Misjudging intentions, reading actions wrong

Everything I’ve learnt about re-framing, I’ve forgotten to use!

IMG_7957I wonder why.

With a plastic plate laden with ‘goodies’, we hurried to find a place to sit close to the food stalls. Eventually, on the third row close to where we stood, we found three free seats.

Sighing with gratitude, I laid my plate down on table #1, momentarily separated from my daughter by a chair that belonged to another table, #2.

Then, we proceeded to sit but for the voice of the lady across from me which stilled us in our tracks. ‘Sorry’, she said ‘I’m saving that seat for someone’, pointing to the chair opposite her – the very chair my hands lay upon. She offered me two seats, one to her right and the other, opposite her but to the left. The free seats were diagonal to one another, meaning that my 4 year old- daughter and I would be separated. I was upset. Maybe prematurely.

As we pondered what to do, the friend she’d saved the seat for walked up to her and sat right next to her – not across, as she’d initially indicated but right next to her. She got lost in her conversation as we looked on, helpless and weary. While we were deciding on what to do, I looked across to table #2 where my daughter had her hand on a chair, the same minute the chair was pulled away, by a foot, under the table.

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Turning in slight and tightly controlled anger I turned to the lady at the second table and said, ‘You didn’t have to move the chair like that, you could have said excuse me’. Shocked, she tried to explain to me, (eventually when I let her get a word in) that she was only trying to help me. Help me indeed, I couldn’t see how. And then, I spotted a free table with many chairs to the end of the room and we gathered our belongings and walked away. I was upset. Really upset. Feeling ‘victimised’. Five minutes later I had calmed down and realised that regardless of how people acted, I had a choice to ‘do and speak right’ and so I walked back to Table #2 and I apologised.

I started by explaining my bias and how I shouldn’t have spoken to her that way and how wrong I was and then the penny really dropped – she was moving the chair out of my way seeing as it was tight and busy. I was truly shocked. Where I thought she was being mean, hoarding the chair and not letting us sit,…she wasn’t. She was actually being kind. To me. Something a lot of people are.

Thank you and Lord forgive me.

I need to learn how to re-frame situations, see them from another angle, test other options before I respond.

I left her contrite with my eyes awash – a lesson learned. For today and tomorrow. And hopefully for the future.

I’m glad for this chance and reminder to focus on good and positive and being as creative with my thoughts as I am with food (sometimes).

IMG_7954Leading me on to my offering today: Preserved citruses, like salt-preserved lemons, only in this case, preserved with sugar and a touch of Cointreau.

Months back, I had leftover blood oranges and knowing they would soon be out of season, decided to save some for the coming months. And while I like preserved lemons, I don’t love them.

It was easy to do this: I quartered the citrus, and layered them in a sterilised kilner jar, topping each layer with caster sugar. I repeated this, pushing down so as much fruit as possible could go in.

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When the jar had almost reached its limits, I stopped, glad I had used all my oranges, lemons and limes.

IMG_7968Next came some more sugar to fill it all the way…….to the very top.

IMG_7963 Thing is, as you press down, some juices come up and the sugar and fruit juice begin to mix. Because I had the last of my Cointreau (I’d had it for 2 years!), sitting round waiting to be used, I poured some in, figuring it would make a nice syrup to add to some cream, some day!

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And that brought a close to the jar.

IMG_7978Which still sits in my fridge, in a corner, untouched. So far, I haven’t been inspired to use it but I know the time will soon come.

IMG_7980I’m looking forward to summer fruit and perhaps sneaking some into jams. I have also considered using them in sweet bakes and savoury stews –  I don’t think the fact that they are sugared will matter as they aren’t heavily so. And I believe that refreshing summer lemonades can be made with the glorious liquids contained in this jar!

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And so I leave you, again with a little word – in 2 days time, this blog will be a year old. Boy, has it been a full year. I am shocked but truth be told, it is a lot older than 1.

Join me on the 17th of June for a small celebration of thanks – to God, to my husband and family, to you my readers and to my friends who have supported me from the start.

I’ll share the story of how I started blogging, the resources I found helpful, who my first ever comment was from and what I plan to do with this blog in future. If you care.

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