thinking in quiet

When everyone is home and it is term time, I crave silence in the evenings.  I've been immersed in noise all day.  Having no television suits me fine as in the evening I prefer to read, sew, knit or read or write online. 

Tonight, after a quiet day to myself, I have a different set up.  I have set FH's computer up to stream Radio Four live while I knit/read/write online.  Just fifteen more minutes to Womans Hour.

1. I thought I would sew all through these solo days, but it turns out I want to read and think.
2. I went to see Laksmi, my treasured complementary therapist.  She did some visceral manipulation work while we talked at length about haemochromatosis, food, symptoms and next steps.  She strongly encouraged me to be more assertive with my doctor.
3. Inspired by Laksmi's pep talk, I made another attempt to get an appointment with a locum who FH recommended.  Wonder of all magical wonders, I got an appointment today.  TODAY!!  Unprecedented.  This doctor was fantastic.  Now I have a larger panoply of tests to get done, she is going to talk to a haematologist, she has me ready to see a rheumatologist if the arthritis gets even a little bit worse and she has written a referral to the ophthamologist regarding the chalazia on my eyes.
4. Forgetting to cook the fish roe last week wasn't so clever.  But the chooks are now turning it into omega 3 rich eggs as they sleep.
5. Elizabeth Bard's Lunch in Paris was a great read.  Then I found her blog today and devoured that as well.  Her blog is lovely, but it is very happy - the contented new mother who has found her niche writing.  In Lunch in Paris, Bard reflects on her difficulty finding her own goals and career path in France and I loved that bit.  For example, "Once again, I was a charming cog in someone else's wheel.  I was once again forced to confront (with the accompanying self-loathing) the fact that I had the goods, but not the discipline or perseverance to create something for myself.  How could anyone so ambitious be so inert?"  p.312 and "What if I stopped to ask myself what would make me happy, instead of what would make me successful, respectable, worthy?  If that answer had to come from the inside, rather than the outside, what would it be?" p.318-9.
6. I'm half way through Anne Else's thesis now.  There is so much in it which is interesting and which I could relate to the world in which I grew up, that I hope to distill something of my thoughts in a separate post when I have finished.
7. I've been pleased that our better supplies of wood this winter have meant we've rarely reached for coal.  When FH was sick and the weather was particularly bitter, we added a little coal to the wood to get sufficient heat.  Other years we have been mostly dependent on coal from July onwards.  But today, and a bit yesterday, the wood isn't firing up the way it should.  I recall my Dad saying that when they had a wood fire (the one at Redwood Valley which I referred to as their fourth child given how often they talked about it), he would have to clean the chimney 3-4 times each winter.  When I talked about this with our chimney sweep (It's pick and choose Good Life here, despite some people managing to clean their own perfectly successfully), he said that when you burn coal, the sheer heat up the chimney pushes all the soot out.  So tonight I have loaded up the fire with coal with this burning/cleaning out in mind.  The fire of coal and wood is certainly going well right now.
8. For almost two years, I saved my flybuys to buy a le Creuset iron skillet.  It's a great piece of kitchen kit and I had been loving it.  Until.  It turns out that cooking in iron is problematic for iron overload.  Given that I have a deep suspicion of 'non-stick' surfaces, and a great enthusiasm for cooking in frypans, I'm not sure where to next.  We own a large size stainless steel frypan which my parents passed on to me, but I still want a small one for scrambling eggs for one or two people in the morning.
9. To take to bed:  Getting There by Barbara Anderson.


I always have great plans for my kid-free time, lists and lists of things to do... and I inevitably do none of it. I try not to feel guilty but the manic energy required to teach 12 year olds totally wrings me out by the end of term.
I'm leisurely working my way through a pile of library books. The weather helps - it's just too awful to go anywhere, even to the mailbox!

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