Today my thoughts are a bit of a mixed bag, and today is the kind of day where you definitely need a slice of cake to go with your tea. Comforting cake, the chocolate sponge that my Mum used to make for me when I was a little girl. Actually, now it has started to rain, I think perhaps I shall go one further, and declare it a day for the chocolate sponge pudding with white sauce, the one that she made for my last evening of living at home.
The last few weeks have been busy, not with big, momentous things that would make interesting reading, but little, vexing things. Our oven broke, as did our washing machine (With all of our clothes trapped inside! And then the horror of the washing machine repair man seeing my knickers!) and the light in the bathroom (which has no window, so is pitch black without it) has started to stick. Dear Carl has installed Ubuntu onto his laptop, which I usually use to blog with, and I cannot get on with it at all, much to poor Carl’s consternation. Every time I try and close a window, I almost shut the machine down by mistake. To top it all, I have a horrible rash on my arms and legs. When I showed the pharmacist, she asked if I had been stressed and run down recently….
But, I do not want to be all doom and gloom. There have been lots of tiny adventures and things to share. A beautiful bunch of Cornish Pinks that adorn my chest of drawers, so they are the first thing I see in the morning, and their peppery scent is the last thing I breathe in at night.
I have also discovered a passion for Poirot novels. I wanted to read ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ to pass the time on the Eurostar, but the library copy was out on loan. I read it a week or so ago, and since then I have been devouring the adventures of the little Belgian detective with the egg-shaped head.
I have been been thinking thoughts about change recently. It started when I was at work, and went to look for a book for a customer, written by an author named Olivier. It gave me a little start, because after my biological father left my Mother pregnant with me, he went on to have two more children with another woman – one called Olivier, and another called Virginia. I have never seen any of them since, and it suddenly occurred to me that I still think of Olivier and Virginia as small children, when in reality, they must be twenty or even more. This in turn led me to think of things that change, things that don’t, ideas that we hold in our minds and so on. When I started blogging, I posted about all the magazines I read. Over the last few years, I have stopped reading so many magazines, and the ones that I do read are rather different. I now read Country Kitchen every month, Country Living occasionally (usually I peek at my Mum’s copy) Martha Stewart Living when I can get it, and have recently launched a quest to find Victoria magazine, and Marie Claire Idees.
Which then led me to think about reading. A little tiny part of me asks ‘am I reading too much?’. Shock! Horror! I never thought I would type such a thing. You see, it occurred to me that I often read baking books, cupcake books, knitting books, crochet books….if you were to look at the list of library books checked out to me, you would conclude that I am a knitter who crochets things and bakes cupcakes. Well yes, I am…I am knitting (nearly finished the last sock!) and I do crochet, but I cannot remember the last time I baked a cupcake. Partly because the oven was on the blink for a while before it died I will admit, but still. And although I often copy a pattern I like for future use, I do not make nearly as many things as I have patterns for.
What I resolve is this: if not to read less, then to do more. Once I have the oven fixed (this Friday, when I shall also be taking delivery of a new washing machine!) I shall bake more, and really make the cupcakes that I think are so pretty. I am also going to try and cure myself of a bad habit- when I photocopy a pattern or a recipe, I very often (ok, always) sandwich it carefully inside a book – often not related to the subject of the copy – and file it away on my bookshelf. I shall purchase a folder and keep them all in there instead, so I know just where to find them.
Although crochet and knitting and sewing projects take rather more time than whipping up a batch of cupcakes, or kneading a new loaf of bread, and cost rather more to do, I am going to start projects in these areas rather than just day dream of them. Have I let you into my little secret before? I have a tattoo! I got it when I was nineteen. It is of a little red rose, with the words ‘Carpe Diem’ around the outside. As you probably know, it means ‘seize the day’ and I have decided that I really must take a little more of the advice on my own ribs. (Yes, it is on my ribs, on my left side, tucked away where no one can see it unless I show them!) So for me it will be making the things I read about and dream of, instead of just dreaming about them….watch this space!