Food on Friday ~ Easy Summer Dishes

All I’ve got’s this lazy summer afternoon, food, and wine, and you…..

Face it, on a nice warm summer’s day, the last thing we want to do is spend ages in the kitchen.  These dishes are perfect for summer, and they’re all amazingly easy; the kind of recipes where you can do much of the prep work in your yard, in the sunshine…..

It seems a while since I did a Food on Friday, so let’s see if I can still pull together a good menu.  There are a lot of peaches involved this week.

First for this Friday we have summer spaghetti with tomatoes and burrata from Chungah at Damn Delicious.  (I guess if you can’t get burrata then a mozzarella would work pretty well too.)  This really is a 25 minute meal which would be perfect for lunch, a light dinner, or to take to work and zap in the microwave.

Summer Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Burrata

Next this week we have a fabulous 30 minute recipe from Sabrina Modelle; grilled salmon with peach salsa.  This dish has so much going for it; you can cook the salmon on the BBQ, which means you can make the whole recipe in your yard.  Anything with grilled salmon looks really special, so this is something you can serve to guests.  And, best of all, it’s a 30 minute recipe that will make a great lunch, dinner, or something to take to work the following day.  (This recipe was found for us by Elise at Simply Recipes).

Grilled Salmon with Peach Salsa

Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has posted a lot of great recipes recently, but for this Food on Friday I’ve chosen to feature this 25 minute recipe for pesto zucchini and peach pizza with burrata.  This really is a taste of high summer, and so very easy to make.  Again you could serve this dish at lunch, dinner, as a snack, or take some to work the following day ~ maybe.

Pesto Zucchini and Peach Pizza with Burrata

From San Diego girl Averie Sunshine at Averie Cooks, we have this very, very easy recipe for sheet pan summer vegetables and chicken.  I love sheet pan recipes, they are just so simple and there is so little clean-up afterwards.  Averie says this easy, healthy, one pan meal should be ready in half-an-hour or so.

Sheet Pan Summer Vegetables and Chicken

The Minimalist Baker concentrates on vegetarian recipes of 10 ingredients or less that take less than a half-hour to prepare.  This cheesy spaghetti squash pasta will actually need about an hour and a half , including cook time, but the prep is dead easy.  This 9 ingredient dish looks fabulous

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Pasta

Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats says this following recipe is THE SALAD OF THE SUMMER; or less shouty, the best summer panzanella salad.  You know what?  Jessica may just be right, this easy dish looks delicious.

The Best Summer Panzanella Salad

For something to drink that isn’t sucking down beer from a bottle, Jessica also has this delicious pinot peach sangria ~ another sangria recipe, and more peaches……  You can’t have too much of a good thing.

Pinot Peach Sangria

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

A little while ago Food on Friday was about summer vegetables and salads.

Some perfect side dishes to go with this week’s recipes.

So, now I need counselling.

Never look to another to tell you who you really are.

A friend of mine has said that I need some form of mental health / spiritual counselling ~ suggesting to me that she thinks there’s something seriously wrong with the way I feel, think, act, and react to events and people.  I guess she believes that I don’t feel, think, act, or react in ways that she likes when it comes to my friendship with her.

I thought about this a lot and very seriously.  I am fully aware that I don’t follow normal rules of behaviour, especially when it comes to interpersonal relationships, and I also know there are, (at least), a couple of reasons for this.

Something happened to me deep in my early childhood, so far back that I don’t know exactly what happened to me when I was maybe 3 years old.  But whatever happened had a very profound effect on me, sufficient to change my personality for my whole life.  It’s complicated, but various mental-health types have said a couple of things; #1 I don’t have bipolar disorder, and #2 I may have had borderline personality disorder, but if I had I’ve recovered.  Well, that’s helpful….. or not. The practical upshot of whatever happened when I was a young child is that I will not willingly accept advice, criticism, or chastisement.  So what?  That just puts me in line with 99% of the rest of the crazy people on this planet.

The second reason I don’t follow normal rules of behaviour is because I’m better than that. I’m enlightened, truthful, open, ethical, grounded, and fucking smart.  And to be honest, with the exception of the people who follow me on this blog, that makes me a better man than anyone any of us is likely to meet in an average day.

So, I thought about this very carefully when it came to finding a therapist / counsellor / spiritual adviser….. and decided that wasn’t going to happen.

I’ve spent the greater part of the past 2, 3, or maybe 4 years trying to walk the warrior’s path.  Trying to find out who I am, who I was, and who I wish to be.  And now, after years of effort, I’m finally beginning to see some light.

It may just be a candle in a hurricane of hellish darkness, but that small light is me.

The little boy may have become a broken man, with a broken spirit and broken dreams, but today I can hold on and today I’m feeling strong.  I know who I am, and I’m not a shadow or the man in the mirror anymore.

No over-qualified, well-intentioned, mental health wazzock is going to be given my permission to dip their dirty fingers into my soul.  There is no chance of me attending therapy / counselling / psychotherapy.  Not now, not next year, not ever.

It turns out that I know who I am, and I like who I am.  And, those that don’t can fuck off.  Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, and please don’t keep in touch.

