Sunday, 27 November 2011

What? No news?

I find it easier to play with images than to write. I have no riveting news to offer. Most days I engage with one other person, J, plus the dog. I do not feel isolated. I love our lifestyle. Radio, tv, telephone and internet work to keep us embedded in the current culture.

But, my quandary returns. What shall I write when I have little news? Shall I follow the common lead of media and write to stir the emotion of fear?

During the middle of the night, the dog panicked and woke us. J got up and set about calming her. We both heard the next gunshot. A few more followed, paced, not hurried. Likely, it was the neighbours, who have a herd of goats, and they were shooting at wandering dogs. Their practice has made me uneasy since a guest heard a bullet whip past our balcony during the day. Said guest had worked as paramedic in Oakland and San Francisco and said he knew the sound of flying bullets. Later, our neighbours admitted that they had been shooting at birds in their orchard. They seemed surprised that a bullet would go that far.

But, I'd rather write about my craftwork which leaves me feeling productive and virtuous.

I've finished darning some hand-knit, wool socks and now they're ready to be packed away until next winter. I've learned to knit AND darn socks in the last few years. I used handspun yarn for these repairs. Its light colour contrasts with the dark sock yarn and made it easier to see what I was doing while darning. A pair of magnifiers also helped. J's pair was originally knit with handspun 2 ply wool. It showed wear under the ball of his foot. His heels looked fine, thanks to me reinforcing the heel with mohair when I knitted them. My heels were not reinforced and showed wear. Darn, I'm glad I got that chore done and boy, did it make me feel good.

Reflecting on the idea of how we are embedded in our culture, I realise that I am also reminded of my present moment in the world by the changing seasons and the appearance of specific flowers, insects, birds and reptiles.

A few years ago our friend Isabelle gave us a collection of plants for our shaderoom. A couple of days ago, for the first time, one plant* flowered, for a few hours (photo above). The blossom closed at the end of the day and hasn't re-opened. The shaderoom protects our house from the hot afternoon sun. It contains a variety of ferns, bromelliads and such, plus a fish pond in a very large pot. J rigged a misting system that doesn't use much water but keeps the plants happy and that daily misting helps keep the house cool.

Fads help us feel in tune with the times, consumer-wise. But they run their course and then sometimes turn into icons of past eras. We're getting rid of our teflon/nonstick cookware. It always seemed to stick eventually and then require replacing. (Perhaps something to do with the way we cook.) We dug out two old skillets (fortunately I hadn't gotten rid of them even though they are almost 40 years old), gave them a good clean and re-seasoned them. One is enamel, inside and out. The other is enamel on the outside except for the bottom which is stamped: Coussance Made in France. The inside bottom is ground iron and quite flat. We are having such good results in cooking with them that we wonder why we ever stopped using them! A teflon veil has fallen from our eyes....

Now J wants to find a spatula, but not just any spatula, to use with these skillets. He wants a flexible, stainless steel spatula that is flat across the end with rounded corners. No luck with his search, so far. He can find lots of teflon coated spatulas out there.

*Isabelle, please remind me of the name of this plant.
ETA: Isabelle says it's some sort of philodendron

post by M in JaM

No comments: