Kindness and a Cornish Pasty…

Do you ever have a week when all the positive vibes and thinking deserts you? When you ‘sweat the small stuff’ even though you know it’s not helping anything at all, and what you are bothered about today won’t even matter in years to come.

I’m working on a book for a friend at the moment – it’s a book about being true to yourself, following a positive path and changing the way we look at things. It’s going to be a great book and I’ve already learned a lot from working on it. Every time I re-read a chapter I think ‘wow’ that’s good advice! So why do I falter some days? Just as I get my head into gear I hear some sad news or another depressing health statistic and feel my shoulders slump and the old negative questions start to re-surface.

I went to a lovely wedding at the weekend and saw my goddaughter re-affirm her wedding vows. It was such a happy day and we connected again with a lot of old friends. One of the friends said in passing that she wished that she handled life as I did – she thought nothing ever really fazed me and had never seen me look as though I couldn’t cope. It is interesting how others see us. My friend had no idea that I have had dark days; days when just getting out of bed is a struggle. I admit that I always try and put on a brave face – it’s just the way I am, and I guess putting up a front is a coping mechanism for me, but just like the swan, it doesn’t stop me paddling my feet like crazy underneath the water!

Sometimes no matter how hard we try to be positive life just sucks. Sometimes we just need to admit that to ourselves. Sometimes we do need to give in, even if for just a short time. We  feel sad for people that are struggling. Today my dad told me about a friend of a friend who is undergoing chemotherapy for the third time and may not recover. She was just concerned that her family would have Christmas presents, worrying about her loved one’s more than herself. My heart went out to her and everyone is similar situations. In fact I wept for her. It just isn’t fair.

What do we do when we have a bad day; when we want a bit of comfort and cheer? Alcohol is bad for us, sugar is bad for us too now. Of course we want to stick to a healthy lifestyle most of the time but there are times when only a good glass of wine or a chunk of rich chocolate cake will do. It will not harm us now and again. and even if it does I am willing to risk it!

We have a house move looming and the form filling is more than tedious. Demands come from all quarters. Money goes flying out of the door as everyone takes their share for services rendered. One thing is for sure – I NOT MOVING AGAIN! ( At least not until the next perfect house comes along). As I looked at my poor husband making yet another call to sort out an irritating demand, his hair standing on end, I collapsed into laughter. We had let ourselves get dragged into the mire of pointless stress. We needed to lighten up as really everything will be sorted. We are lucky to be in the minority of the human race. We have a roof over our head and are looking for a bigger one. We have a choice. We should be thanking our lucky stars!

I’m thinking of kindness too, today and how being kind really makes a difference to someone’s day and I know a small act of kindness can really help make a difference when the skies are grey. We never know what anyone may be going through when we rush past them lost in our own world. I want to remind myself to take time out of a busy day and check on my friend who’s feeling low. A good point to remember too, is that people don’t always want to be given answers or explanations as to why they are feeling as they do; they probably know why already. We don’t always need someone to come up with reasons and platitudes; we just want someone to be sympathetic and say they understand. That’s ALL we need sometimes.

A Sympathetic Voice

Lately it has come to mind

It is most important to be kind,

To take a moment, and make a choice

To comfort with a sympathetic voice.

In this complex world we keep afloat,

Care for ourselves without rocking the boat.

Weigh up the politics, try and do what is right,

Find something we believe in and follow the light.

Too many times on a solitary track

Have we passed on by, and not looked back

Not knowing the difference we could have made

To the person standing alone and afraid?

After frantic years of business deals

With arrogant managers clicking their heels,

Would anyone look back and say

‘I’m glad I acted mean today?’

  Lyn Halvorsen (C)


Actually, I have decided not to open the wine. I need comfort food. I am going back to my roots and I am going to cook a Cornish pasty. And probably eat in in one fell swoop. So there.

Maybe you need to be Cornish to appreciate the comfort in this but in case you are interested, the recipe is below.

For the pastry:      

250 g chilled butter

500 g plain flour

1 beaten egg.

For the Filling

350 g steak, finely chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 small potatoes, diced

175 g  swede peeled and chop

salt, pepper and chopped parsley


Rub the butter into the flour with a pinch of salt until it is like breadcrumbs. Blend in 6 tbsp cold water, or enough to make a firm dough. Cut into four and chill.

Heat the oven to 200 c/gas 7 180 fan.

Roll out the pastry into rounds ( I cut a circle around a medium size plate) Firmly pack a quarter of the filling on each round. Brush the edges with beaten egg and draw up both sides and crimp to seal.

Lift onto a non-stick baking tray and glaze with remaining egg.

Bake for ten mins then lower temp to 180c or 160 fan. Cook for a further 45 mins. Check regularly as ovens vary. Great served warm.

Blessings to you.