“The best kind of rain, of course, is a cozy rain. This is the kind the...
“I’m going to scream this from the mountain top, there’s no such thing as ‘a curry.’ There’s six kazillion different kinds of curry. When someone asks how to make chicken curry, I have to ask ‘Which one?’” ~ Aarti Sequeira
You might remember a while ago I told you about how sticking to a strict healthy eating plan had helped me to control a previous bout of severe depression. Well with that in mind I thought I would share this recipe with you, it’s reasonably healthy. It’s something I had at a local restaurant a few months ago and was really excited when I managed to make it for myself at home and have it taste just as good.
It’s actually a really simple recipe; and really quick to prepare, you can have it ready to eat in about half an hour.
- 1 tablespoon tomato purée
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- one freshly chopped jalapeño pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 kilogram peeled raw prawns (I think it works best with king prawns)
- 1 tablespoon corn flour
- 1 tablespoon cold water
Optional ~ 500kg diced chicken
1. Take a bowl and mix together the tomato purée, salt, sugar, garam masala, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, jalapeño pepper, lemon juice, and coconut milk until you have a smooth sauce.
2. Crush or finely chop the garlic and place to one side.
3. Prepare the rice you plan to serve with this dish and put it on to cook.
4. Heat the oil in a wok or pan, once it is hot add in the mustard seeds and fry them until they begin to pop.
5. As soon as the mustard seeds start popping add in the garlic and stir until it begins to brown.
6. Add in the prawns and cook until they become opaque – this should only take a couple of minutes.
7. Pour the coconut sauce over the prawns and cook on a medium heat until the sauce begins to simmer, again this should only take a few minutes.
8. In a small bowl mix together the corn flour and water to make a paste. Stir this into the sauce.
9. Continue cooking until the sauce has the consistency of a sauce rather than a liquid.
10. Serve along with your rice.
Optional ~ I think this dish tastes even better if you make it with diced chicken as well as prawns. If you decide you want try cooking it with chicken you should add it to the pan after Step 5. Pan fry the chicken until it begins to brown then proceed to Step 6 – adding in the prawns.
“CHANEL lip care is a daily pampering step. This irresistible melt–away repairing balm glides on under any CHANEL lipstick. Its ultra–soft formula, featuring the Hydratender complex, leaves lips instantly radiant and lastingly moisturised. Smooth, supple and plumped, lips look more beautiful each day.” ~ Chanel
I think I’ve mentioned before that one of the problems with mirtazapine, and, I think, antidepressants and mental health medication in general, is that it tends to dehydrate you. Since I started taking medication again I find myself waking up every morning – well, actually, I can’t remember the last I woke up in the morning, but that’s another matter for another time – feeling like every last drop of moisture has been sucked from my body while I was sleeping. My skin is really dry and the condition of my lips is simply awful. It’s not just that they’re cracking and peeling, I have two big, matching cuts down the middle of each one; it looks like I’ve actually been injured.
I do my best before I go to bed to make sure I’m super hydrated. I drink lots of water all day. It never seems to make a difference.
I dread having to move my mouth in the morning, to yawn, or to speak, or to brush my teeth, or whatever, because I know that it will be painful and that my lips will bleed. Like, really bleed. On some days I actually have to steri-strip my bottom lip.
The only thing I have that does anything for the pain or that makes it feels that I do actually have enough skin to fit my mouth is my stick of Rouge Coco Baume. In the last few weeks I’ve gone through nearly the whole stick. I have to reapply it a lot but it does last longer than anything else. The best thing about it is that it doesn’t contain any petroleum – a key ingredient in most lip balms despite the fact that it actually dries out your lips.
It’s also nice that I can apply it liberally without looking silly – the Baume has the same consistency as the lipstick that the holder mimics so it’s visibly glossy but not too obvious or sticky. It works over a lip pencil or under a lipstick, if you put a lip gloss over it gets a bit much, your lips start to feel slippery which isn’t great.