Some say that humility is the true key to success.  And, that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  All I know is that I’ve tried humility and therapy, and all I got was insanity.

I have a new plan of action concerning my supposed need for counselling.  I am happy to take no action whatsoever.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Marmaduke is as sick of misplaced and unwanted advice as I am.

blame it on the moon

Poets, lovers, and lunatics have such seething brains.

lost and alone, dismal depressed heartsick

I didn’t want to get angry again so soon

I spoke with her in the late afternoon

and I thought I was now immune

you can blame it on the moon

I’m still just a bitter lunatic

blame it on the moon

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

It’s just the dark of the moon.

Wisdom and Courage

Knowledge, intuition, and self-confidence aren’t always enough.

Yesterday I reacted very badly to what I felt was negative criticism, from a very close friend, of some posts I had recently written.  I took the critical comments from my friend both personally and probably more negatively than she meant to sound.  And yet, looking back, I still feel that her comments about my blog were a thinly veiled attack on me, which was really about something else entirely, something else I had done.  It would be nice to know what…..

Yesterday, I broke two of my own rules;

Rule #9  Trust in your own opinions, but always be prepared to listen to the other person’s point of view.

and

Rule #10  Be accepting, understanding, and compassionate.

It’s all very well my not liking what people do or say, but I should have the wisdom and courage to accept and understand that her thoughts and opinions are not my thoughts and opinions.  I should be able to rise above the shit that life and other people throw at me from time to time.  I should not be dragged down into the mire by other people.  I should make a better choice than to feel so hurt and distressed by the things others may say to me.

If a man is going to let his spirit truly fly then he needs the self-confidence to spread his wings.  Sometimes a man also needs wisdom to make better decisions and wiser choices if he is going to realise his potential and manifest his true destiny.  If he is going to walk the warrior’s path to spiritual prosperity and inner peace, then a man needs to walk that path without scepticism, fear, or self-doubt.

I know that things do not get better overnight, that this is going to be a step by step, iterative process, and that to make positive changes in my life I first of all have to show up for life and actually have the courage to make some changes.  Not every choice I make is going to be a good choice, but a golden rule is that if things aren’t working out, then do something else instead.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  ~Einstein

I also have some new tools to help me; I am learning the power of truth, mindfulness, self-care, meditative affirmations and mandalas.  I know that I need to show more gratitude and care through my actions for those who matter most to me ~ including myself.   I know I need to listen to the guidance of those who care for me because they can show me the path I need to take.  I know that I shouldn’t listen when others are attacking me out of their own personal inadequacies.

There needs to be new challenges, new rituals, and new guidelines in my life.  I need to ask a lot of myself, and of those close to me, but I need to be patient, mindful, and caring too.

To make wise choices I need to consider the past, the present, the future, and look at potentialities with some wisdom and reasonableness.  What I need to lose is anger, bitterness, judgementalism, and paranoia.

I have made some changes, and taken some decisions.  I’ve joined a different gym, and I’m going there and exercising regularly.  I’m going to the pool regularly.  I walk everywhere, I’ve changed my diet, and I’m getting better rest and sleep.  I am going to travel more, I’ve just got back from Turkey, and in a little while I’m going to Crete.  After that, well if you can’t find me, I’m on vacation.

Some say that there are wonderful, warm, loving, powerful, indulgent, and courageous energies in the universe.  And, that all men seek and desire; love, happiness, grace, beauty, charm, and pleasure.  All that I know is that I have to act quickly to find my true life path.

The Best is yet to come ~ I may have seen the sun but I’ve never seen it shine, and now it’s raining in my heart.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

the road is long, and mostly lonely

 

 

When is literary criticism a personal attack?

Nobody is perfect, even Shakespeare got his share of criticism.

A very close friend has just told me that I shouldn’t share my negative thoughts and feelings in this blog.  She told me that I should always be positive in the things I write.  She told me that I shouldn’t share so much of what’s really going on with me.  She told me that even when I feel like shit, I shouldn’t write about that.

The things she said didn’t feel like legitimate and constructive criticism.  To me, at the time, (a few short minutes ago), it felt like a personal attack.  It seemed as though my friend had a hidden agenda, and was ‘getting at me’ about the things I wrote on July 26th, 27th, and 28th when what she really wanted to say was something else all together.

She is entitled to her opinion.  And I could be wrong about everything.

But this is my blog, and I was writing about what’s been going on with me.  As far as I am concerned I can write whatever I want, as long as it isn’t a personal attack on someone else, it isn’t obscene, and it isn’t unethical.

I think it’s perfectly acceptable for me to say that I hadn’t really been operating at the very top of my game.

You know what?  I had been feeling pretty good today, but that conversation with my friend, about me writing posts entitled; Worrying About Life, Feeling very ill, and I have my problems, has put me right back to square one.

So, now I feel like shit again, with a big dollop of annoyance and hurt thrown in.

I guess that I’m now supposed to turn this whole tirade of hurt into something positive.  So, I will leave you with this;

Why hoard your troubles?  They have no market value, so just throw them away.  ~  Ann Schade

That’s pretty positive.  And, this is a nice picture.

