Food that needs no cooking


1.Avocado pears have protein in them.Eat alone or make a melon,avacado and grape salad
Have some bread & butter
2 Mix chopped apple,carrot,celery with cubes of cheese.Eat with French dressing
3.As 2, add nuts or raisins or mushrooms sliced
4 .Cold meat plus any salad especially potato and nasturtium leaves
6 Cheese sandwich [ iron it!]
7 Cooked pasta shells with any vegetables chopped plus a Lemon and Oil dressing
8 Make toasted sandwiches in the toaster in a special toastie bag
9 Cooked rice with chopped peppers, chopped cooked beef, spring onions
And slices of orange [ thin] plus olive oil and ginger
10. Weetabix with milk, raisins and walnuts

Mary’s neighbours


Sitting on the high backed,v Ercol sofa  in the large sitting room of her new neighbours Tom and Edina, Mary sipped at the PG Tips tea she had been given in a pseudo-art deco mug.The tea tasted pseudo as well!
Would you like  some delicious  cake,Mary? Edina asked her  rather loudly
Mary jumped.
Oh excuse me, my nerves are all on edge, she cried.I’d love some  home made cake
Edina took out a penknife and cut a slice of  the large cake.Alas it was coffee flavoured and Mary was not fond of that.This was agony to her especially coffee  flavoured  butter cream filling as she liked all the other flavours..Suffering from this is a new psychiatric disorder called uncakeophilia disorder
Why are   you using a penknife in here a,Tom asked his wife angrily.We have lots of kitchen knives and other silver ones
I found it on the floor,Edina said  pensively
I don’t suppose you washed it, Tom answered furiously
Mary leaned back and shut her eyes for a moment.I hate noise, she thought.
No, dirt is good for the immune system, Edina murmured
What rubbish,  you are so lazy I can’t believe it! her husband told her.
After 39  years you should be used to it,Edina told him sensibly.Who made all these new curtains and  vacuumed the roof? she went on languidly
Did you vacuum the roof in your last house,Mary asked her?
We lived in a flat before so I never had to do it.
Well,  it’s unneccessary,Mary said , why not learn Esperanto?
Where do people speak that?
I have no idea but it’s a  language,Mary cried decisively
But can it really be a language if it’s not the native tongue of any country?,
Well Yiddish is a language yet few people speak it,Tom told them
It would be difficult for  the dead to speak,Mary said in a sad  voice
It used to be spoken by millions of people in Central and Eastern Europe.
Why didn’t Hitler teach them English,asked Edina?
You  think he only hated their language,said Tom in surprise.I’ve never heard that before.
It is  bloody ridulous,Mary said  in her soft  yet vibrant voice…he didn’t kill them because of their language and they spoke German as well,Maybe even French,Polish and other tongues
Just then they heard  a strange  choking sound .It was Emile the talking tomcat trying to get out of Mary’s large  plastic handbag
Good grief ,Tom shouted.Did we invite this cat? Does he drink tea from cups? Is he  real?
Well, yes , I love tea, Emile mewed.And don’t shout at Mary like that!
I am not letting a cat order me about,Tom screamed like a lunatic
But  it’s not nice for Mary.She is a highly sensitive person and I love her
Now, they tell us,Edina whispered.She is married to her cat
I didn’t hear you,Tom said,Is  she harried ,did you say?
No I said married
But her husband is dead
Well, now she  has taken the cat, for better or for worse.Edina said in a humorous  yet angry manner.For richer for poorer… a cat can’t earn a wage
Edina  and Tom were shouting  at each other not realising what impression they were making
Mary  called. out,
Why invite me to tea and shout like this?
Did you never shout at Stan?
No,I didn’t need to.He  listened to me.
Well, you are very quiet, said Emile, so Stan  had no i to fear you might shout
I might have shouted when I read Fermat’s Last Theorem.Mary admitted furtively
Was Fermat your teacher,Edina asked?
No he died a long  while ago
Fancy dying  and all you have to leave is a theorem
Well, it stops the family fighting,Mary said wisely
Suddenly  the door opened and in  flew Annie, the flame haired mistress of the late Stan
Why was I not invited to this tea party ,she asked rudely?Are we in Boston?
Sorry,dear,said Tom.Not many people like to come here because Edina has a bad temper
