Thursday, 5 January 2012

The Last Lights Of The Christmas Tree

Twelfth Night seems to have come round very quickly this year. I have spent a happy afternoon in the glow of the tree lights for what will be the last time. I have kept the curtain open so I can watch the blustery afternoon light fade first into twilight and now into the soft blanket of evening darkness. The room is lit only by the tree, a pillar candle, and my writing lamp. The corners of the room are dark, and it has been really peaceful and calming to sit in here.

There is something really lovely about being at home in the afternoon. Recently, it qualifies as one of my favourite things. I worked this morning, and it is one of the rare half days when I don't have to stay once the library has closed, to do admin and so on. Being on the first floor, we have a nice view out across town. From my kitchen, I could see the trees whipping around in the wind. It brought to mind a favourite poem by Christina Rossetti, which I once embroidered in cross stitch, along with the silhouette of two figures flying kites in the wind. It was all in black and white, except for the three bows on the kite string.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you
But when the leaves hang trembling
The wind is passing through

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by.

It has been so blustery the last few days, that I have left the house with my hair tied up, to stop it being whipped into medusa tangles! I don't mind the wind, as long as it is not causing danger, as it has in Scotland. When it is just 'normal' but blustery, I always feel really invigorated for walking in it.

I am trying to feel invigorated this afternoon, because I have an interview tomorrow. I can't ever remember feeling so calm and unbothered about an interview, but I have been doing my prep, as much as I can, so I am prepared as possible. I am in a bit of conflict though. You see, there are two jobs that I am in the running for. Both are temporary, so aren't a long term solution to my situation, but both will offer me respite from my present working situation, and put money in the bank while I find something long term and permanent. The job I am being interviewed for tomorrow is more money, but means travel on the train (at £136.40 a month!!) so may end up meaning I have less at the end of the month than the other lower paid job. It is also a lot more responsibility than the other job, and it would mean having to leave my darling little library on top of the hill, although only temporarily, as I could go back to it. There are two other really strong candidates.

The other job is a five minute walk from home, less money, but no travel costs, less responsibility, I would not have to give up my little library on the hill, and I get the feeling that there are enough posts for the number of candidates, although I could be wrong about that. There may be a little wrangling about late nights and weekends, but that is a bridge to cross later.

So, what to do? My heart tells me that option b is the easier choice, that would be gentler on me. But I also know that option a is something I could really get my teeth into, and would probably be better for my career and cv long term. Easy isn't always the best thing, is it? Or is my utter sense of calm a sense of knowing that it isn't really right for me? Who knows! I think the thing to do is to go in tomorrow and try and acquit myself gracefully and intelligently, give a good account of myself, and see where the chips fall. I do not expect to be offered the job by any stretch of the imagination, but it would be lovely to be offered one of them. So do keep your fingers crossed for me!

There is a Sainsburys nearby the library in Braintree, so I will be dropping in before or after my interview to buy a copy of their magazine...Cherry Menlove, whose blog I really enjoy has a column in there, starting from the current issue. She also writes a column for Making Magazine, which is worth checking out.

Other plans for tomorrow include trying out a new teashop in town with my lovely friend Wendy.

This evening, it is all about gentle, soft and warm. I have in the slow cooker a recipe of my own invention, which is currently perfuming the flat. If it turns out well, I will share it with you. It is basically chicken and lots of vegetables with some pearl barley cooked in a tarragon cider stock, which I plan to enrich with a little creme fraiche at the end. I have a sunflower plait to serve with it, for mopping up the sauce.

Of course, there is the tree to take down too...but I quite like that. The laying away of Christmas ready for next year. The sweeping away of all ready for a new start. I am really ready for a new start. Wherever you are, Happy Twelfth Night!



Dinahsoar said...

All shall be revealed Mimi. If only one job is offered, then you have your answer...should you have a choice, a good test is this: what is the tongue in your shoe saying? If the tongue in your mouth is saying yes, but you really just want to run far away--you know, that internal sinking feeling when your head says it makes sense to do a thing but your heart is dreading it? well, listen to the tongue in your shoes. It will never fail you.

Your afternoon sounds so nice, and visiting a new tea room tomorrow, what fun. I do so wish we had tea rooms in the states...there are some but few and far between. Nothing beats tea time.

Carla said...

Oh, your posts do make me happy! Wishing you all the luck in the world for both jobs... What is meant to be will come to pass and all is good experience along the way!

Very excited for the slow cooker recipe, it sounds delicious!