~

jack collier             jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Travel is Good for My Health

Do not tell me how educated you are,  just tell me how much you have travelled.  ~  Mohamed

The apartment I live in is called ‘The Garret’ and I feel very much at home here.  However, some recent thoughts, emotions, and events have convinced me that I’ve been spending far too much time in the garret.  Ergo, I’ve decided to get out of the garret more, travel more, take more vacations, and relax in the sunshine a lot more.

Travel and change of pace impart new vigour to the mind.  ~  Seneca

I have very few responsibilities, a hell of a lot of time on my hands, and more than a little money in the bank ~ so there is no earthly reason why I shouldn’t be taking 4 or 5 vacations a year, or even a round half-dozen should the mood strike me.

And, it’s not as though I want to travel to far-away and strange-sounding places.  The camel route to Iraq holds no attraction for me.  Neither do the madchen and the gay muchachas.  And as for Paris, London, and Rome, I’ve spent so long in those cities that they’re like a second home.

There’s a hell of a lot of the world I just do not want to go to, not ever again.  And you can include in that list all of Africa, the Middle East, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand.  As for the America’s, I’d never cross the US border going South again.  I caught malaria in Mexico.

The places I really like are the nicer parts of the USA, some of the Caribbean, and most of the Mediterranean.  I also really like Tuscany and the South of France.  Scandinavia isn’t bad either, (at the right time of year).  None of which destinations are so very exotic, or so very dangerous.  If I’m honest I like going to places where most of the locals can speak some English, and they serve really good food.

In a couple of weeks’ time I’m going to Crete, and after that probably back to California.  Next year Malta, Cyprus, and Turkey are on my list.  Who knows after that?  But a Caribbean Cruise is looking attractive.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.  ~  Helen Keller

The one downside for me is that I will mostly be a solitary traveller.  But, who knows who I may meet along the way.  And, one never knows, I may even find an attractive travelling companion to take along with me.  On road trips, in a Mustang convertible, a guy needs an attractive and intelligent Girl Riding Shotgun anyway.  A road trip without The Girl Riding Shotgun just isn’t a proper road trip.

Some say that travel is good for the soul.  And, that a good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.  All I know is that I hate dull routine disrupting my life.

So, from now on, if you can’t find me, it’s because I’m on vacation.

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Santa Monica is pretty cool.

Scenes on Sunday ~ Piers

So, just how big is a pier?  Well, mostly it sticks out half-a-mile.

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Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Trust me, the various types of pier are interesting and fun.

I have my problems.

The first step in solving a problem is to admit that you have it.
And, the second step in solving a problem is to tell someone about it. 

For me, the savage black dog of depression is never very far away.

There have been many times that I have been in denial about my problems.  And, there have been many times that I tried to solve my problems on by own, through will-power and self-control.  Yet, nobody can solve all their problems without help from others.

A lot of the time I have created my own problems through my own character defects, such as; anger, controlling, depression, drinking too much, fear, impulsiveness, being judgmental, jealousy, and lack of self-confidence…..  Also I convince myself that I am in love far too easily and far too often.

Partly these character defects are the result of a serious mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder, and partly they are down to my own desires, lusts, and need for instant gratification.

Sometimes I get the feeling that I can’t go on ~ I always have the feeling that I don’t belong ~ that I am just not good enough.

No man can be a hero every day, and some days I just don’t try.  But, on the days I do try, I try to be honourable, true, honest, bold, and brave.  On those days I try to walk the warrior’s path with real and honest virtue.

Words are cheap, but sometimes words are all I have.

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Maybe I’ll live so long I’ll forget her.

Maybe I’ll die trying.

Feeling very ill

Never let your head hang down.  Never give up and let your soul grieve.  Find another way.  And don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.

A good friend of mine has suggested that I may have bipolar disorder, and not borderline personality disorder.

I do have very severe mood swings, that range from euphoria, to very bad temper, to suicidal depression.  But, one can get severe mood swings with both bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder.

All I know is that my behaviour over the last week had been disgraceful, and right now I have become seriously depressed.

Today I can begin thinking about making changes in my life and my responsibilities.  I can ask for help from my friends, and do some rearranging so that no day is completely overwhelming.

All I hope is that I don’t turn into Mr. Hyde again.

Jack Collier

 

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Turning into Mr. Hyde is the very worst thing that can happen to me.

Worrying About Life

My worries are a thin stream of fear trickling through my mind.  If encouraged it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.

I have been very distressed over the past few days.  I have not been behaving well.  I have upset my friends and done some reprehensible things.

How I can ever recover from this slough of despond?  How can I make it up to my friends?

I have worries just like everyone else.  However I don’t have to ruin my life. or dwell on my worries or make them any bigger than they are.

I should ‘pull myself together’ and not try to solve my problems with booze.

My problems and worries are caused by Borderline Personality Disorder, which I suffered from most of my life.  BPD is a horrible mental illness, and it’s now really getting me down.  I need to find a way of recovering from this illness.

Maybe I should get outside and look at the sky.

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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