September is closer to New Year in my mind. I have been invigorated by the summer sunshine or certainly the summer light but there is a change in the air. A few tiny leaves waft to the ground. It’s not warm in the morning. There is a tinge of golden appearing on the trees. The smells are damper, edged with decay.
I freaking LOVE Autumn. I am full of the joys of Autumn. I love the excessively bright days where skies seem crazy blue when contrasted to the oranges, yellows and browns of the trees. I love blackberry picking.
With all this joy I feel I should channel some energy back into my blog. Kicking it off with an easy one but I hope it will help you get organised for the first full week back at school. This week’s menu includes lots of comfort meals and also freezer meals. Hopefully it will make the transition easier while we get used to the new old routine.
A couple of the recipes this week are doubled (or sometimes even tripled!) so I can put extra dinners in the freezer. I immediately add these to dates in our AnyList app so I don’t forget about them. They are always scaled to feed 6: the sixth dinner usually being lunch for Himself the next day.
As a reminder we have three children aged 14, 12 and 8. Two in primary and one just started Junior Cert year.
I asked my family to tell me what were their highlights of 2016. I had this vague notion that I might type them up, print them and send them out with our Christmas cards. This plan rests on a vital activity that is yet to happen: sending Xmas cards. Maybe next year one of my highlights will be that I sent all my Xmas cards by 15 December 2017.
(More anon on the highlights of 2016. I’ll take my sweet time with this too!)
Maybe next year I’ll send Oíche Nollag na mBan cards.
Every year we get a fabulous letter from friends in New Zealand with updates about all that has happened in the preceding year. Every year I swear I will respond in kind. This has never happened.
Being honest, receiving your Xmas Card was very pleasant, but not a highlight. I’m very conflicted about Christmas cards and, coward that I am, I am now admitting it because I know many of you feel the same way. I’d love to know your thoughts on Xmas cards. I did sit in front of the telly on St. Stephens’ Day and during the course of some festive film I managed to write all 50 odd cards. Like all procrastination, it actually didn’t take me as long as I feared it would. It allowed the opportunity to take my new pen (thank you Himself!) for a drive. The completed cards with fully addressed envelopes are currently stamped, sealed and sitting on the hall table. Imagine! And after that Herculean task. Or is it more Sisyphean? I understand the logic of sending cards to people abroad that I am less likely to see but sending cards to people I will be spending at least some of the holiday season with seems a bit pointless. Probably they wouldn’t mind if I didn’t send them.
Update: after I had happened upon the genius idea of kee ping the cards until next year and sending them all on December 1st and being super smug I discovered Himself had whipped them off the hall table and posted them on his lunchtime walk. Happy Christmas y’all! (Except Neela, Lizzy, Benny and Gill and a few others whose addresses I’m dubious about!)
I returned from the shops. I was irritated about buying less than optimal tin foil again. “Foiled again,” he said.
It bothers me that the too-small tin foil bothers me. It can join a list of small irritations that I allow to crowd my day. I know I should let go. In the space that would remain lies insight, time, possibility. It irritates me that I can’t access that and the cycle begins again.
I dreamt last night that I would no longer be able to park a car without parking assist. Parking was never my forte. I dreamt that while I struggled with the parking my children went on the the restaurant. As I gathered myself out of the car in the dream (the car in the dream, not the dream car; I most definitely do not have a dream car!) As I gathered myself in the dream I dropped the eggs. They broke. I had to clean them up. There is little in life more difficult to clean up than eggs. Yes there are things that are more difficult because they are more disgusting. But disgust aside there is little in life more difficult. However there is little in life more rank if not cleaned up, even in my dream I was conscious of this.
I found my children in the restaurant (also the dream restaurant as opposed to my dream restaurant). They were behaving well and had already ordered. Definitely a dream, says you. But their order was strange and involved a lot of couscous. I sent some of it back, irritated that the restaurant had taken their absurd order but also that they had served a plate that looked so unappetizing.
I clearly have control issues.
Thinking about how my irritation invades even my dreams, plugs those gaps, uses that space, that it’s a bad habit, a picked scab, a refreshed feed filled with fresh indignation, it occurs to me that it is insignificant whether I allow it to happen or whether I purge that mode of Being.
I watched a comedy musical about astrophysicsa last night. I know. The reality of the universe highlights our absolute insignificance and egocentricity, especially as a musical comedy. Numbers so large separate me from the universe that I cannot even grasp those numbers.
It irritates me that I cannot grasp those numbers.
On Christmas Eve our neighbour said he thought it might snow . It was late. We had all been visiting neighbourhood friends. A teetotaler, he was giving us a lift home. The kids were drowsy in the back seats of his car, their excitement sated by good food and the effort of good behaviour. He said, “I think it will snow.” in his soft, roundy, cheery voice. “Really?” I said brightly.
Later I realised he had said it for their benefit, to squeeze another smidge of excitement out of the day. But it was I who believed him, eyes wide, mind tingling with thoughts of a world writ new and fresh and crystal clear with his idea of snow.
This tune has totally earwigged me and so I’m going to give in and post this live version as my Tuesday Tune this week! It features a trumpet player and here on The Park we are always looking for trumpet inspiration for Nipper 1.0. Actually I have another for next week all ready to go.
I love this track, S.O.B., from Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats and this live version from Later with Jools last week is kicking. Having heard that name I have decided that Abigail is really going to have to come up with a name for her band 🙂