No I don’t she shouted.You have a bad temper
I get so  tired of all these projective  misperceptions,Emile said in his intelligent voice
My therapist was not a cat, but I kept projecting on to him and he looked just like a cat to me until he barked one day.He was in fact a dog.I  realised
Was that the end  of your therapy?
Yes, I  stole all the money from Mary’s purse and there was none lef.tAnd I learned about projection, that was enough
Good heavens,Mary murmured.I thought Annie had taken  the money
What!You thought I was a thief.Annie bawled What next?
Well, you’re more like a sister and I didn’t mind as I know it’s so demeaning to ask for money.
See, said Tom to Edina,I said you should not ask me for  money after we  make love
Why not, she enquired? I need some new art materials
Can’t you use the housekeeping money?
Well, if you are happy to starve,Edina said sarcastically
Don’t use sarcasm.Only prostitutes take money.,Tom added.I did say you can buy whatever you like in the way of clothes and so on on our credit card
How do you know it’s only whores? Many women do need the money as they may be single mothers trying to feel their family and  not getting Universal Benefit on time,Edina told himBut other women might demand jewellery, and expensive houses like Wallis Simpson
That’s a fair point,Tom  muttered.It’s more complicated than I realised.
Money is a big problem in many  marriages,Mary  called
But I earned my own and Stan retired early and got  a pension so I had no need to
beg him for  money
But did he beg  you,Edina asked?
No, we just kept in  the  bathroom under the soap.So it was clean.
I wonder if viruses can spread on money? Tom said
I feel sure it is  possible but how would  we test that out.  his wife asked
Best to wear gloves but when you take  them off the viruses might  fly all over the place
I didn’t   know they could fly, said Emile.Are they invisible?
Well, we don’t really know but people often get bad colds when they go on aeroplanes
Annie  turned pale.
Are you ill, Annie? asked Tom
I am having a  nervous breakdown.I’ve caught paranoia from a  £5 note.
You can’t catch  it,Mary said in her kind voice.It’s not a physical illmess and they are plastic nowadays so they can be wiped down
Well where does madness come from? It  is horrible feeling so anxious.
This is not  much fun, said Edina.I thought it would be  lovely meeting the neighbours but we  go from tarts to paranoia and back.Is this wise?
They all sat looking glum,Then Annie revealed all
I am a Russian agent sent here by Putin.I befriended Mary on Putin’s orders
He must  be stupid.Why spy on Knittingham?
Well, you   will be surprised.Mary  is an expert on differential operators
On bicycle chains, asked Tom?
How ignorant people are.Annie  shouted.Did you never see anything odd about calculus and little things appearing and disappearing?
Well, to be frank, no!
I don’t believe we learned calculus said Edina
We learned  quadratic quotations
Do you mean equations,Mary asked?
I don’t know what I mean,Edina said nervously
And neither do we, said the others
Calculus is a bit like  the Mass.Important things  happen but we can’t see  them.Everything looks the same but it’s not
Then they heard a siren.In ran Dave,  the heroic paramedic in his new pink dress. and coat
Don’t drop the  bomb, he  told Tom audaciously
I’m not  President Trump,Tom imformed  him gravely
That’s what they all say,Dave said to Annie
Who can we trust
Just Emile,said Mary.And Annie.
Why don’t  you trust me said Tom?
I  am waiting to see how you behave,she replied
Like a  kind of exam?
Yes, it’s called
Trust your neighbour and yourself? How to know the people who might be dangerous
to your life and mental health
There’s not much mental health in Britain now,said Tom.I’m a doctor!
Well, don’t shout at the patients, said Annie
I only shout at home,
That is  horrible, surely those you love need kindness?
Tom burst into tears and Emile lent him his hanky
I don’t think we’ll  meet any more of the neighbours Edina said
Enough is enough.Kindly go home
Pleased to meet you, said Dave.Do call me when you need  coal bringing in or have a heart attack
No way,thought Tom as he drank a bottle of brandy in the bathroom
I feel  we made  a  mistake… we will have to  move as soon as we can

