Today is Thankful Friday. It is one week since my last post. This is not good.
This week has mostly been work and fitfully short sleeps peppered with bad dreams of exploding boilers and nutty neighbours.
Every night has seen a new worst-case scenario, and every morning I've woken up thankful that it didn't happen in real life, but utterly knackered, too.
This morning saw me waking with a start, late and now I'm on the bus, huddled on bottom deck as top deck seems to be about 10 degrees colder.
So what am I thankful for?
Well, Friend Who Knows Big Words should get a mention after she taught me how to make Pad Thai on Wednesday.
There I was, in my kitchen, recipe book out, every imaginable utensil being utilised, trying my hand at what is my favourite dish in the world, while FWKBW and Miss K chatter in my lounge.
When it came to the egg cracking bit, it became apparent it was all a bit out of control, so I yelped for help and FWKBW swept in an rescued the day. A dash of lime here, a sprinkling of sugar here, some crushed peanuts – thanks Miss K – and some coriander and we were ready to go.
And the result? Delicious actually.
I think my deep-set fear of trying to cook new things comes from my days of Home Economics at school. I never knew quite what I was meant to be doing so got by on a lot of guess work – except at 12 years old, my experience of guess work in the kitchen was limited to, 'The toast might burn if I put it down again' and 'thirteen minutes in the microwave is OK for melting chocolate isn't it? I'm going to watch Neighbours while it cooks.'
The reality of it was I watched Neighbours and simultaneously managed to set fire to the microwave at the same time.
And we shouldn't even mention the time I cooked flapjack in bun tins for 1 hour...
So I guess it wasn't really a surprise when I was banned from doing Home Economics at GCSE for fear of bringing my school's league tables down.
But I think it was their lack of faith in me that made me panic more.
My year 9 cooking consisted of a chicken dish made in the microwave that came out quite frankly as chicken a la salmonella, and I discovered that cakes don't rise if you put them on the floor of the oven, they just become warm batter.
So I'm thankful that FWKBW remained completely confident that whatever I had done to the Pad Thai – cooked it on a low heat, forgotten the prawns, used white not brown sugar, and spilled most of it on the floor – it would still taste utterly delicious.
It's made me more brave.
I'm going to try other new things in my kitchen. My repertoire should not be limited to cupcakes and er… cupcakes.