Everyone said marriage would change me. As if I was blissfully unaware legally, and islamically, tying myself to another human being would leave me unscathed. I recently shared pictures from our trip to Spain, but what I failed to mention was that not only was this our first trip together, but also the first time we would be spending several consecutive days in each others company. The only time either of us got any space was when one us needed to use the bathroom, and I’m pleased to say not once did I pretend to need to go in there just to get away from him. I call that a success. Since getting married we’ve only spent 1 day apart – in the early days of our flat redecorating when Conor was still working nights and escaped to his Dad’s house so he could steal a few hours of sleep during the day.
There have been many, albeit quite small and mostly insignificant changes, that if I hadn’t sat down to think real hard about this they probably would have gone unnoticed. First there’s my eating habits. I no longer religiously consume toast. Mostly because Conor usually prepares breakfast and insists bread is not a food group, and generally frowns at mass consumption of any one food. He’s also convinced me to make a change from white to brown bread, so on the days I do eat the stuff I don’t feel as bad. I should probably thank him for showing me how disgusting white bread is. Google it. As if there weren’t enough changes to my bread count, I also no longer butter before toasting (or I should say Conor doesn’t). I’m not convinced it ruins the toaster, but unless I want to start making my own breakfast I probaby shouldn’t complain. (We wake up super early for work, and while it takes me 20 minutes to get ready, it takes Conor only 5).
If you think Conors white to brown makes him health conscious then you’re wrong. He started plying me with doughnuts and fizzy drinks long before we got married. Both things I don’t even enjoy and never used to eat, but suddenly a Breaking Bad marathon was incomplete without them. At least I’ve stopped washing my crisps in a glass of water before eating them. Speaking of TV; I now watch more documentaries than American sitcoms. Conor really likes David Attenborough’s voice and seeing what people can make out of legos. Shows like Ninja Warrior and Total Wipeout make Conor go like this. When before I used to cringe and yawn at those shows, I now enjoy watching the contestants make fools of themselves.
More (insignifcant) changes: I walk to work more, go grocery shopping more, and pay a lot more bills. We also own a lot of cacti, and whilst I may have already killed two, the other’s are still going strong.
Some things that have not changed: the side of the bed I sleep on, and the speed at which I change into my pyjamas when I get home, even if it’s still the middle of the afternoon.
But the significant things? I would have thought being around the same person every single day would be boring, but I am anything but bored. It’s nice to have someone to come home to, and I have to admit when I turn the key to our front door and it’s his dorky handsome face behind it, a sucky day doesn’t feel so bad. With our anniversary just a few weeks away I can honestly say I have never been happier. I like having some one to take care of, and being cared for in return. I laugh more, see the world differently, and it’s both comforting and fun to share our triumphs and tribulations.
If you ask Conor about his own changes, he’ll probably tell you he eats more vegetables, and plays too much Fifa.
Something else that hasn’t changed is my love for baking. It’s become apparent our small flat isn’t designed to handle so much baking equipment, but that hasn’t stopped me hiding bundt pans under my dressing table, and cake tins in the coat closet.
Today’s recipe suits both an indulgent breakfast or after-meal dessert. The baked oatmeal is packed with flavour, and beneath that crunchy exterior lies cinnamon baked apples. I chose to make individual portions because Conor wanted to eat his after dinner, and I couldn’t wait that long.
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup walnuts
- ½ cup raisins and sultanas
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 3 apples, peeled and diced
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4.
- Combine together the oats, sugar, half of the nuts, raisins, sultanas, baking powder, and cinnamon.
- In a seperate bowl whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla essence. Add to the oat mixture and combine everything together.
- Add apples to the bottom of 3 ramekins and sprinkle with cinnamon. Spread the oatmeal mixture evenly on top. Scatter the remaining walnuts.
- Bake for approx. 25 minutes or until the top is golden. Best served warm (and with custard).