It has actually reduced the problem with my lips cracking, they used be sore everywhere, now there’s just the unsightly gash down the middle of my mouth. That’s too severe to expect a simple lip balm to repair.
A stick of Rouge Coco Baume costs £24.00, which, let’s face it, is more than any sensible person usually pays for a lip balm, but given how much trouble I’ve been having and the fact that it has helped to some degree I don’t regret spending it. My lips were actually fine when I bought the stick, it was just a nice pick-me-up treat; buying lip balm seemed more justifiable than yet another lipstick I really don’t need. And the lipstick tube and Chanel packaging do make using this feel far more sophisticated than whipping out a tin of Vaseline.
“Slums may well be breeding grounds of crime, but middle class suburbs are incubators of apathy and delirium.” ~ Cyril Connolly
I have post traumatic stress disorder, as you probably know already. You probably also know that the side effects of post traumatic stress disorder include nightmares, flashbacks, and generalised anxiety. You may or may not have realised that in practice that makes me a somewhat noisy person to have as a neighbour.
On the nights when I have the worst nightmares I tend to wake up screaming. When I have flashbacks there’s a lot of shouting, and sometimes also screaming. I also have a tendency to yell at things when I’m in the midst of the worst form of panic attacks. And when I say screaming, and shouting, and yelling, I mean like I sound like I’m being pretty violently attacked. I mean, half the time I’m doing it because I’m reliving being attacked.
My neighbours must think I’m a crazy person because there’s no chance that they could have failed to hear me. Same goes for anyone walking past the house. They don’t know me, they’ve never even met me, so they think that either I’m crazy or suffering some pretty horrendous domestic abuse.
And yet not one single person, not one single time, has ever either come round and knocked on the door to ask after me or called the emergency services to ask them to come and check on happening.
And I just can’t imagine doing that. Living like that. I mean, I can’t imagine that the couple who sleep in the bedroom just the other side of the wall from me have simply assumed that the times I’ve woken them up were because I happen to be suffering from PTSD. I mean, when you don’t know what’s going on with something what you imagine is always worse than what’s actually happening, right? Especially in the middle of the night. So they’ve got think that something’s happening to me; that, or that my mental health is currently far, far worse than what it is.
And yet they don’t do anything.
They just ignore it.
Presumably because they don’t care.
It can’t be that they feel unsafe. I’ve seen both of them, they’ve seen both of us, they have approximately three times the greater mass. Also, they have the same party-political flyers shoved through their door banging on about how this is the safest district in the safest city in the country.
Besides which no-one’s going to get shot, stabbed, or beaten mystically across the 3G network if they place a call to the local police station while staying safely tucked up in bed.
I have no idea what their deal is.
I suppose they may have just become used to the interruption and learned to ignore it; I’m now a part of their background noise. They’ve seen me coming and going, seen that I’m in one piece and decided that I’m fine so they tune out the sounds of my illness they same way they do the traffic and the other neighbours’ kids.
But what could they possibly have been thinking the first time? Or the second? Or the time after that? Before what was for all they knew the sound of the woman next door being raped or beaten up became part of a pattern that they could imagine an explanation for and dismiss.
I can’t think of a scenario to which I could relate.
I know I’d call the police if it sounded like anyone was hurting them. I know I have called the police whenever I’ve thought I somebody was being hurt – even when I lived in the city centre, round the corner from a nightclub, and they were just as likely to be drunk.
I remember one night when I lived in halls at university – long before all the mental health drama happened – something similar happened. I had a nightmare that I was being raped. I woke up screaming. I must have woken up half the building.
Ten minutes later a squad of police officers were outside combing the area for a non-existent assault victim.
Because, why, for crying out loud, would you not report that shit?
Most of the time I don’t think like this. Most of the time I incredibly guilty about how ridiculously annoying my neighbours must find me. It’s just that occasionally there are other times when I really feel that it’s a good job I’m living in such a safe area, and with someone who wouldn’t hurt a hair on my head, because if I were attacked and needed help again I know I’d be pretty well screwed. Which isn’t exactly doing wonders towards restoring my faith in humanity.