watch cat

Have I mentioned that Molly is an introvert?

After many months of mostly-solitude, we have had four weeks of visitors.  This has been more fun for me than for Molly, but occasionally tiring for both of us.  Today, I have had to send my visitor out alone, while I stayed in for a delivery.  Molly sought neither lap nor attention, but immediately fell into a coma.  I fear she has been playing watch-cat all these days and is just exhausted.

So, it is my turn to play watch cat.  That is about enough activity for today, on my one afternoon off before another three weeks of friends and travel.

jubilee jottings

This has been the perfect week to be on jubilee.

I awoke on Monday to a stunning sunrise and the glare of ice.  I sat in front of my light box, saying morning prayer and conspiring with the cat to make it an ‘at home’ day.

Tuesday was supposed to involve a trip to Edinburgh to see friends — but more ice meant more purring from Molly-cat.   That was the day of real decadence.  If I had been working, I’d have claimed the ice wasn’t too bad. If I had had to go out, I would have.  But there was no reason to spend six hours driving just to freeze in biting wind while fretting about the ice when one can simply say, ‘next week?’

Wednesday was baking day:  my first attempt at puff pastry, mincemeat, Christmas cake (notice how I run late, even when on Jubilee).  A bit of recycling, made much more exciting by gale force winds, and the deep satisfaction of oiling my dining room table.

Yesterday?  Well, I’m not sure where it went.  I watched the Scotland for Marriage video in appalled delight, then finished my consultation form.  I fiddled about online.  I tended my sourdough starters, and experimented with pumpernickel bread (partial success — but too much molasses and not enough chew).

Today is cleaning and shopping and soup-making — as well as the baking of the mince pies.  I do read too, of course.  And pray.  And look at blogs. And catch up with friends.  Advent is much gentler on Jubilee, and all the more glorious for it.

an unexpected turn

As unlikely as it seems, I seem to be channelling the spirit of June Cleaver.

That might not be so surprising to anyone who knew me in high-school, but for anyone who saw my rectory in Dunblane…

Today was Wash Day.  And (pace, June) since I have a modern wonder of a condensing drier, what made it Wash Day was that it was raining.   There were mountains of sheets and towels and clothes,  hillocks of hand-washing, and an iron hoping to preside over it all.

All day, it was up the stairs, down the stairs, water whooshing, drier buzzing, cat twitching and standing guard against transgressors at the bus stop.

And while it all went on, I sat at the table, surrounded by cookbooks and planning menus.  I love cookbooks.  And it seems that everyone I’ve ever known is hoping to visit me in Durham, so I had the perfect excuse to play all day, pretending it was planning.

Tomato bisque with soft rolls and camembert.

Chilli with glazed butternut, crunchy slaw, and chocolate pots.

Dragonwagon Parsnip Nubbins with raw cranberry relish, dark greens and pecan pie.

On and on it went.  Wash, dry, plan a menu.  I enjoyed it immensely.  And then I poached an egg for supper, and sighed deeply over the ironing. For the truth is, June Clever never was my role model.  It was always Samantha from Bewitched.