Thursday, 9 August 2018
Delight In Unexpected Things
Hedgerow and home harvests continue apace here. I've made the first batch of blackberry jam and am eating it on my morning toast. It tastes of the hedgerows. Tomatoes are ripening; courgettes are (for once) not going berserk, presumably a result of the hot weather; hordes of white caterpillars have denuded our lettuce/ rocket rows, leaving us the sorrel which they, apparently, do not like; the apples are ripe; raspberries are coming along and we also have cucamelons, a cross between cucumbers and melons. The fruits are very fresh tasting but I have to fight the mice for them. The Vicky Plum was doing so well this year, absolutely festooned with plums, then last week all her leaves turned brown and began to drop and all her plums shrivelled. I tried one just in case it was edible and found that the wrinkly skin is misleading, they taste delicious, so I picked them all yesterday and last night we ate some cooked in butter and sugar with toasted breadcrumbs and hazelnuts on top and cream poured over. Yum. I'm going to freeze the rest.
Pop and I have been getting out for some lovely runs together lately. I did a rather grim 22 miler three weeks ago in 27 degree heat that took nearly four hours and really wiped me out. I pulled back the mileage for a bit after that (in any event, that was the final long run for what would have been this batch of marathon training) and now I am feeling fresh and ready to go again, so we did ten miles together on Sunday and then yesterday's 4.5 miler turned into eight and half. Thankfully, it has cooled down here which makes distance running much easier.
I've got a half marathon this Sunday in Salisbury. I will not be picking up anything that I haven't personally dropped and I have told M not to either. Poor Salisbury- it did not deserve to be at the centre of Horrid Russian Spy Stuff. It's the most unlikely place on earth to play host to such a thing. My blood boils when I think about the poor lady who died.
In happier news, my 5-10k group are doing really well, they're now up to 6.5k so running a mile more than they were three weeks ago, over hills and off road too, which is more challenging than road running. I'm so proud of them all. Poppy comes along to each of the runs and sits in the pub afterwards looking like a Proper Pub Dog and getting cuddles from everyone :o)
L turns 17 next week. How did that happen? He's mostly asked for computer games but I have one or two things up my sleeve that he hasn't asked for. He and I share a strange enjoyment of Things You Wouldn't Expect To Make Us Happy. Last week, I bought him a new fan. It's a Tower Fan, one of those tall, slender things that pumps out cool air in a chic elegant fashion without waving its arms hysterically round and round and whirring loudly as his old fan does. It has a myriad of different settings for every possible permutation of mood, and a remote control. You wouldn't believe his excitement when I gave it to him. He spent hours experimenting with all the different settings and then insisted I sat down for a demonstration. He takes it with him from room to room. Honestly, I could have just got him the fan for his birthday and he would have been happy.
My own delight in unexpected things takes this form.....
A new mop and bucket!!!! I can't tell you how excited I've been about it's arrival. L ordered it for me (he has free next day delivery on his account) and yesterday kept updating me on its progress: it's been loaded on the lorry; it's on its way; it's three deliveries from here!). In the end I was out when it arrived but L, knowing how excited I was about it getting here, brought it indoors for me so it was waiting in the hall when I got home.
I was actually too excited to open it yesterday, so it sat in it's box waiting for me to calm down and to have the proper amount of time to devote to it. M, when I pointed it out to him, was less than enthusiastic. His over-exicted thing is steam engines. He dragged me along to a local steam fair a fortnight ago and we spent hours admiring the rollers, the ironwork, the put-put steam that was being ejected and talking to the (mostly) men in caps sitting on deck chairs by their engines with dusters handy ready to whisk away the teeniest speck of dust that dared to settle on the paintwork. We then found an old combine exactly like the one his dad had on their farm and I thought he was going to explode.
Back to my mop.
Look! It's even got a fancy foot-twirler thingy for getting rid of excess water! My floors will never be revolting again! In fact, unless that's false advertising, they should sparkle afterwards as the picture shows :o)
Bit miffed about the blatant '1950's housewife' advertising on the box. I feel she's standing in an overly provocative, chest-thrust-forward, ankles-crossed type pose for someone doing the mopping too....
Anyway, I unwrapped it this morning while everyone was out and I had the house to myself and could devote the time it deserved properly without distraction. I mopped the kitchen floor while Poppy sat on the strip that delineates kitchen from breakfast room (the hounds aren't supposed to go in the kitchen) watching me.
I think this is possibly the best definition of Middle Age I have yet come up with, being excited about the arrival of a new mop and bucket. It surely goes one better than looking forward to the tea and cake bit that comes after looking round a National Trust House.
How are all of you, anyway? Anything new in your lives that has caused over-excitement beyond what it should have done?
I'm off to tackle the breakfast room floor now, just as soon as I can persuade the dogs to wake up and get off their beds....