annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Day 267

Quite manic today, couldn't stop moving. Got up, made my bed, washed the dishes, had coffee, did my meditation, though that didn't slow me down - or only for the ten minutes I was sat still, attending to my breath. I did half a painting workshop, on Egon Schiele, did the drawing but was too twittery to be able to listen for the painting - will try and finish it tomorrow.

I did the next stage of curing my olive harvest - soaking them in brine for two months in a dark place. Sadly, when I went to the recipe I realised I'd done the first bit wrong - soak them for eight days, changing the water every day - I'd thought it was thirty days, but I did the next bit anyway. A bit mental as there are literally eight olives, but I've never had any that lasted through to getting to a decent size and colour, so fuck it, let's see how they turn out.

Then made lemon curd, for the first time, full of anxiety as the recipe asked for one large lemon but I had four small ones - they weren't going to be used and I couldn't bear to waste them. As they were small I only doubled the recipe, but it called for caster sugar and I only had granulated, unsalted butter, mine was salted, and large eggs, mine didn't look large. But I went for it and it came out OK, very pale - they must put yellow dye in it usually. Tastes good.

Harassed Bloke into putting a bit of netting round where I planted onions and garlic, to stop the dog digging them up. I never manage to get things like that sturdy enough to last through the winter, but this looks fine. Tomorrow I'll replant the onions.

Went into the city to watch the starlings and the sunset as I noticed the sky was clear. Walked really quickly along the prom, dragging the dog. Got to the donut groyne (an ancient stone thingy sticking out into the sea next to the pier) and was so focused on the starlings I didn't notice the dog eating her way through a fisherman's catch - whiting - always makes me think of Alice in Wonderland (or could be Through the Looking Glass - they're merged in my mind):

'Will you walk a little faster?' said a whiting to a snail,
'There's a porpoise close behind us, and he's treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle -- will you come and join the dance?
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?

'You can really have no notion how delightful it will be
When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!'
But the snail replied 'Too far, too far!' and gave a look askance --
Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join the dance.

'What matters it how far we go?' his scaly friend replied.
'There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.
The further off from England the nearer is to France --
Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you joint the dance?

The fisherman was very friendly about losing his fish, which was lucky as some of them can be dead arsey. We walked back to the car, into the sunset and drove home with the traffic lights in our favour all the way and it only took 20 minutes, which astounded me. Just back in time to get set up for what turned out to be a very strenuous yin yoga class, full of asanas I wasn't familiar with, though I was pleased when I snuck a look at the other participants to see that I was the oldest and the most flexible. This is not in the spirit of yoga.

Then ate a big chicken dinner with loads of veg, cooked by Bloke who has mastered the roast potato - best ever. Watched the Strictly results show, was worried for Bill Bailey but he's made it through to the semi-finals next week, then watched the doc about Cold War Steve, very interesting how he fell into becoming a satirist, and now I'm writing and I will have to take some valium to slow me down.

It's Christmas, and no Sammie and everyone getting it going early to cheer us all up after the shit year we've had, but last year was worse and there's no cheering me up, so fuck off with your fairy lights and exhortations to be merry and bright. I can be happy but it sneaks up on me, this isn't doing it at all.

Three good things though:
1. I got a great photo of the beach in a proper golden light. Wish I could still post photos here
2. Those roast potatoes
3. I made it through the day, which I didn't feel I would at the beginning.

11:27 p.m. - 06.12.20


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