daffodils

Diary of a Frugal Month

Hope that sunny days and daffodils bursting into flower herald start of warm spring weather. Start springtime regime of Using Food from the Freezer in order to have good break between frozen fruit and vegetables and fresh from the garden. Find several unlabelled bags that could be apple juice or chicken stock and great quantities of rabbit casseroles. Decide to start with soft fruit and pull out bag of unappealing raspberry rubble squashed at bottom of freezer. Make Raspberry Loaf Cake and discover raspberry pieces work just as well as whole raspberries.

Raspberry Cake

Regret that raspberry cake needs only two eggs as small mountain of eggs has appeared in pantry because every hen and duck is laying an egg a day. Encourage grandson to collect eggs from nest box on premise that he will then have to take them home. Had forgotten that toddlers hurl eggs rather than carefully placing them in egg box. Eat scrambled eggs for lunch.

Rabbit Furs

In fit of frugality, regard rabbit skins destined for throwing away after meat has been cut up as terrible waste of resources. Consult numerous websites for ways to preserve skins and consider options. Have no battery acid to hand and no wish to scrape brains from rabbit so follow instructions using salt and alum (conveniently left over from natural dyeing experiments last year). Realise half way through that alum supplies are insufficient. Hastily place order for more via internet. Days pass. Emails exchange. Regret managing to pick supplier whose health issues make trips to Post Office difficult and infrequent. Add more salt and hope lack of alum doesn’t affect end product. Alum finally arrives and process continues. Skins dried and stretched as instructed so now have small collection of rabbit skins, though no idea what to use them for. Diminutive size of collection banishes thoughts of making rug to drape artistically over sofa in front of roaring fire.

Clear books from one shelf on bookcase in effort to Remove Unnecessary Clutter in lieu of proper Spring Cleaning and find several children’s books. Flick through book of nursery rhymes. Eyes alight on

Bye, baby bunting,
Daddy’s gone a-hunting,
Gone to get a rabbit skin
To wrap the baby bunting in.

A possibility. Or perhaps just a fur trimmed hat.

Idle Speculation

 

There’s not too much to do on the farm in February.

sheep grazing Sussex

So we all ran away for the weekend to a beautiful corner of rural Sussex where there were hills and sheep, dark nights and silence, which made a pleasant change from the flat urbanised landscape of Essex. We even had a dusting of snow.

When we came home we said “Wasn’t it lovely? It was so quiet and peaceful without the incessant traffic noise of home.”

We talked about whether we’d like to live there. We said we would.

The London Eye

And then we went up to town. We went to the theatre and there were so many places to eat we had a job to decide which one to pick. We walked along the Thames and stood on the bridges watching the water rush by under our feet.

When we came home we said “Wasn’t it fun? There’s so much to do.”

We talked about whether we’d like to live there. We said it would be lovely to have a pied-à-terre.

snowdrops

But when we thought about it, the hills in Sussex were quite steep and the roads very narrow. And London was very noisy and crowded. Anyway, how could we afford a pied-à-terre?  Then we looked around us at the two cock pheasants strutting along the wall outside the kitchen window, the carpet of snowdrops under the apple trees and the fields beyond and we said “Aren’t we lucky to live here? Why do we want to go anywhere else?”

That’s the trouble with February. It’s such a non-event and leads to far too much idle speculation. Roll on spring.

 

Night time thoughts

bed with patchwork quilt

Woken at 3am by conversation outside bedroom door as one son returns from evening out and the other sets off to work. Still wide awake at 3.15am. Try to lull myself back to sleep by making lists in my head. Manage to list a boy’s name for every letter of the alphabet, struggle with girl’s name beginning with X. Remember visualisation technique suggested by midwife to block pain and imagine that I’m on a beach, sand between my toes, water lapping gently, sun warming my back … Mind drifts. Which beach? Where am I walking to? Have soon planned holiday in the sun and vowed to take up open water swimming. Remember that visualisation was of little help during labour too.

Try relaxation from yoga class. Concentrate on breathing. Cannot stop thinking about breathing. Wonder what will happen if I stop thinking about breathing. Try to recreate soothing voice of the yoga teacher in my head to remind of next step. Ask myself why I stopped going to yoga and remember that it clashed with netball. Try to work out schedule for doing both and progress to many brilliant thoughts, none of which relate to yoga or netball. Suspect some thoughts may seem slightly less brilliant at 7am.

Drift off to sleep with notion that writing something on the blog every day for a week might jolt me out of my blogging lethargy. Wonder if people might think such prolific output strange but vow to try it. Decide it prudent to keep idea to myself until have actually carried out intention.