When I told H about my day and that I was going to blog about it he looked a bit put out and said that if I did nobody would believe it and that I would look like I was faking it. I was a little perturbed by that, doubted my own existence for a second, even glanced out the window at the mist and rain devouring the bog, paced back and forth on the uneven wood floor in my tattered Winter socks, contemplated uncorking the bottle of Rioja in the wine rack, even scorned mankind for its scepticism. I said to H, why would anyone not believe it. It was an ordinary day for God's sakes. It was typical. It was how I carve each one. He laughed and suggested I open the wine. I did. Vino veritas reared its ugly head or its perfect head. Depending on how you perceive the wine or the veritas.
The day: I rose early. Let's make that clear. I sauntered down to the kitchen to find a pot of coffee brewing on the stove. Normal enough. H does that and then goes into his office. I read yesterdays newspaper. All the news that I would rather not read. Somehow early morning it never appears as bad as reading it late at night. The saddest thing is that I've taken to reading the obituaries, something my parents always did and a habit I abhorred because, well, I can't think why now except it gave me the shivers that people sought out death. Here I am doing the same thing, discreetly I might add.
The painter came to finally paint the downstairs bathroom. Tom told me he has been painting for fifty years. I almost fell over when he told me that. He looks terrific. Handsome, tanned from a recent trip to Spain. I love Tom. I never knew he was in the house. The bathroom is so fresh and bright that I need to don my sunglasses before I enter the house of light. When Tom was here painting away the doorbell rang and it was Bernie my dear neighbour with what looked like ten kilos of gooseberries freshly picked from his garden. I accepted them with immense gratitude having had the longing for gooseberry jam this past week. I knew the topping and tailing of the fruit was a chore but I managed to do a kilo and drove to the store for jam sugar. Soon I had the pot of fruit on the stove and the pots sterilized and ready for filling. The jam gelled in no time, easy to see from the frozen saucers I had put in the freezer and a spoon of the fabulous pink concoction crinkling at the right moment. A dab of butter to diffuse the skum and I was set. Six jars adorned the windowsill and many more to come.
A day does not go by when I want to bake. Today it was Chocolate and Beetroot Brownies and my god they are divine. The beetroot gives a velvety texture to the brownie, a gentle moist texture and a colour that surpasses the traditional brownies I have made for years. Thumbs up.
But this day was special because of the rain. It enabled me to stamp myself right in the middle of the kitchen and not wish to be anywhere else. I make a bacon and cabbage dinner. Complete with parsley white sauce and steamed new potatoes. The cabbage was Sweetheart and it was, so sweet, extra sweet cooked in the water I had cooked the bacon in. I slathered the bacon in wholegrain mustard and brown sugar and baked it in the oven for an extra thirty minutes. The result was more than tasty. It was like a knitting of those who sat together at this table. The ones who had stood at the bus stop in the pouring rain for an hour, the one who had looked out the window and only seen despair, the one who was second guessing his life, the one who was just damn hungry. This was a bare bones meal, a meal my ancestors surely served, a meal guaranteed to ease the rain on the windows, the fields, the wet raggedy horses, the pot holes, the twisted politicians, the horrible news stories from abroad, the hate, the greed, the ever decreasing sense of not belonging, the endless craving for more. We were indeed knitted together, each little stitch mattered and I felt the needles I held in my ever busy hands were valuable and meant much more than what I ever thought my life should have been. Here before me stood the pattern I had woven without even thinking about it and it was wonderful though complicated and without any final thread to draw it all together. For that alone I was grateful.