I love the rhythm and routine of the days of the week, but also the months and passing seasons, and yearly events. We eat pancakes at other times of year as well (although never, ever hot cross buns at any time other than Good Friday!) but not often, and we always, always have them on Shrove Tuesday.
While Carl gets ready for work, I start to cook them, and I stack the cooked ones on a plate under a clean tea towel. I was really pleased this morning as the next clean tea towel in the cupboard was my blue and yellow 'easy peasy lemon squeezy!' tea towel, which seemed rather apt considering the dish of cut lemons I had ready for squeezing over the pancakes. I have happy memories of my Mum standing at her gas stove flipping pancake after pancake, and having a little line of me, my sister and my brother next to her, taking it in turns to have the next fresh pancake hot out of the pan. I am really looking forward to flipping pancakes for a row of little Claxton's one day in the future.
Lent begins tomorrow, and I am almost looking forward to the slight austerity of the season. I found it hard to decide what to give up this year, and in the end settled on what I gave up last year...lattes. I looked online, and found some truly ridiculous ideas, such as giving up cutlery, or sleeping on the floor instead of your bed to remember how lucky you are to have a bed. I don't normally criticise other peoples' choices so strongly, but if giving up your bed or cutlery fed a homeless person or gave them a bed for the night I could understand, but otherwise, it seems slightly pointless. Ok, my giving up latte isn't going to benefit anyone, but it is something I will miss, and I can save the latte pennies up to give to a good cause. If I had been thinking of giving up my cutlery, I think it would have been better to have had a fast day instead each week in Lent, and given that money to the homeless, or just something that makes sense.
On the other hand, a friend said that they would not be giving up 'something like chocolate' and sounded a little dismissive of it. Now I like chocolate but don't have a huge issue with it, but I know lots of people who really, really love it, and feel that for those people it would be a challenge to give it up. We all know what we would miss most, and as long as we know, I don't think it is for someone else to judge.....says she who has just judged the people who were going to give up their beds! Yes I know I have been contradictory, but at least I know I have!
Tomorrow is a busy day for me in my little library up on the hill. I have two class visits to run in the morning, neither of which I have done before. Then I have to prepare for another two on Friday. I am glad I have Thursday off, which I plan to spend puttering about at home, and sewing some daffodil brooches for Easter.
I was so pleased to see that the bank of crocuses that had started to spring up before we had the snow are still alive and flourishing. Isn't nature amazing? Something so delicate can flourish in the worst of conditions.
I feel in need of a pot of tea this evening, so I shall go and put the kettle on. Wherever you are, I hope that you are cosy and warm, and feeling the first stirrings of spring.