After another weekend where my feet didn't touch the ground (literally, where Friday is concerned - keep your eyes peeled for a post later in the week with photos from my epic flight in a 1940's biplane over central London!) I'm reminded that hectic though things have been for the past few months, they are set to get busier for a while as airshow season is now underway, just to add to everything else I have going on! I have made a conscious decision that with a lot of work to get done for the beer festival this year I will need to step back a little with the aviation stuff - a few shows I'd usually attend I've made the decision to drop for this year - the show at RAF Cosford this coming weekend is an example - I've enjoyed the last few years from a social perspective - it's great to meet up with and spend time with some fantastic folk - but not so much from a flying point of view as I've felt that for the amount of effort involved it hasn't quite delivered as much as I'd have liked. Many of the same people I would usually see there have made the decision to travel to Yeovilton this year so my decision to drop Cosford was an easier one. Sometimes when life is really busy it pays just to take a step back and analyse how time is best spent.
In the interest again of good use of time I've meal-planned this week to keep some of our tea time meals to needing minimal prep. I really need to do a full freezer audit at some stage and plan using up some of the stuff from there - the lamb shoulder I bought at last month's farmer's market will get cooked this weekend coming so I'm already looking forward to leftovers last week in the form of Moroccan coucous salad, but beyond that I confess to not only having a sketchy grasp of what is currently lurking in there. As I didn't have the time to do the audit this weekend we have shopped minimally for just the bones of our meals this week - there will be a degree of inventiveness by the time Thursday comes along I suspect!
The best way of keeping in track of what you have and saving on food waste as I have regularly said before is to check what you have in store already before you shop for more. I try to always start my meal planning each week with a quick look at the fridge and the larder - currently I know I have sweet potatoes and parsnips that need using up so chicken portions went on my list to buy this week (bought by MrEH while I was out yesterday, in fact, in the interests of full transparency!) - those will get thrown into a big roasting tin tonight with all sorts of veggies that will happily roast alongside them and can then form the basis of meals for the week. I couldn't resist a little bag of Jersey Royal potatoes so those will go in the pan with everything else, take on a little of the chickeney flavour and will then be used in a frittata along with the final couple of rashers of bacon from a pack in the freezer. (Frittata is a truly fabulous way of using up small amounts of things - if needed it can also make less eggs than ideally needed to serve the number of folk you are feeding stretch further, too). The second half of the chicken pieces will get used as the protein component to a couscous salad later in the week - essentially just soaked couscous with whatever we fancy thrown in. (It also keeps well for a couple of days in the fridge, if needed) MrEH also found mangoes on sale for 39p this week and knowing how much I LOVE a mango he unleashed his hunter-gatherer instincts to grab me one - some of that will definitely find its way into the couscous this week for a lovely summery hit of flavour. (The rest will likely get eaten by me, as it is. Nom!) Add some chickpeas, spinach leaves and halved cherry tomatoes and hey presto, one quick, easy, colourful meal which will deliver several of our 5 a day in one go.
With the "busy-ness" of the past few weeks I'm conscious that my activity levels and exercise have dropped a bit - not surprising really but I am starting to feel the effects both mentally and physically so this month I'm aiming to up the ante again. I've been off running for a few weeks with a sore knee but frankly it doesn't seem to be any better for not running on it so I'm going to ease myself back in gently and see how it reacts, I think. My habit in the past has been to just throw myself back into it at the level I was at before any injury-related break but of course that's pretty stupid really, isn't it (Yes, I can tell even the non runners reading this are shaking their heads in disbelief!) so this time I'll be starting with a 1km treadmill run tonight to see how things feel - if all OK that will be followed up by a couple of road miles tomorrow evening at a steady pace and then looking to increase that just a tiny bit each time I go out for a while. Hopefully if all goes well that will also gently get me used to running in the substantially warmer temperatures we now seem to have which while lovely I DO find a bit of a challenge to run in!
I'm also aiming to do a bit more towards my challenge this week by making some time on Friday to do the next stage of clothes sorting, and also hopefully get some stuff to the charity shop as well. I know there is a bag of stuff ready to go already - I'll be aiming to get together enough odds and ends to make up a second one also to take at the same time. watch this space for updates on that one!