...been a long time, been a long time, been a long lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely time
For 'rock and rolled', read 'blogged'. Or 'sat down and read a book' or 'sewed anything at all' or 'swam'. Because they're all like rock and roll, really. Except with more fabric and water and pictures of flowers.
It's a time of change in the Coffee House - for everyone except Littlest there's something major happening. I'm in my new job; Mr Coffee is preparing to become a student again; Eldest will soon be changing secondary schools. Everything is the same, but subtly not the same.
Tonight, for example, I'm still surprised that I don't have tomorrow off: my regular Friday at home was something I looked forward to, and then completely failed to use in any remotely productive or even relaxing way. It's a strange thing, but I'm doing better at some things than I ever did when I had a lot more time.
Packed lunches, for instance. Look at this masterpiece.
One thing they never tell you about bento boxes. (By 'they' I mean all the scary Pinterest pinners who spend their waking hours making sandwiches into panda's heads or googly-eyed frogs or modelling sheep out of rice. And Alice.) Bento boxes mean you can make packed lunches for your children even if you didn't get round to actually shopping. You can make a bento box out of the scraps at the bottom of a bag of tortilla chips, a carrot, the scrapings of a tub of Philadelphia and a cherry tomato. If you have one cereal bar and two children, you can actually cut it in half, because bento things are meant to be little. Similarly with the one frozen tortilla wrap you found under a bag of sweetcorn. Once displayed in IKEA baking cups, even the three grapes at the bottom of the fruit bowl take on a new allure. I've halved a satsuma before now.
Also, gardening. I've got a lot better at that. (I started with a pretty low bar.) Though it seems that I have rather overcommitted my little raised vegetable bed.
I abandoned the 'growing from seed' malarkey this year. Life's too short to wait for carrots never to germinate. I bought tiny plants instead from the market and the The Average Cabbage, who delivered little trays of plants that actually went on to get bigger. My decision to grow things that I usually ate resulted in a coldframe almost entirely full of beetroot, which threatened to get out of hand. This recipe - though it reads like some kind of torture - is an absolutely brilliant way to eat beetroot leaves. (Who even knew you could eat beetroot leaves?)
Tonight I found a notebook from last year, which contained a list of things I had decided would make my life better. It had 'do yoga' and 'go swimming' and 'read books' and 'sort out all the digital photos'. Below the list, STOP WASTING TIME was written in big red letters. I don't have time to waste anymore, but I never did all the things on the list even when I did. Now, the day just goes 'kids to school/ work/ pick kids up from school/ kids to bed/ sleep'. (My children take AN AGE to get to bed. AN AGE.) And though I still have far too much to do, I'm no longer blaming myself for not getting it done. Which, though it doesn't get the food shopping done, brings with it a certain kind of peace.