Friday, February 13, 2015

La vie en rose

I tend to be an optimist, I have always been that way (unless we're talking bureaucracy, then I am given to looking on the black side). To me the glass is usually half full, not half empty, if you know what I mean.

That doesn't mean I don't have bad days or moments, of course. I most certainly do.

Like the other day for example.

I could tell you the story this way: the other day I left the office to meet a friend for lunch. We were supposed to meet up with another friend too, but she had to cancel at the last minute because her daughter had a fever. Initially, we thought of postponing the lunch, but then decided to go anyway because we hadn't seen each other in ages. We met in front of her office and had a salad in a café across the street. At 3:00 I had to be somewhere for work until 5:00. Then I had to pick my son up from kindergarden at 5:30, go to my daughter's school to meet with her teachers and get her report card, and pick her up.

My friend had a meeting at 2:30, so at 2:15 I walked her back to the office, where I had left my bike, only to find it had fallen over and was all tangled up with a bike that had fallen on top of it. As we untangled the bikes, I realized the saddle was gone. I looked around to see if it had fallen off when the bike fell, but I already knew it wasn't anywhere nearby. Somebody had stolen it.

Who the hell steals a saddle from a bike? I mean, if somebody just stole yours, you wouldn't do that right back to someone else, would you? And if somebody actually stole it to sell it - seriously how much are you going to get for a stolen seat? I knew I should have postponed this stupid lunch!

But it was useless to waste time on these thoughts, I had to find a solution and fast.

I started walking towards my appointment thinking.

"I have to be at work in a little over a half hour..."


"How am I going to get to my kids' schools in time?"

Sh*t. Sh*t.

"Where am I going to leave my bike for the night if I have to take the bus home?"

Sh*t. Sh*t. Sh*t.

"When am I going to pick up the bike tomorrow, and how do I get it all the way back home without a seat?"


I called my other girlfriend, the one who was supposed to meet us, because she lives in the area, to enquire about bike stores. While I was on the phone with her, I realized the whole block was under construction... I got caught in a dead end, had to maneuver the bike with one hand in the middle of heavy traffic and then scaffolding, while people were rolling their eyes at me, with the result that I kept banging the damn pedal into my shin and ankles, which is bloody painful.

Anyway, my friend gave me two addresses, but when I got to the first one (why o why did I decide to wear these uncomfortable shoes today?) it was closed for lunch and the same happened when I finally limped to the second one. So I called my friend to ask her if perhaps I could leave my bike in her courtyard for the night and she kindly offered her bike seat.

I looked at my watch. 15 minutes to get to work.

Tic. Toc.

I got to her house and we realized we needed a hex key to get it off. Arrrgh! She offered her husband's bike seat instead, which came off rather easily. Yay! But when I went to put it on my bike, it naturally didn't fit. To good to be true.

Tic. Toc.

That only left us with one option: finding the darn key, which she did, and loosening the screw... not easy.

Tic. Toc.

After some huffing and puffing and lots of swearing, I finally managed. And lo-and-behold, the seat fit!


Sweaty and stressed out, I hugged her, thanked her and shot off to my appointment. It took me about one hour to stop cursing the thief in my head and for my pulse to slow down. In the evening, after work, a sore leg, drama and report card, I went to my bike shop, dished out the cash to buy a new seat and yesterday I traipsed back to my friend's house during my lunch break to bring back her seat.

Or... I could tell you this story.

The other day I finally had lunch with an old friend I hadn't seen in ages. It was good to see her, but unfortunately when I got back to my bike, I realized somebody had stolen the seat. My first instinct was to panic, because I had a really busy day and I was pretty far from the office, home and my next appointment, but my first thought was "Thank goodness my friend had an appointment at 2:30 and mine is at 3:00, that gives me almost 45 minutes to get to work and figure out the next step." Also, I was grateful she was there to help me untagle the bikes and chains, I would have had a hard time alone.

