The Simple Life

Every now and then – THANK GOD – I manage to step out of chop, chop, busy, busy, work, work, bang, bang mode (see my post of 18th July) and tap into a slower, more mindful rhythm. It may still be characterised by doing, but it’s less compulsive and comes from a more nurturing and softer space.

Once recent rainy Sunday, I devoted myself to domesticity without trying to do emails, admin and work all at the same time.   And I loved every minute of it even though I’m not a Yummy Mummy making her own cleaning materials from baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar, icing cup cakes and sporting a floral vintage apron. Not that I am having a dig at YMs; I could have gone that way but life took me in a different direction.

I wore my own version of a vintage apron, an oilcloth gem from the ‘80s, a freebie from my father’s employer, the then brewing company Whitbread. In black, red and gold and shaped like a trophy glass, it has lasted all this time and crossed the seas with me from the UK. Suitably attired for the kitchen, I tuned into a radio play on the BBC’s Women’s Hour (incidentally the BBC has some wonderful radio plays and dramatisations) via my tablet, made veggie soup (courgette, spinach and coconut) and date and coconut balls.

Vintage apron and date balls

Then after de-fluffing the floor under my bed and changing my sheets, I had a long, slow cup of tea and savoured one of the aforementioned date balls. They are very simple to make and use only three ingredients – pitted dates, ghee and desiccated coconut – all superfoods according to  Ayurveda, the ancient medicine of India and sister science to yoga.  (See recipe at the end of this post).

Towards the late afternoon the rain stopped and I ventured out with puppy dog for a quick trot around the block. And oh, what joy!  Making a last minute appearance, the sun burst through the clouds and brushed roof and tree tops in dazzling reddish light shot through with gold.

Later on, sitting down in front of the fire and watching my favourite Sunday night drama (did anyone else love Channel 7’s A Place to Call Home?) over dinner of sausages, roast pumpkin, tomatoes and fennel,   it felt like life couldn’t get much better – or sweeter.

Date and Coconut Balls (this recipe comes from the Mudita Institute in Queensland – (

1 Cup of fresh dates (medjool), seeds removed, or 1 cup of dried dates blanched in just enough water to cover for 20 seconds then drained to give the same consistency as fresh dates.

1 cup of desiccated coconut (organic if possible)

1 level tbsp of melted organic ghee

Pan toasted desiccated coconut to cover the balls once made

Finely dice the dates and mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and work into a ball. Roll a ball to test consistency and adjust with a bit more ghee or coconut as required. They should be firm enough to hold their shape. Shape into walnut-size balls and then roll in toasted coconut to cover. Refrigerate in an air-tight container but best eaten at room temperature.