Summer of beauty

The holidays are nearly over and I'm starting to change gears and get ready for making school lunches and going to paid work again. Today I took advantage of my last day to fossick without children and researched the title of our home. When my father-in-law was here last week, he was looking at the evidence that the (flush) toilet was originally built outside, in what is now my potting shed. An older local friend had told us a bit about our house and we understood it was built in the late 1940s. F-i-l wondered if it was actually late 1930s and pointed us in the direction of Frank Lloyd Wright for the possible inspiration for the distinctive interior details. We've been looking at the Lloyd Wright book I found at the library and I'm interested in him not for our house (I don't really see a connection - more likely should look at an art deco book I'm now thinking) but as evidence of the great American dream. He is heralded as something wonderful, with his distinctively American houses. I'm struck by the way they are designed for the inside experience and for a car-driving elite and seem to be built to be quite separate and unrelated to the community in which they are sited. Not a direction of thought I'm keen on at all.

But I now know that our house was built in 1951, by a building inspector who was by then fifty himself. I've found the record of his death a few years after he sold the house on in the 1960s, to the people we bought it from. I would have thought 1951 was pretty late to be building outside toilets - must ring my Grandad who was plumbing in that era and ask his thoughts.

We've had six weeks together, the four of us. I'm grateful, incredibly grateful, every year, that our jobs allow this time for us together. I'm at that perennial late January phase of thinking of new, healthy, affordable lunch box food ideas. Which is not so incredibly hard until I factor in boy seven who wants his food to look normal like everyone else's. I have no intention of doing normal when it means packets of grainwaves and chips each day, with more packets of things which are scarcely made of food at all. We'll find a way through it somehow - we always do. I might play around with cornish pasties this weekend and see if I can make them to freeze and how they would taste cold in lunch boxes.

I've not gardened much this summer. The poor weather mitigated against us at the beginning and later I realised I was just out of the habit. I really do need to buy a new hose though as it has finally gotten quite dry and I'm not so keen as I once was in terms of lugging the watering can all round the place. I bought some new plants yesterday and must get them in soon - tansy, lemon balm, celery and kale.

I'm pleased with my sewing progress this summer though I have to get stuck into my dress project which seems a bit huge and hard at the moment. My friend Cathy works at the local Sallies and she has talked about the huge volume of clothing going through. It is so wrong that so many people are being badly treated, horrendously treated, in order to make money for big corporations and feed and fuel minority world hunger for huge wardrobes. It's a very slow project for me so far, but I want to reduce our clothes shop buying more.

Apart from blogging, I haven't written much this summer and it is only five nights until writers' group starts again.

The hugest achievement is that our house is quite a civilised place to live in these days, though chaos lurks ready to pounce - I see it in the lounge already. I do feel much more ready to go on with my other work/interests/projects now that I'm not weighed down with tonnes of clutter.

Comments

Gillybean said…
We are at pretty much the same stage here, dusting off school lunch boxes and doing some baking for the freezer, replacing zips on school bags and making sure everyone's got footwear that fits. Cornish pasties should work for freezing, I do Alison Holsts "prize pieburgers" for my kids lunchboxes and they're pretty much the same thing. Done some de-cluttering myself, but havn't spent alot of time in the garden either. Tomatoes were looking great but I think they've got blight now!
Gillybean said…
We are at pretty much the same stage here, dusting off school lunch boxes and doing some baking for the freezer, replacing zips on school bags and making sure everyone's got footwear that fits. Cornish pasties should work for freezing, I do Alison Holsts "prize pieburgers" for my kids lunchboxes and they're pretty much the same thing. Done some de-cluttering myself, but havn't spent alot of time in the garden either. Tomatoes were looking great but I think they've got blight now!

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