As I started walking to my appointment I called my best friend, the one who couldn't join us for lunch, who lives really close to where I was headed. She suggested a couple of bike shops and I knew that if I needed to, I could ask to leave my bike at her place. I was really lucky to have time and that my best friend lived right next door to where I had to be and not too far from where I had had lunch. And she was home because her daughter was home from school! The walk over was a pain because of construction, plus I kept banging myself with the pedals, but I was so relieved at my luck, it didn't really matter.

Both bike shops were closed, so I called her back and she offered her seat. We had a bit of trouble getting it on my bike but: 1) it was so lucky that she had two bikes to choose from, and one of the seats actually fit! 2) She happened to have exactly the kind of key we needed to unscrew her seat, not a given if you haven't built Ikea furniture recently.

In the end, I managed to do everything, and when I went to my local bike shop, I was fortunate enough to find a seat without having to order it. Also, I got a check that was long overdue and I had them put some much-needed air in my tyres!

It turned out to be the perfect excuse to see my friend twice in a week and I ended up having lunch with her yesterday, when I brought back the seat.

Sometimes it is incredible how, in a moment of need, so many pieces fall perfectly into place. All those coincidences turned what could have been a huge hassle into a small problem. I am lucky to have such a good friend.

Plus, they could have stolen the whole bike instead of just the seat!

Talking about seeing life through rose-colored glasses, that is what it felt like when I first saw this idea on Tori's IG feed.

I had never seen pink hummus, although we do love our hummus, and thought it sounded delicious and healthy too. My family is not big on beets, so I am always looking for ways to use them.

Now ideally, I would make this with oven-roasted beet for a deeper flavor, but my mother in law brought me some of those steamed pre-packaged ones the other day and they worked perfectly. I used five ingredients and it took me 5 minutes to make! What are you waiting for?

1 medium-sized beet
1 can of chickpeas with their liquid
about 1/4 cup tahini
1 small clove of garlic
juice from 1/2-1 lemon
salt/pepper to taste (optional)

Pour the contents of one can of chickpeas into a food processor. Peel and cut the beet into chunks. Add in the tahini, the juice from half a lemon (but you may want to add more, especially if it is a small one) and the garlic. We are not big on raw garlic, so we kept the amounts low, but add as much as you like. We are, however, pretty big on pepper and salt, so we added that (to taste) after we processed the ingredients until smooth.


  1. Great post. It reminds me of a wonderful children's picture book, What good luck, what bad luck. And the recipe for beetroot hummus looks fantastic. I think I'll pop out and buy some of those precooked beets.

  2. wow. well sorry about your day, but this hummus is gorgeous and sounds fantastic. It would be even better with oven -roasted beets. And, maybe a little feta? hmmmmm

  3. Perspective is really important in choosing optimism. I always think that every bad thing that has happened to me has gotten me to where I am now - happy. I am sorry about your bike seat, but glad you made lemonade (or pink hummus) from the lemons.

    Just for fun, I will share Mark's philosophy with you: My glass is always half full... of poison!

  4. Positivity is so important! My husband is the king of optimism so I try to take a leaf out of his book. And I couldn't help but have a smile on my face with a big bowl of this pink goodness in front of me :-)

  5. The day from hell! But how lucky you are to have a friend who was willing to help. In this age of virtual friendships, it's important to remember that the real flesh-and-blood ones can't be replaced.

    Funny, beets are the one vegetable—the one foodstuff, really—that I can't abide. But who knows? Mixed with something I do like, a lot—hummus—I might find it OK? The color is appealing...

  6. Two sides to the same story! Well, it is definitely irritating that your bike seat was stolen...but at least you could find some bright sides in it!

  7. The hummus looks very pretty. What a story! I can't believe someone would steal a bike seat - outrageous. Such s stressful day. In Oz, shops don't close for lunch so I can imagine how frustrating it would have been to get to the bike shops only to find them closed xx


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