And so say all of us

Stan gets concussion


Stan was standing on a small step ladder washing his windows yet again with a clean blue microfibre and elastane cloth and some Windolene he had bought in Tesco’s
I don’t know why I bother, he whispered to Emile, who as usual was watching from the back of the sofa, which he was “milking” gently with his paws.
With all the rain, the outside of the windows was besmirched by leaves and bits of mud.A  wiser man might have left it alone but Stan had O.C.D which made him very jumpy if he failed to carry out certain tasks… so he made use of it in house chores and baking perfect cakes and buns..and in taking snaps of frogs, birds and flowers.Mental disorder can be useful sometimes.
All of a sudden he heard clattering footsteps…
Up the garden path walked two women dressed in the latest style of 3/4 length silk cargo trousers with matching blouses, all in a subtle shade of violet.
Except for their faces, of course, which were both a light shade of beige; they had Revlon peach blusher on their cheeks and Chanel scarlet lipstick…on their lips.They also wore dark blue nail varnish from Rimmel
“Good morning, Stan!” called one of them.”We are Anne‘s cousins from Pittsburgh.She told us to call on you today.”
“Well,I never knew wearing expensive makeup ran in the genes… can there be any other explanation?”Stan cried.
“Anne told us we must wear it all the time in the UK.”
she responded,”even in bed.”
“You seem a bit fast,” he answered,
“I’m not sure I want to go to bed and as you seem like identical twins,which of you should I bed?”
They burst out laughing….oh,what a noise!
“I was just saying what she told us,not meaning that you need to go to bed with us.In fact, we sleep together at night.”
“As children that would be normal,but don’t you think you should separate now?People might think you are gay!”
“We never worry about stuff like that… and by the way,this is Ruby and I am Rosie.”
“I’ll put on the kettle and make you some coffee,” the dear man said in a kind tone of voice,before he went into the kitchen and swallowed a handful of red and green striped valium tablets.
“I wish the psychiatrist would give me some talk therapy.I don’t like taking valium but I seem to be having visions again… and I don’t want to get worse..I never heard Anne mention cousins in the USA. I wonder if CBT would help me?”he said to Emile.
“I see visions all the time,” the cat replied in a matter of fact and calm way.
“Do they not make you feel anxious?”Stan called.
“No ,I just watch them drift by,” purred Emile.”I enjoy them.”
“I wish these two women would drift off.” responded the weary yet charming old man.Ruby and Rosie came inside and admired the kitchen where colanders in many colours hung from the wall into which someone had knocked a few dozen nails.
“”Why do you have sixteen colanders?”asked Rosie.
“Why do you think everything has a reason?”Stan replied.
“I can see you studied philosophy,” Ruby cried disconsolately.
“No, I have just read Ray Monk’s Life of Wittgenstein eight times,” he quipped merrily.
“Wow,is it not boring?”
“’s so good it put me off reading lesser books.And I love to understand things or not understand”
Just then Stan tripped on the rug and fell over unconscious
.Emile picked up his mobile with its full Qwerty keypad and texted 999.
“Why are you texting?”asked Ruby.
“Well, it difficult to mioaw down a phone and now I have this Blackberry it’s so easy…. why even a mouse could do it.”
“Do you know many mice, Emile?” enquired Ruby wistfully
Rosie slowly made some instant coffee, walking around poor Stan ,unconscious on the floor…and she and her twin sat down on some white Swedish chairs at the old oak table and drank it, gazing shyly at the huge weigelia blooming outside in the shed.
The front door opened and in ran Dave, the bisexual paramedic.
“Is it you, Emile.Have you lost your hankie again?Are you sad?” he moaned nervously.
“No, it’s Stan… but at least he’s not broken the chair”
Stan came too and looked up…
“Oh, lovely,I  feel much better for that nap,” he said brightly.
“Don’t you have a bed to sleep in?” said Ruby querulously.”I like your mean expression, my dear man.”
“Now, look here said Stan,”I’m too old for any monkey business.
Besides, I don’t know if you are real.”
“We just wondered why you slept on the floor.”
“A man has to do what a man has to do,” came the mystifying response.
“Now that Dave is here,he can take one of you and I’ll take the other.”
“Where will you take us” the twins asked delightfully….
“Do you fancy the cinema… they are showing Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday”
“Don’t tell me he’s still on his summer holiday!” riposted Ruby
“Let’s go in the ambulance.I’ll lie on the stretcher” offered Rosie generously..
“I’ll lie by you,” said Dave.” and Emile can drive.Stan and Ruby can lie on the floor.”
Sometimes life seems so simple, it’s rather like a dream controlled.
Controlled by what, asked Emile,clutching his Blackberry.
But answer came there none…
And that was very odd because.. they’d vanished every one…
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In praise of kettles

Oh, lidded kettle boil me water fast.
I cannot live without your heated blast
Your spout is small but perfect for its use.
And, as your lid is hinged, it can’t get lost
An electric kettle made by Russell Hobbs
A teapot with a spout and lid with knob
Are what the English need in times of storm
If crisis comes, we need tea hot, not warm
I don’t object to diverse kettle brands.
We had a coal fire once  with kettle stand.
Its  metal black from soot and burned by  coke
We made our neighbours tea which seemed to smoke.
Ah, kettle , instrument of  civil life,
We cannot boil our water on a knife.

Cook with your iron & boil eggs in your kettle


I am unsure why I’ve got interested in using gadgets for other purposes
You can make a sandwhich.Wrap it in tin foil and then put on a table.Get the hot iron
& press it on one side for a few minutes.Repeat with the other side [check the times on google]T
To boil an egg, fill th kettle.Put the egg into a polythene bag tie the top and dangle it into the water
Boil the kettle then leave for 5 minutes for a soft egg
Repeat if you want a harder one

Now I wonder if I could cook a steak with the iron…. well we don’t iron our clothes much
so we can use it for other things
I see that jeans should be washed only twice a year [The Times]
in between the washes an hot iron pressing should kill the germs!
Short of cereal bowls——- use a small pan or pie dish

Could we boil our underwear in a kettle?
Oh,no, my underants have shrunk.Still they are clean.Give them to the cat
To be continued