar Williams. This may be a British thing, but the extreme earnestness of her lyrics makes me feel a bit uncomfortable.  However, I’m getting beyond that and Promised Land (2008) is growing on me.  Apparently this is one of her more poppy albums and frowned on by some fans of her earlier, more acoustic sound. I have no opinion on that at this time.

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