Tuesday, 9th November, 2021

[Day 603]

Every day has its own character and Tuesday is no exception. As it is the day in which I attend my Pilates class, we have decided as a matter of policy to forego a walk in the park but to replace it with a trip to Waitrose (by car). This means that as well as a little treat for ourselves, I have enough time to get home, change into my track-suit bottoms and then walk down for my Pilates class. In Waitrose, we had a delicious (and hot) cup of cappucino and I did some shopping for some things that were needed. Although I have some curry powder at home, I wanted to buy something that would add a little bit of ‘spice’ to our root vegetables soup which I intend to cook this afternoon. I finished up impulse buying a couple of Sharwoods cooking sauces, one of which was a Korma and I thought would give us just the kind of spices that I needed. Having got home, we did our normal mid-day Tuesday turn around and as I walked down into the town, I bumped into some of our church friends who were just returning home by car. In my brief chat, I told our friends about our soupmaking activities and was given a recipe for pea and mint soup (which I confirmed a little later on when I got home by consulting one of my recipe books). Then I had my Pilates class in which there are five regulars after which, I was back from my class a few minutes before 3.00 pm which is the norm. Then we had our lunch of cod fishcakes and some special Waitrose vegetables that microwave in about 2 minutes.

After lunch and a rest, I got out the other half of the root vegetables which I had prepared (diced) a couple of days before and got them simmering so that could be parboiled. Then I FaceTimed my sister in Yorkshire to get news from their particular home front – but nothing all that much had altered in the last week or so. Then it was time for us to FaceTime our old Waitrose friends which we do every Tuesday in the late afternoon. In the middle of our chat, I popped out and got the soupmaker running so that we could have our evening repast as soon as we had finished our weekly chat. Now for the soup which I think was probably one of my best yet. The root vegetable mixture comprised a couple of sticks of celery, a large carrot, some swede, one parsnip and some fried-off onions. My stock was a vegetable stock made by dissolving a zero-salt vegetable stock cube (just recently on the market) and some Bouillon stock mixture. This went into the soupmaker together with about a third of a tin of coconut milk and half of jar of Sharwood’s Korma sauce mix. The end result was – stupendous (even, though I say it myself) I served it with some croutons and a large dollop of yogurt (which aids the creaminess and helps to cool it down from its boiling point). I am going to make the whole mixture again in a couple of day’s time and leave some over to leave a little ‘taster’ for my daughter-in-law (the soup making expert in our house) and our domestic help who will come round on Friday and whose judgement I trust on these kinds of preparations.

Although I have been sort of following the COP26 proceedings, I must say I do not have much of a handle as to what kind of progress is being made. I had not realised that Amber Rudd, the Conservative politician, had been one of our lead negotiators at the last conference in Paris. She was arguing that in Paris all came good at the very last moment after days and days of wrangling. This time around, a more sober assessment must be that there is no way that we are even going to get near the limit 1.5% which is the overall goal of many. An influential report has suggested tonight that the pledges to cut methane, coal and protect forests made at COP26 will reduce global warming by just a few tenths of a degree – with temperatures on course to be at least 2.4C higher by 2100, according to the first major assessment of commitments at the summit. When you see the massive contribution that China makes to global warming, one thought might be to try and persuade the Chinese to cut their emissions by just 1%-2% a year – whilst small in the context of the Chinese economy it might in quantitative terms be almost as much as many of the poorest African societies combined. Of course, it is possible that the Chinese are playing their cards close to their chest and might pull something out of the bag at the very last moment but I am not particularly hopeful about this.