Friday, 15 May 2009
A day at home
It has been quite a busy week, but today was devoted to domestic tasks.
Firstly I went off to get a blood test done - just routine - to check my cholesterol, etc. The nurse advised me not to do any heavy lifting for the rest of the day. However I had to go out and do all the food shopping.
Having spent a few very enjoyable days in Canberra, supplies at home had run out. Dr P got rather pathetic, and wrote out his shopping list for all the things he likes to graze on during the day, and for various other actual necessities such as milk, bread and eggs. I was too busy until today to do most of the shopping, but at least there are things in the freezer to ensure that nobody starves. To help him overcome the lack of comestibles, I made him the wonderful orange and almond cake. The recipe I use is in Stephanie Alexander's big orange book, but I came across a variation by Jill Dupleix, which adds two lemons to the two oranges. It gives it a bit of tartness. It is a lot of fun combining versions of recipes. We are enjoying the cake. I finally worked out some time ago that the fan should not be on high when cooking cakes. It took a while, and a number of rather dry cakes for me to work it out, but eventually the little light in my brain came back on, and illuminated the subject.
We needed so much stuff that I came home absolutely laden. Naturally someone had pinched my parking spot right outside the house, so I had to park illegally across our driveway, blatantly ignoring the No Stopping sign. A stupid decision in NSW abolished the No Parking signs in favour of No Stopping, which means that when I drive Dr P and let him out of the car at the driveway (the shortest and least difficult entry), I am doing something illegal. How ridiculous!
I had to lug all the shopping inside the house, which required several trips, and then had to go out and move the car. At this stage a little moan about woman being a beast of burden tried to bubble to the surface, but then I remembered all the men who do really heavy work, and reflected that despite all our machines, we all still need to use our bodies quite strenuously.
No bleeding occurred from the very slightly afflicted part. The cupboards are full, and proper meals are being provided. Later I amused myself by reading the article in Gourmet Traveller on how well-known chefs make Bolognese sauce, and indulged myself in the belief that their various preferred versions are inferior to my tried and true recipe.
Having been inspired by the reports of largesse from Kevin, I then did (last year's) tax return, with Dr P very kindly helping me through all the hard bits. When I say I did the return, I mean that I put together all the information and posted it off to the tax agent - this is how I get away with putting in such a late return. It was very pleasant working away together.
My being dilatory with tax returns has a long domestic history. In my younger days I used to do my return all by myself, but then at one stage there was introduced some provision relating to health insurance which meant both spouses' returns had to be done together. This meant that I could not do mine until my husband did his. He took forever, and of course it drove me wild. I'd get out all the information for him and have it all ready to do. It would not get done. Weeks would go by. The piles of papers would get swamped by other domestic stuff. Then I'd lose the impetus. After a while I would try again. At one stage more than two years went by in this way, and I developed a big phobia about Doing The Tax Return.
Once I was on my own, it was necessary to overcome this phobia, and so I made use of a tax agent, the brother of a friend. It was very liberating to realize that if something did not get done it was all my own fault, and nobody else's. I still had to get all the information together, of course, but at least I got it done, and the nice thing was that with the tax agent I did not need to get it done straight away. The task is being done now in a more systematic way, so that at least the relevant documents are more easily found. Today's little effort took only a short time, some of which was photocopying and typing. This should be a lesson to me that in future I should avoid all this putting off the task. By the time I am really old I should be perfectly organised and disciplined. Oh yeah?
So I feel really good. Tomorrow is market day and I will buy flowers for the house. The cumquats on my tree are looking ripe, and next week I will add them to my supply of frozen cumquats, and make marmalade. This is a deeply satisfying endeavour.