It’s cold in the Ryan Air plane. Or am I just tired? Today’s Ryan Air experience is very good. I’ve been dreading flying with them to the extend that I simply no longer booked Ryan Air flights. Since complaining is an easy thing to do I find it fair to vent about the opposite; about my pleasure flying with Ryan Air. Everything leading to the take off from Malta airport towards East Midlands near Nottingham has been smooth and easy. The crew is friendly. They make jokes. Maybe, arriving at the airport two and a half hours in advance instead of all stressed out and just in time, pays off. But it’s not all. I genuinely feel well attended to.
Other then cold I am tired. Not sure how long we will fly for. Not long. I long to sleep. Two nights without the love of my love after several wonderful weeks with him accumulated in a lot of restless waking time the past forty eight hours. My eyes are falling close while I am waiting for the trolley and stewardesses to come by to be served a warm drink. I stir up, press the assistance button and ask for a tea. ‘We haven’t even started the service yet miss. Don’t worry, we will be with you shortly’. I sink back into the dark blue seat.
The tiredness replaces nervousness. Since the moment I woke up sometime but not a lot after 4 am this morning, I’ve felt tense. I pack a special Ryan-Air-cabin-allowed-hand-luggage blue shoulder bag. The regulations became stricter again. I bought the cabin bag specifically for Ryan Air. We jokingly call it our Pan Am bag. It looks like it’s specially designed to fit an American stewardess from the eighties: Barbie perfect. I fancy my tea is not far away while recounting this morning. My boarding pass still had to be printed at the stationery store which fortunately opens it’s doors very early. The weather in Middle England is checked by my ten year old daughter reading it out to me. It will rain for sure. As I am writing now I regret not having taken my pink plastic rain boots after all. I prepare porridge and freshly pressed orange juice for my ten year old. I hesitate between my Japenese long down filled winter coat and a sheeps skin bodywarmer with seperately Brian’s North Face rain coat. ‘Darling can you mail my boarding pass to the print shop please?’. ‘Mum, we have to leave in fifteen minutes’. ‘Yes darling. I quickly shower. You rinse your bowl and your glass when you’re done please’. ‘Mum, where is my lunchbox?’. ‘Thank you for getting my bag, take away cup and keys darling’. ‘Did you bring a jacket darling?’. After uttering all these words which surely are uttered in millions of house holds each and every morning again, we manage to get out of the house. The sun shines bright. First week of December. I will miss Gozo. Why have I got trouble leaving? I am very much looking forward to seeing them again. The couple from Middle England who invited me to come to them, to discuss the future. There’s no pressure. I am not expected to do anything. There’s no such thing as doing it right or wrong, failing or succeeding. Why am I nervous then?
Will I find my way into the woods of Robin Hood and the birth place of Shakespeare? Or is it all just an illusion? The date balls I’ve brought on the journey are as fully flavoured and spiced as the unknown territories I am about to explore.
For Chipotle date balls:
4 cups of dried dates, preferably not medjool, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup sunflowerseed
1 dried, smoked chipotle pepper, the size of your pinky finger approximately, chopped finely
1 small raw beetroot, grated
2 tablespoons tahini
Generous pinch of mineral salt
1 tablespoon of finely grated lemon zest / shavings of the skin of approx. 1 lemon
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds, in a little coffee cup or a small Chinese rice bowl
A large bowl or a shallow soup plate filled with luke warm water to rinse your hands while rolling the date balls. If you keep your hands moist the dough won’t stick to your skin.
With your hands mix all ingredients for the date balls together. Make a dough as if you’re making bread or pizza. Rinse off your hands. Pluck a ping pong ball sized portion with your left hand, place in right hand palm, shape the dough within your handpalm into a ball, roll it between both your handpalms, pressing gently. When the ball is round enough place it in the coffee cup or small Chinese bowl with sesame seeds and toss the ball around for as long as it takes to evenly coat it with the seeds. Place the ball in a storage container and repeat.