Old enough — alexfromalexblog

I am fifty-something and I like it. I think I’m going to stay this age for a long time. I was thinking about it this morning and discovered that it is actually the ideal age to be. I don’t have to worry about wrinkles because I already have them. If I pick up some weight […]

via Old enough — alexfromalexblog

Old enough

I am fifty-something and I like it.  I think I’m going to stay this age for a long time.  I was thinking about it this morning and discovered that it is actually the ideal age to be.  I don’t have to worry about wrinkles because I already have them. If I pick up some weight I can laugh it off and blame it on “middle age spread”.   I’ve long made peace with grey hair and I can roll my eyes when young people do stupid things.

When I turned 40 it was really liberating and I thought that 40’s was the ideal age, but when I turned 50 I realized that there was something very special about being 50.  I think its a state of mind. The experience of having lived through 5 decades, or half a century!  Realizing that you are now able, at least some of the time, to draw on experiece while being young enough to learn new things.

I’m young enough to know how a lot of things involving technology work.  I can do the shop’s books using the computer and I can even write this blog.  I also know how to use a lot of the features on my cell phone. I can order things online from Takealot and Amazon, and Google and Pinterest are my friends!

I am, however, old enough to ask for help without worrying that the person giving the help (normally my children) will think that I am stupid. They possibly do, but I really don’t care, because I’m old enough not to.  I remind myself that I am the one who helped them with their homework. If my clothes don’t reflect the latest style it doesn’t matter either because “older people” don’t have to follow fashion. There are a lot of things you can get away with when you are fifty-something.


The pizza befor the cheese went on.

I just figured out how to put a photo in the body of my blog whithout asking for help!!!!

Last night I made a gluten free pizza. Because I’m gluten intollerant my husband is trying to loose a bit of weight I feed him gluten free food as well.  I need to take this opportunity to salute Prof Tim Noakes.  His LCHF diet has made life way easier for people who ar gluten intollerant.  Restaurants have low carb foods and mostly they are gluten free (or grain free). Supermarkets also stock many more foods which I can eat.

I invented a new crust recipe for the pizza because I didn’t have enough cauliflower.

1 cup gluten free self-raising flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

about 1 cup cooked cauliflower

2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)

1 egg (beaten)

pinch of salt

A little water

Mix everything together well. I got my hands into it because I didn’t make the cauliflower fine enough to begin with. Make a dough that’s spreadable. Spread the dough on a greased baking sheet of silicon baking mat. Spread a sachet of tomato paste over the dough and top with your favourite toppings. I used smoked chicken and bacon sausage that I bought at the Spar deli. Then I sprinkled it liberally with chopped garlic chives out of my garden and topped with grated mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20 minutes @ 180 degrees C.


I’ve had garlic chives in my garden at home for years.  I thought that they were annuals and had to be replanted every year like onions, but obviously they aren’t. They have even dropped seeds because the ‘grass’ I noticed growing near them turned out to be baby garlic chives!

Thanks for listening to my ramblings and remember, whatever age you are, just be “old enough” in your mind and everything’s going to be OK!




My first bean harvest


I plant marigolds among the vegetables to keep the bugs away – unfortunately they don’t keep weeds away!




In the process of beginning this new blog today I have contended with slow internet speed and passwords and even a name for my blog. Space for a garden wasn’t my first choice, but in retrospect it  probably is the best name as it encompasses so many of the things I would like to share. (Now after I’ve finished writing I’m a bit confused because I’m not even sure that is the name!!!)

Two and a half years ago my husband took early retirement from the job he had been doing for 28 years and bought a takeaway shop in our hometown.  I must confess that for a long time I didn’t think it was a good idea, but I decided to go with it and do my best to make a success of it.  At that stage I was running a nursery school for underprivileged kids which was a joy to me.

I very soon discovered that running this shop isn’t a job, its a way of life.  Putting in 16 hours a day is often the norm. I started to get extremely tired after 3 months and when I eventually went to a homeopath she told me to go gluten free and sugar free because of infection in my stomach and intestines.  I had been on a gluten free diet some years previously so I knew what to do. Within a week I was a different person. So here I am, on a gluten free diet, spending most of my waking hours in a shop that makes the most amazing pies, samosas, burgers and toasted sandwiches, to name but a few!  My working hours stayed the same because I was doing all the admin for the shop (I had no idea a little shop could generate so much paper work!!) and still running the school.  Then 8 months ago I got a mild case of shingles and the doctor said it was due to burnout.  This made me sit up and take notice. I knew I would have to make a change in my lifestyle.

I decided to give up the school. It sounds easy when you say it fast but it was a heart wrenching decision. Once I had made it I really had peace with it and for the last 6 months the running of the shop has become the major part of my life. But … I’m not an extrovert and being around grown-up people in a business situation all day isn’t my idea of the ideal life.

Then I looked out of the window and discovered that behind the shop there is more than enough space for a garden.  I nagged my husband enthusiastically (that is possible) to let me start a vegetable garden. I even employ a teenage girl part time to help with the heavy work.  She loves being outdoors and doing “hard work” – those are her words.

Last week I harvested  a handful of green beans! What joy. This is how I cooked them so that there would be enough for my husband and myself:

Chop the beans into pieces of about 1.5cm

Dice one potato – cook the potatoes and beans in the microwave untill the beans are tender.

Fry 3 rashers of bacon together with 2 chopped onions.

Add the beans to the onion mixture and season with lots of black pepper, salt and parsley.  Toss to heat through.

My neighbour, who just came to buy takeaways told me to add a cup of sour cream and grate cheddar cheese over the top and them bake it in the oven.  I’ll try that next time.

I also have swiss chard, onions (and spring onions) garlic and a few miserable tomato plants in my garden. Its really too cold for tomatoes so I’ll have to see how they do. I’ll sow more seed in the spring.  My peas have just put their first leaves through the soil. I love eating peas straight from the pods. Oh yes, my garlic is also growing. I get a bit carried away when I talk about my garden, and in a way that’s my aim. Its my happy place at the moment.  When I’ve had enough of admin and staff and customers I can run away and play in the garden.

I think that everyone should have enough space for a garden.  It doesn’t literally have to be a garden.  It can be any hobby or pastime that makes you happy. Something that allows you to switch off from the stress that living brings.  I also do other things that make me happy but I consider myself very privileged to have space for a garden.