Today has been a home-body, busy Sunday with lots of energy and a desire to sort things out.
The pantry got a going over, as did the trunk by the front door that always gets everything dumped on it. Also sorted through the selection of toys I keep in the lounge room for when Dylan (1yo grand daughter) comes over to visit. The stash had grown to overflowing numbers of toys and the cull will make the aftermath of her visits more manageable.
It's mid July and the weather is gorgeous. Big cool blue skies, and still days. Rain is coming but it's a few days away yet. Winter is probably my favourite month; especially this side of the shortest day. The darkness hasn't got such a grip on everything. The sun setting at 5:11pm is just a stupid time of the day to start getting dark, so I'm appreciating the light when I drive home at the end of the day now the days are eking out a bit more.
A woman at work asked me how I was going the other week. The question wasn't a passing remark, but a sincere question. I answered her honestly that I felt stuck, unable to get any traction on my ideas and plans.Not just having trouble finishing anything creative but trouble getting started. We talked for a bit and she suggested that maybe I'm like that because I am needing to recharge, to replenish - that I was in fellow - which is what farmers do to their land as part of crop rotation. Letting the soil recuperate nutrients for the Spring planting. Maybe I'm worn out and wrung out after such a year of change and upheaval.
So thinking on that for a while, I've have let myself do what I feel like more and more. Seems right now that's turning out to be reading, tucked up in bed with a hot water bottle - sometimes straight after work - and cooking. I've been making restorative food like deep flavoured vegetable soups, hot roasted vegetables, slow cooked stews. Also things like pickles and chutneys, with aromas of sweet vinegar and spices making the whole place feel really cosy, and me feel really virtuous. Nothing like a row of jars of chutney or stewed rhubard to make a girl feel like she's achieved something of her weekend.
Tonight I roasted pork for dinner. I followed Jamie Oliver's instructions in the video below and it turned out great. The balsalmic really sweetens up and makes for a delicious alternative to a thick gravy.
I didn't make the beans he mentions in the video. Instead I roasted vegetables with rosemary and garlic because it's so simple and delicious and something I've been doing quite often over the last few months. The smells of rosemary wafts through the house during the cooking and is very restorative.
Reading three books in the last month has to be an all-time record for me. I'm great at intending; somewhat okay at beginning; crap at finishing books - especially novels.
- The Elusive Language of Ducks by Judith White
- The Shining Girls by Lauren J Beukes
- She Left Me the Gun by Emma Brockes
All three are worth checking out for cosy winter reading.
Now I'm wandering what to read next. I have several considerations:
- Cooked by Michael Pollan
- The Table Comes First by Adam Gopnik
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
I managed to move the hutches for the rabbits by myself this weekend. Usually it takes two of us and lots of discussion about where to move them to and how to set them out. My determination to get it done despite my by-my-self-ness was quite satisfying by the end of the day although I did take longer than the two-man system. Moving the hutches gives parts of the back lawn a chance to recover and a chance for me to find and fill in all the burrows those busy bunnies have created. If the house disappears into a sinkhole one day, no one around here is going to be terribly surprised.
Every weekend, I let the bunnies have free range of the entire back garden. They explore and forage, chase each other and lie in the sunshine. The yard is as secure as I can get it so they're pretty safe. I heard them back into their hutches around sun set.
The bunnies have discovered the compost heap. The rich, dark soil has compacted to make a really good digging area. Mops was dedicated to the task today and burrowed with single-minded determination to the point she didn't run away when I got close - something this independantly-minded rabbit tends to do.
They have their favourite places in the garden - under the guava or feijoa trees to eat any fallen fruit; the lemon tree bark is pretty tasty too; seems that the leaves of the kowhai tree are a favourite as they stand on their hind legs and stretch up into the branches to slowly eat the poor plant to death. It's so lovely to look out of the kitchen window of a weekend and see bunnies hoppiting about the back garden.