This week I’m celebrating the anniversary of my last day in the office. Yes, 13 March was my last day in the office before we switched to remote working “for a few weeks”. We had no idea what was coming, and in retrospect, that’s probably a good thing. I’m not really celebrating. I’m not opening champagne and toasting a year of home working. I’m grateful of course that I can do home working, but I do feel sad at having missed a year of contact with people. Remember sitting in a room with people for a meeting? Remember bumping into people in the cafeteria at lunchtime? Remember having to wear good clothes on your top and bottom half? Remember commuting where you had to get up and get ready to leave the house? All just so many fuzzy memories now.
After being angry on Monday for International Women’s day, I’ve been angry all week at the unfolding story of the disappearance of Sarah Everard, especially as the man arrested and charged with her kidnap and murder is a police officer. A Police Officer. One of the guys who is supposed to keep us safe. How can any woman feel safe? This man may have also made an indecent exposure at a fast food restaurant some days earlier and there is an investigation into that. I’m wondering if it will come out that when officers turned up to investigate they realised he was “one of them” and let it go. Only three days later to find themselves digging in a forest looking for a young woman’s body, a woman murdered by that ‘one of us’ they didn’t report. There’s a lot of anger about this murder. One member of the House of Lords suggested imposing a curfew on men to stop them raping and mustering women. This of course was met with complaints and derision but she wanted to provoke discussion she said, why is it considered appropriate to tell women to stay home but not appropriate to tell men not to rape and murder women? Why is it always women’s fault?
I really resent that international women’s day seems to have been hijacked by a discussion about How many women can we get in company boards, when in fact for me the more pressing question is Why can women still not walk safely alone at night?
I’ve just finished week 2 of How to Write a Novel. It’s not a lot of work time wise, but a lot of work thought-wise when you have to think about your characters and write answers to questions that help you understand your novel structure and where the gaps and weaknesses lie. Unhappily I’m finding a lot of gaps. And I’m finding out I know more about my side characters than my central characters. I’m starting to realise a novel is about more than just word count and “a good idea”.
Why celeriac is my new favourite vegetable: (That’s not entirely true, I don’t have a favourite vegetable. But I am discovering the benefits of celeriac. ) It’s starchy like potato but has 1/7 of the calories and 1/4 of the carb loading. And if you roast it in thick slices for an hour (30mins each side) it gets a soft flavourful texture. (We like to sprinkle celery salt on it, just to emphasise the celery flavour). Anything that gives you that starchy “full” feeling but without that glycemic loading is a winner in my eyes. Husband had a brilliant idea today, that you could use these roast celeriac slices as alternatives to burger buns (plus to vegetable units, minus to empty carb calories). And I’m keen one day to try this roast whole celeriac which looks so very pretty.
I seem to have hit a weight loss plateau. After some easy wins early in the year, I’m at the point where more fruit and veg is no longer making a difference. So time to address 1. exercise, and 2. the non fruit and veg components of my diet. I am due to return to regular running now we are out of the frost zone, and I know I need to do more than just walking. Although we did go for a three hour walk late on Saturday afternoon, getting home just as it was is getting dark. That’s on top of two one hour night walks during the week. I am moving, just not enough of the right movement.
This week I finished the first of the Mary Russell books by Laurie R. King. This is a series we stumbled on in a 2nd hand shop and have since gone back and collected the missing part of the series. Mary Russell is a protegee of Shelock Holmes, so the novels will be about this young woman and her professional relationship and friendship with the great but ageing detective. They look like being good fun reads, and add to the other ‘lady detective’ novels on our shelves – the Mma Ramotswe / No.1 Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith and The Kopp Sisters series by Amy Stewart.
Any suggestions for other female detective series welcome in the comments!