All day in my pyjamas. No deadlines. NO food to prepare for the week or clothes to have ready for the morning (well sort of, but not the usual term time pressure).

We made banana muffins and popcorn and had lemonade and ginger beer for afternoon tea (well the kids had the sweet drink, I held off and then had wine). I tried cooking the popcorn in half butter and half coconut oil. Still good (and smelt like the movie theatre ones which I never buy as they are outrageously expensive) but I think I like just butter best.

I gardened! Just little bits but it felt wonderful. I found some slugs for the chooks and pulled out the queen annes lace to make more room for the rocket, alyssum and calendula to spread out and strut their colours/flavours. I threw alyssum seed down this autumn in case it worked and I think it has grown better than when I have bought punnets of alyssum seedlings.

I'm having another poor season for celery. Something is eating the plants in one garden bed and a disease has afflicted the others. My purple sprouting broccoli is disappearing - slugs I guess. The kohlrabi is withstanding the slimy onslaught better.

I thinned my carrots. MY. CARROTS. Big enough to thin. It seems that if they can survive the first six weeks, they are okay. The slugs don't, so far, seem to go for the older carrot tops. So in the future I will stick to the Egmont Gold which has germinated so much better than anything else I have tried (2% germination is not worth it, no matter how heirloom and open pollinated and karmically blessed) and sow more carrots every month - surely I'll get some food out of such a method?

I weeded the pots under the lean-to, vestiges of the summer of the hissy fit over the tomatoes. I expect that I could grow something in them right now. Under the lean-to so frost free and we only get a couple of frosts per year on the rest of the garden anyway, so probably wouldn't go below 5 degrees celsius under the lean-to.

I eyed up my roses, which are ready for transplanting to the side fence which I plan to be a mass of red blooms this summer, but I need to do a lot of weeding and digging to make that transition happen.

Tomorrow the children and I head east to Hanmer Springs (FH has already left Wetville for his conference) where they will stay and on Tuesday I will drive to Christchurch and stay in a motel and go to a work conference and be without children or husband for multiple days and nights for the first time in many many years.

The conference is guaranteed to be attended by women who might not even own gumboots, let alone wear them to town. This prospect is dragging me out of my West Coast grunge, especially as staying away from home means I can't wash and recycle the same outfits every day so easily. I've been sorting through my wardrobe, shopping at Postie Plus (bought a dress for $15 which I had tried on but restrained myself from buying at $50 at the beginning of winter) and tonight I dyed my hair. The chemical stuff which may well give me cancer (if my takeaway fish and chips cooked in canola oil doesn't do it first). Postie Plus had the kind which you can create your own highlights with on sale for only $9. Looks alright.

Which is all very sweatshop surely. But I have taken my sewing machine in to be fixed and I did pay $50 to get the zips replaced on my boots which are five years old and irreplaceable in my view. A local treasure called Steve cobbled them for me. He works at our hospital making orthotics and has the skills to make shoes from scratch (cue peak oil music, how wonderfully useful). He does shoe repairs in the evenings at home. I also mended Fionn's jeans today.

I've been knitting some more and some more. I've completed the back of my crossover cardigan and one side of the front. Now I'm in the early stages of the second front. This double knit lark takes a while when I am making it for me. I hope I like it. Once it is finished and I have completed my other sewing projects (who am I kidding?), then I have seen the purple fabric with a paisley print embossed on it which I want to make a skirt from. To go with the cardigan. Which isn't finished.

That Sharon Astyk woman. She sure knows how to put a sentence together. A sentence, a sermon and a lot of brain cells. Like this essay here. I've been thinking about it for the last few hours. The Hayes book on Radical Homemaking is one I'm not sure I'm up for at the moment, given that this year has seen me away from home and my garden more than any other time since I had my daughter. It is about money, the extra time at work, but it's about some other things too which are satisfying. Maybe I am. Sharon, I know you were reading it - any thoughts so far?

And someone else I've admired this weekend: Harvestbird who is soooo impressively lucid and interesting just days after giving birth.


Sharonnz said…
I had to put it down because it raised some personal issues I wasn't ready to face. Will pick up these holidays while children flourish under my benign neglect. Am then sending to Nicci/Minty to read so perhaps she can send it on to you afterwards.
Gillybean said…
You go girl! Pyjamas, slugs, carrots, kohlrabi, hair dye, time in Hamner, then child free.
Have a great time.
nova_j said…
the big MIC chains have 'pretty' gumboots, could be a good compromise? :P (mine are black with glittery stars - very chic ;) ) and hooray for >2% germination!!

i thought it was forbidden to be lucid & interesting after giving birth?

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