It’s no bloomin’ wonder that, historically, women in Asia were rarely multi millionaire industrialists.

It’s about 14 years since I made a curry – we used to have curry evenings as a sort of wrap meal at the end of every episode so I used to make a lot of them, one every three weeks in a series run, but I’d forgotten how long it all takes! By the time you’ve mixed the spices and chopped the onion and sliced the garlic and grated the ginger….. and mellowed them all, and then chopped the spud and scalded the tomatoes (I hate peeling tomatoes, slimy job) and skinned the chicken…. and then scraped the fat off the skin and baked it to make it all lovely and salty and crispy… and then browned the chicken… and then mixed it all together in a great big pot and washed up a kitchen load of utensils….  quite frankly there’s no time left to become the CEO of even the smallest International Company.

But it’s all done now and in my slow cooker and the house smells absolutely amazing, and while I hope the fragrance doesn’t hang around for ever, I’ve really enjoyed doing it. As I chopped and stirred and grated I listened to a dramatised reading of the Bible on and wonder why they felt it would improve the experience to have a drum roll here, and a threatening chord there… and I tried not to laugh at how they portray the Pharisees, and the ponderous voice they give God. All I’ll say about the dramatised version of the audio bible is that they could have saved themselves the trouble. The story is enough without the bells and whistles.

And I forgot to get star anise. Bother.

I have a darling friend who is going through the mill with cancer. I found myself stirring the curry and gazing at its deep deep colours and the gleam and shine of it, the steam on the glass lid of the slow-cooker, taking a great heady breath of the fantastic aroma, tasting it…. and thinking of her. Surely if she was here, and tucking into a big bowl of love like this, she would be better? Surely love would ease her fears and calm her heart? I wish she was here. If you’re reading this, my darling friend, I wish you were here. And until you are, just know that the world is full of warmth and comfort, and love. Know that for every moment of fear there is an eternity of assurance. I know I said this yesterday but they bear repeating, the words of Christ: ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy ladened and I will give you rest.’

It’s a world full of pain and anxiety and wrongness, but it’s also a world full of friendship, great pots of steaming love, tables ladened with affection, support and acceptance, dawns of delight and sunsets of heartbreaking beauty.  Choose, when you can, to think of the good things. I know it’s hard to make that choice, impossible today maybe, but when you can, darling pal, choose to think of the good. That’s how you’ll get from this minute to the next.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”   

I love that phrase ‘Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice.’ What we saw in Paul and in Jesus was love and gentleness. His love and gentleness won’t desert you now.

When next you come to West Wales, my beleaguered chum, I will make you a curry.

And the God of peace will be with you.





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