Thursday, 6 October 2011

Persiflage rules, OK!

Normal life has been resumed.  After several days of house guests,  consisting of my second daughter and her children, and my friend M, they have all departed and the house is very, very quiet.

The weekend was one of continuous activity and conversation, extensive revisiting of past lives, current doings, looking after grandchildren, and actual cooking.

Having invited mutual friends here for dinner, and to see M, I cooked a proper meal (all that cooking of jam and marmalade does not count). My life has been so solitary and quiet, that the mere thought of entertaining was very daunting.

Notwithstanding, I managed to do all the cooking (apart from burning the marmalade) while looking after my grandchildren and talking non-stop to my friend M. She is a VERY good talker, and I am no longer used to having lots of conversation. Which is not to say it was not good, just that I am no longer accustomed to it. By the end of the long weekend, I almost felt the need to crawl back into my silent and solitary world, wrap myself in cotton wool, and ponder life.

I used to be a very good cook, but once I moved here to live with Dr P, my level of expertise dwindled significantly. He was an extremely fussy eater, and ever ready to criticise. The circle of friends for whom I cooked were also rather fussy, although they probably thought they were willing and ready to eat anything.  This was not so. One could not tolerate chillies, someone else hated garlic, another person was allergic to strawberries. Dr P had immature schoolboy tastes, and really only liked ham, eggs and cheese. Where food was concerned, he was risk averse. The kitchen equipment was not conducive to good cooking. We tended to eat in restaurants rather than at home, until this was no longer feasible. Perforce I stuck to basic dishes such as osso buco, and roast pork. Now, with the oven having developed extreme unpredictability and unreliability, cooking in the oven is no longer a good idea.

M and I watched the AFL Grand Final. However we were talking so much that we missed most of the action. From time to time we would look at the scoreboard and find that another goal had been kicked, and realise that yet again we had been completely oblivious to what was going on. We failed Sports Watching dismally.

Yesterday I attacked the garden,  pulled out handfuls of alstroemerias so that the flower stalks can appear and be seen, pruned some plants, did a general tidy up, and swept and washed the tiles.

I am sitting with my latest crochet,  having consulted with my expert friend about the requisite length, so I can now get on with it. She agreed my other work looked very floppy and unbecoming on me, so I need to find a good home for it. It looked quite nice on her, but I am not sure she'd wear that colour.

This friend says I have far too many books, and should discard most of them.  'Certainly not', I say, 'particularly not yet, and not unless I absolutely have to'. She is a minimalist person, I am not, and what's more, I love and use my books. She chucks hers out once she has read them, or borrows them. You never see a thing out of place at her house, but you certainly do here. As I now live all by myself (apart from stray visitors) I can do what I like. And I do and I shall. My space, my likes, my dislikes.

I did actually discard another few books, which were all collected this morning. The collectors informed me of the forthcoming Book and CD Fair. Oh dear! More temptation.

Another nine and a half  jars of cumquat marmalade are sitting glowing beautifully on my kitchen bench, as they cool. I purr at them as I pass.

And before I dash off to rehearsal tonight, I must indulge in a little skite. My granddaughter and I enjoyed listening again to Rossini's Duet for Two Cats, and then I played for her the second aria of The Queen of the Night. Mein precious Wunderkind sang along with it, and picked up a goodly portion of the melody, the rhythm, and hit the high notes. That child is only six! She obviously has one or two of my genes. Such talent must and shall be fostered.

1 comment:

Meggie said...

I love your philosophy that Persiflage rules! I like my mess about me, and find I feel very uneasy if I visit a neat minimalist and unseemly tidy house. I feel a 'home' needs evidence of activity and some joy!