Tuesday, 28 February 2012
...eat cake. Chocolate is good, undeniably, but cake is marginally better. I've taken to making a dozen cupcakes, which last us nicely through the week. The carrot cake was...err...an aberration, but a tasty one. To make my cupcakes, I use a Victoria Sponge recipe, using 3 eggs. I find that's enough to fill twelve muffin cases. To the basic recipe, I add the grated rind of an orange, and then make orange flavoured icing using some of the juice. Yum yum; my neighbour, who isn't really very sweet toothed, called them 'refreshing'. They certainly smell delightfully of orange.
The carrot cake is an online recipe I found some time ago; search the BBC cookery website and search for 'Yummy Scrummy Carrot Cake'. I have to say, the cake tastes better than the title sounds... The last time I made it, I substituted allspice for the cinnamon and nutmeg, put in a handful of raisins and some sour cherries. That was delicious. This time, I've added a handful of raisins and some dried cranberries, so I'm looking forward to seeing how that comes out. This lot should keep us going until the middle of next week...unless we're deluged by visitors, of course. That doesn't happen much, but I did promise to take a couple to a friend for coffee...twice... that's four down, eight to go...
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Today is turning into a domestic day. The washing machine is on, the dishwasher too, and I'm contemplating the ironing (though may not get any further than that...). I've got the kitchen to clean, the floor to do. It's a never ending list. As soon as that floor is done, the cats will parade over it with muddy paws, or someone, usually me, will spill something, and it's away again. The clothes get worn, the dishes reused. It never ends.
Victorian ladies who sat on chaise longues and sewed had servants, of course. No wonder they could do intricate needlework. They were fed, watered, looked after and generally pampered. If I want to be pampered, I have to do it myself, and the best I can do right this minute is to head out for the studio. It's not tidy either, but at least I'll have fun in there...
Friday, 24 February 2012
The bad news... well, you would think I would be delighted, wouldn't you. Instead, the demon depression is snarling at my heels. We are, of course, not out of the woods yet by any means. But it is typical of me to go through difficult times, ignoring how I feel, and then have it all slap me in the face when things get a bit easier. Still, there are lots of benefits to the position we're in at present, many of them revolving around food... no surprises there, huh? My banana bread has improved in leaps and bounds. I've created a number of interesting soups. And I discovered a carrot cake recipe to die for... so there are bonuses.
Nothing is ever as black as it feels. And these things pass...particularly feelings. To help the bad ones along, I'm going to go play in the studio this afternoon. The fact that I don't feel like it, is proof that I should be doing it.
Saturday, 18 February 2012
...is wonderful in theory. This is the longest time Robin has ever been out of work, and it's proving to be...interesting. It's nice to have him at home. It's just that I like a lot of quiet time on my own, and it feels weird to have someone else in the house, hogging the PC (thank goodness I didn't listen to him, and bought a laptop last year, or I wouldn't be able to blog!) and interrupting the work at odd moments, usually the moments where you really wanted to be concentrating on whatever it was. It does, however, make me wonder how he will cope when he retires. I have a lot of things to do, arguably too many. Robin, though, like many men (I won't say most, though I wonder if that is true...) focusses strongly on his work, and other than going to the fooball, has very little in the way of hobbies. Once you've trawled the internet for hours, applied for jobs and talked to agencies on the phone, for even more hours, what do you do?
The first time Robin lost his job, we bought some paint, and he started to paint the living room. He immediately started getting a lot of phone calls, and he ended up in a job, with the living room only half finished. This time, he has repainted the (very tiny) downstairs loo, but clearly that wasn't enough to interest the employment gods. Interestingly, though, when he took to his bed with a migraine, he got three calls on the trot about possible temporary jobs. Fortunately, or unfortunately, perhaps, he doesn't get migraines very often. Not sure how to feel about that...
This does, however, give me a profound respect for couples who live and work together. I don't think I'd work well with Robin, and vice versa, yet friends of ours manage that level of togetherness with ease. One couple is completely devoted...the other two seem to thrive on scrapping with each other. Each way works for them. I think we're somewhere in the middle. I also think Ill be working in the studio at the bottom of the garden next week. I daren't ask Robin how he feels about it all, but I suspect he might enjoy the break!
Monday, 13 February 2012
So...what have you got your sweetie for Valentine's?
Sunday, 12 February 2012
...or one of them anyway, is that you have a tendency to not do stuff. That'll wait til later... I can't be bothered... I'll fail, anyway... It's procrastination gone mad. And I use the word advisedly. I suffer from procrastination; I think we all do. When I'm depressed, though, everything becomes pointless, so nothing gets done.
The upside of Robin being out of work, though, is that it provides an imperative. I'm not buying convenience foods or anything that's expensive, for that matter, so if I don't cook, we don't eat. And whilst I do have a repertoire of 'instant' meals, you get sick of the same thing over and over. So I got a grip, cleaned the kitchen and made cake. What else would you expect me to do? Oh, I also made soup, and slow cooked a chicken until it melts in the mouth...but it's really the cake that does it. In particular, I made a lovely carrot cake (the banana bread was okay, you understand, but not a patch on the carrot cake). It's nearly all gone, of course...visitors and the two of us have put paid to all of it barring two slices, which are earmarked for tonight's tea.
Somehow, getting one thing moving in one part of your life, helps you to get other bits moving, particularly if you give it a bit of a gentle shove. Yesterday was not a good day, but I made myself start clearing out the conservatory, which has been suffering from 'do it in another lifetime' syndrome. Since I want to move Big Bertha out of the studio and into said conservatory, I need to make space for her. More about that on the other blog; Bertha, if you didn't know, is my large scale Epson printer. It felt like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic, but I managed a little bit of it. Today, I've got stuck in and have got half the room rearranged, with a perfect space for Bertha created. I've moved my fabric around (the conservatory houses my fabric for dyeing), folding it up and making more space. Things are slowly looking up.
And, of course, as I'm doing this, I'm seeing interesting things and thinking interesting thoughts. As the depression fog lifts, my mind turns to what I need to do to get active and make some money. I've been talking about getting stuff onto etsy for months...maybe now it's time to do it. All of these things combined, make me feel better still. As they say, a thousand mile journey begins with the first step. No matter how wrong it might feel, the more I do, the better I feel. I prophesy a return to regular blogging...