Week-end: happy new year, Lady Day

Cowslip plant with many small yellow flowers

Up until a few centuries ago today would have been the first day of the year. I believe in celebrating as many new years as possible, so let’s count it. Actually, there have been a couple of anniversaries lately that I only noticed after the fact: three years since we moved into this house (and the country promptly shut down); a year since I caught Covid. It’s quite encouraging to compare where I am now with where I was then, particularly when I’m feeling frustrated about lack of energy.

The good

I do not have gestational diabetes! (Or, presumably, any other sort.) And I went to the dentist yesterday and my teeth and gums are in pretty good shape. So hurrah for health and for things being less complicated than they might be.

Then there was a long phone call with a friend and a streak of energy that lasted most of the week and got a lot of things sorted out. I’m really enjoying the spring flowers, too.

The mixed

Tony was away this week, cycling across the Netherlands. I missed him rather, though the cat was not bad company, and I got more done than I’d expected, and I am a little bit jealous and considering what the next adventure might be (beyond the obvious one).

The difficult and perplexing

The hob has repaid us for cleaning it by refusing to work (or, rather, tripping the breaker every time we turn the circuit back on). We are hoping it will get over itself.

What’s working

Planning meals (though I think this was particularly successful this week just gone because I was cooking for myself and only myself all the time). Telling myself that if other people are worrying about me, then I don’t need to (this was remarkably helpful).


I finished Michel the Giant (An African in Greenland), coming away with the sense that life in Greenland is not for me, though he seems to have enjoyed himself there. There’s a real feeling of openness and candour about the way he writes, and his sheer determination to get to where he wants to be is impressive. Nearly finished These Violent Delights.


Mostly updating policies. And I finally got round to uploading my post about the Belgian Coastal Tramway, only six months or so after the event.


I darned a couple of pairs of socks, and tidied up the cuff on my navy linen summer coat – which has needed doing for a very long time.


I have returned to Our Flag Means Death, and have very nearly finished it. But now it’s the world figure skating championships.


The Instant Pot has been working hard this week, in its pressure cooker and its slow cooker guises. ‘Mediterranean fennel with nutty crumble’ (the ‘crumble’ is in fact croutons) from The Ultimate Slow Cooker Cookbook: the wrong combination of vegetables, I think – the inclusion of carrots meant it had to cook for a long time, too long for the fennel and particularly for the pepper, which became bitter. Black beans from The Pressure Cooker Cookbook – tasty but more faff than I could really be doing with. Lentil and Swiss chard soup (same) – very good.


Mostly the above, with rye bread and seeded sourdough. Yesterday I went to my favourite falafel stand for lunch, though.


Cowslips! Primroses! More daffodils! Two goldfinches in the plum tree! Another hare!

In the garden

The grape hyacinths are out. On Sunday I sowed cat grass and cosmos and tarragon seeds and some elderly beans; the first two of these are sprouting. I also pulled up the old leggy lavender and wallflowers that were sprawling across the path. Then on Tuesday I pulled up the wallflowers that had self-seeded in the cracks in the path and moved them into the vacated space. We’ll see how they do; there are plenty of other wallflowers if these don’t make it.

I accidentally brought a ladybird in with the laundry; unfortunately it flew away while I was trying to get it out of the window and is probably still in the house somewhere.


Having energy! (And, as today, when I don’t have so much, the fact that I can just nap all afternoon and then go to Evensong.)


I got a load of bamboo socks off the local free group to see if they’re worth the darning. Initial signs are promising.


There is a dress that I very much like the look of on the Joanie site. And I still want a bigger darning loom.

Line of the week

Tété-Michel Kpomassie (translated by James Kirkup) on a Greenland sunset:

The purple disc sank little by little below the line of the horizon; for a few moments longer the brindled sky was still painted with wide and luminous streaks, flaming on the face of the waters, turning to violet on the mountain tops, orange or grey above our heads.

Saturday snippet

A tiny, tiny bit from the Romeo and Juliet thing:

The train slid southwards, the carriage rocking gently, into a future they had set up recklessly and joyously. Neither of them quite knew what it might hold, except for each other.

This coming week

My manager is retiring; there are various things planned to mark the occasion. Also I’m going to the opera. Somewhere in between all this I need to finish the Cursillo annual report, but there really is only a very little left to do.

Anything you’d like to share from this week? Any hopes for next week? Share them here!

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