Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Life returns ....

...  to normal.  In as much as I have what could be called a normal life.  But today is the first time this month I've felt I have time to write this blog.  It took a bit of doing.  Having got out of the swing of it there are actually dozens of things which seemed more urgent for today and at first I thought this would have to be another blogless day.  But then I realised that a different approach is needed because there will always be a dozen things to do.  We're all familiar (aren't we?) with the concept of prioritising but I think it's something which is easily misused. It tends to acquire a rather mathematical, scientific flavour, to do with order of urgency.  Writing my blog is in no way urgent.  However, prioritising should be about the things that are most important and they may have some other quality that gets overlooked.

Over the last few months I have kept meaning to write about my bread-making but other things jumped up to be written about and the bread was neglected.  I've been making all my own bread, though, since some time in February.  One of the great joys of this is that M prefers my bread to most other (although he still feels that proper French bread is superior!)  Previously, bread choosing has often been a bit of a compromise as we have different preferences in bought bread.  Now, things are easy.  Bread-making has also become a kind of symbol of "getting a life" and holding on to it that I set about last year.  Gardening is another part of that picture.  I have been particularly sad that for about two weeks we had bought bread again, simply because I wasn't home for long enough to complete the process.  Yesterday, therefore, in spite of still having mountains of things to do, bread was made and life started to return to normal.  It seems a natural step to add blogging today.

I wouldn't want to ally myself too closely with the slow-living movement because slower is not really what I'm aiming for.  (Though having gone through about three weeks of much-too-fast-living I can appreciate the point!)  I'm really after balance and a certain quality which I am struggling to find the words for this morning (clearly out of practice.)  It's related to self-sufficiency but without the connotations of "I don't need anyone" that that phrase seems to have taken on recently.  It's to do with being personally involved in the processes and physicality of one's own space.  I don't need to grow my own food.  I don't feel strongly about eating organically-produced things.  I don't fret about a garden having weeds or looking untidy.  I just love to be in contact with my own bit of soil and grow things.  I like making food from scratch not because I don't trust or like any other type of food but just because it's important to me to feel involved in the process.

Writing a blog - using the many technologies of digital camera, computer, internet, blogging software - doesn't obviously have much in common with growing vegetables or making meals from scratch.  There's something here, though, about a sort of hands-on connection with one's life.  Writing involves reflection (well, it's probably better if it does!), which is itself a way of connecting to what is going on.

I do want to post pictures and write about Going Solo.  I also want to write about the new Gloucester shop.  But that is all for another day.  Today is for enjoying being at home, doing washing, sowing long-overdue vegetable seeds and getting back in touch with life.