Earlier this week my car broke down. On the highway. I had just dropped off a colleague in Rotterdam and was heading towards Delft on the A13 when my stick shift refused to be manoeuvred into fifth gear. No matter how I pushed and pulled, it just would not budge. It was truly scary. Trucks and cars started honking, so I banged on my emergency lights and pulled over onto the shoulder of the road where I took a few deep breaths and somehow managed to get the car going again. Not much later the same thing happened again, though this time I was on a provincial road and thank goodness, closer to home.
Nonetheless I had to phone the Automobile Association to come and help me out. I was told it would take up to an hour for someone to arrive. It was a hot day - luckily I had a bottle of water in the car with me. My first reaction over the whole affair was one of annoyance: why oh why OH WHY did this have to happen?! I had looked forward to getting home early, having the house to myself and doing a few work-related chores, but no: my car just had to throw a spanner in the works. But after the initial irritation, something else happened. I again took a few deep breaths and... surrendered to the situation. Okay, I thought, so I'm here, with a bottle of water and the radio on - what's so bad about that? Slowly but surely I actually started to enjoy myself. Here I was, chilling out, singing along to the radio and watching the world go rushing by. I had temporarily stepped out of my schedule and it felt good. As I was sitting there, I began observing the reactions of folks who passed by. Some stopped to ask if they could help which put a smile on my face, others gave me a look of sympathy and moved on, and yet others saw me sitting there more or less stranded and laughed themselves silly.
But the latter group of passers-by had little effect on me and by the time the AA man arrived I was nothing less than chipper. Sensing my good mood, he began telling me all about his Bulgarian girlfriend and how lucky he was to have met her, the love of his life, even if it was a bit late in life (but then he was a late-bloomer in all areas, so why not this one?). He told me he couldn't understand a word of Bulgarian, but that didn't matter because the language of love was the only language they needed. (He really told me all this - I kid you not).
In all honesty I enjoyed my afternoon, first sitting in my car unable to do anything work-related and later talking to the AA man, which I wouldn't have done if I'd stayed annoyed and resentful about my car breaking down in the first place. It's just a pity I didn't have my camera with me as I could have taken photos of some beautiful flowers growing against all odds in the cracks of the pavement and concrete. What I did do later that day was take some photos of flowers growing in the cracks of my neighbourhood.
Stuffed Baked Apples
4-6 apples (any kind you like)
60 grams almond meal
60 grams raisins
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 heaped teaspoon of cinnamon or mixed spice
- preheat the oven 180 degrees Celsius
- core the apples and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper
- in a bowl mix all the ingredients together
- stuff the apples with the mixture
- bake 35-40 minutes (the apple should be nice and soft)
- serve with a dollop of cream, if desired
|Funny looking fellows, but they taste delicious|
|We had no problems polishing them off|