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Sunday, 11 October 2015


I was 20 when I first travelled by plane and so excited!  Through my porthole, I stared down at the patchwork squares of fields cut by rivers and dotted with clumps of trees and lakes.  Then we went up through the clouds to blue skies and bright sunshine glinting off silver wings.  Huge white fleeces below . . . I could no longer see the land.

It was wonderful until we started a bumpy descent.  Everything I’d eaten suddenly wanted out and my ears were killing me.  I couldn’t hear for about half an hour after we landed.

The next time I flew, I sucked on the hard lemon candy a stewardess brought around, but it didn’t help my ears.  Gravol just made me groggy and miserable.  Finally, I figured out for myself that yawning works.    My ears crackle but at least they stay clear.

A postage stamp to sit on though. . .   The longer I sit, the narrower it gets, as my bum flattens and spreads like a cookie in the oven.

But, on the other hand, on our next flight there’ll be dinner, a glass of wine, and hot towels in the morning and then an announcement: Ladies and Gentlemen, we’ll be landing shortly in . . .  


¾ cup cilantro (coriander) leaves
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 small onion (8 ounces)
½ cup chopped pickled green chillies (or fresh)
1 tbsp liquid from pickled green chillies (or fresh lemon juice)
4 slices fresh ginger root, grated or finely chopped
1/8 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
¼ cup grated unsweetened coconut

·        Grind together onion, garlic, and cilantro leaves.
·        Add all the other ingredients and grind together.

                     (Based on: Mary Atwood’s A Taste of India)