Monday, March 28, 2011

In Five

In the 5 and something years that I have pretended not to care about people not reading this blog I have never changed the template. I tried once but it looked terrible and strangely alien to me and so I went right back to my old faithful. For lack of anything to do tonight, while the dishwashes gurgles and everyone else snores, I am sitting here and fiddling with the settings on this blog. I like this new template. Wonder if it will last the next 5 and something year though. More importantly will I last?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Five: X or A whole new world

1. I've left my job. Of 5 years. Taken a career break as it were.

2. From tomorrow I am not just a full-time mum, I'm a hands on mum.

3. I'm still a committed feminist. I'll just be doing my bit to defend women's rights on my own time and dime.

4. The sun is shining and the sky is blue. I feel free and very very happy.

5. It's a whole new world. I'm joining this party late but I am ever so excited to be here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Five XIII

1. My head has been messed up for many months now about a variety of things I don’t wish to share here. None of this is serious in the ‘our-lives-are-in-danger’ way, more serious in the ‘is-this-how-I-imagined-life way?’. Most of the messing up has been to do with me overthinking things, complicating strands in my head and the burden of sadness I felt from all the recent losses. I’m done with that part of the programme, thank goodness. And the answers were so so simple as to be staggering in their simplicity. And now I feel free and light and like all is right with my world.
2. The Japan earthquake. Talk about life altering. The unfinished business of life, finished without warning in a truly horrendous way. It’s almost unimaginable how dire the situation is, from the most basic supplies and power outages to the radiation from nuclear meltdown. I have the utmost admiration for Japanese people, queuing for supplies rather than rioting for them in the face of shortages and chaos. It shows strength of character unprecedented. It’s in my thoughts constantly.

3. I have been drawing up a chart of places for me and my 20 month old to peruse in London. We wasted last summer hibernating due to car sickness, lethargy and a lack of motivation. Not so this year. He is older, I am wiser. The spring and summer lie ahead of us, a green field of warm sunshine to step on and I have a plan - to travel far and wide, close and deep, with him to enjoy the delights this city has on offer for his age group. Any and all suggestions from the London reading crowd welcome.

4. I have completely stopped cooking. Since October last year. It’s something that I unwittingly do when all is not right in my world. I make excuses, hum and haw and produce Maggie or other ninspiring fare for meals each evening. Or consume oil laden deliveries from the restaurants dotted around this end of London. Make no mistake - I am an experimental cook, a trained cook; even a passionate cook when I want to be. I mark off recipes in my library of cook books and read diaries of food writers, I take recipe cards from supermarkets and ask for menu ideas from friends and bloggs. Instead of complaining any more or eating another insipid/ over oily meal I found us a chef who comes once a week and cooks us 5 - 6 meals which I can freeze and use during the week. This week’s menu includes: Borek, courgette and tomato gratin, salmon fish pie, aubergine and chickpea stew, vegetable cottage pie, green thai chicken curry.

5. Not having to cook has taken away a lot of the pressure from life. It’s freed up some mind space and provided us with a very good reason to eat at home every night. And I am back to doing the odd bit of real cooking (not Maggie) and suddenly I am enjoying it again. Just proof that my head is clearing itself out. I baked a banana walnut cake this weekend. Nothing like a piece of cake to mark how life is once again a piece of cake.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

I see you

Oh March, am I glad to see you or what! In February I was lost for words. I make no apologies or excuses for this, just state it for posterity. Life has been a blur to say the very least. I’ve had so many words just tumbling around in my head but not really stringing themselves into coherent sentences. Not on paper and not in real life. I haven’t been able to speak properly even, words bumping into each other or coming out as half baked thoughts. To say I have had a lot on my mind is an understatement.

Between being ill, deaths and their anniversaries amongst family and friends, 2011 has (so far) rocked my world in all the wrong ways. But of March and everything beyond I am very hopeful - for good health, happiness and a little bit of spring magic to permeate its way into our lives.

After a long and fairly harsh winter (not in the poor-me-in-rags-freezing way, more the rhetorical is-this-Siberia way) we are so ready for spring and summer. Of course one expects that spring is right around the corner when February is over. Till someone helpfully reminded me that a few years ago it snowed in April. Stupid Climate Change, if you were a person I would be making a voodoo doll to stick pins in.

Of course after 3 warm-ish (rather, not freezing) days, in office all discussion turned to lunchtime picnics in poo park, starting a monthly book club themed around sunny themes, holiday plans to make the best use of an upcoming royal wedding, endless hopeful chatter of the summer non-layering, sunshine, brightness type. So imagine the rude shock when the commute to work this week has felt rather like walking through an ice cake. Freezing cold. Like December in the snow cold. So spring I can see you but like behind a glass partition in a dangerous animals in the zoo kind of way. Break through please.