Today began rather early – 3:30am to be exact; one of those nights where sleep is restless as I process the tasks completed yesterday as well as those left undone. I dozed from 6-7:30 and then it was time to be an adult. ‘Please don’t make me adult today’, I said to The Professor. His baby-blues simply twinkle back at me and he doesn’t say a word . . . because he knows that even if I wanted to, I cannot stay in bed.

The morning routine involves a workout, showers, packing a lunch, checking the to-do list, a goodbye kiss and out the door he goes. It’s me and the cats now; one snoring in her bed, one parked in front of the space heater and one curled at my feet on the sofa as I begin my day. Gray skies, temperatures that, according to the app on my phone, tell me it ‘feels like 21’ and the thin ice on the fish pond confirm that it is, indeed cold outside. Hot broth cradle bits of celery, fennel, carrots, onion and tomato; chickpeas bounce and bubble in rythym to the flame licking the base of the fire-engine red pot. Flecks of thyme bespeckle my soup and a quick swirl of olive oil, a dollop of store-bought pesto and I’m warm for the first time today. It’s Wednesday, it’s hump day, it’s soup day – from the cookbook ‘Plenty’.

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