Housekeepers Diary

By Alison January 29, 2013 2 Comments 2 Min Read

Uncertainty is wrapped around you like a blanket and so you are nesting. You imagine yourself as a magpie. Flitting out on short trips cosseted in scarves and gloves and too many layers, and returning ladled with this and that to scatter around the house and build a pretty, rose covered bullet-proof wall between you and the rest of the world.
Yesterday you shopped for nothing at all and came back with bags full of stuff.

Today the skin on your neck is red raw and you are scratching an itch that probably isn’t there. You take meat out of the freezer for a stew and you take vitamins for a litany of imaginary deficits. You feel a strong need to be still and meditate for twenty minutes as soon as your little one is spirited away to school, the scent of frankincense and myrrh drifting around you as you try to lose yourself in it’s smoke.

But it is too cold to concentrate. You are almost permanently cold. Despite the layers and the radiators and the warm soups, your bones are cold and stiff. So you add another cardigan to the befuddled, ever so slightly glamorous street lady look you have got going on and drink a cup of chai stirred with a stick of cinnamon and sweetened with agave.

Now you have money spread across the dining room table. Cash to be distributed into envelopes for this and that so you will not squander it on needful things like more candles or another pair of cosy slippers. You are astonished now by your clarity of mind. How easily all those things normal people have always done, now come to you, so very used to living in chaos. You are changed. Something changed you.

It is Tuesday. That means a trip to the post-office and another to the bank. It means tidying up your life. Throwing out twenty -seven things. Gathering the recycling ready for collection. Buying yourself a bunch of flowers for the vase now sitting on the new, but old oak bookcase bought for a song, and now living on the landing between your bedroom and his nibs…

Tuesday. Scouse and bread still warm from the oven for the evening meal. Scouse. The most basic of foods: meat, carrots, potatoes and onions. A Liverpool stew streaked with the violent pink vinegar of red cabbage. Winter in a bowl. Something to look forward to.

Sustenance for cold bones and nourishment for your soul.



  1. Carol says:

    Hello Alison, I know you gave your recipe for scouse once before. It sounds like a comfort food I would love. Any chance of getting your recipe again? I cannot find where it was. Thanks.

  2. Carlie says:

    *sigh* You make me want to button myself down for the day and be warm and cozy and revolutionary and my own soul doctor—-all at once.

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