Food is a touchy subject for many: for eating and discussing. It requires all the senses to really appreciate it. Food can also provoke an emotional response. If I am feeling homesick, for example, I make a big dish of macaroni and cheese, or champ (complete with loads of butter and spring onions). When I’m feeling lazy, it’s Udon noodles in a broth with whatever veggies I have on hand and a dash of soy sauce, or my summer favourite – linguine with tomato and basil, covered in a fresh lemon juice and olive oil dressing.
So why am I starting my first post for the new year talking about food (apart from it being lunch time)? Because I’m marvelling at what I consider to be happy foods. Cherries (I haven’t bought any, yet), mangoes, lychees, avocado, meringues, marshmallow mice with licorice tails (it’s a South African thing), mashed potato, a good margarita pizza, basil, salsa, good feta, Kalamata olives, and vine ripened tomatoes. In fact, what I’m currently eating for lunch is a happy dish: fresh tomatoes, feta, olives and basil drizzled with olive oil and cracked pepper. It can be summed up in a single word: summer.
I’m halfway through my summer holidays, and this is the first time I’ve turned on my computer in ages (let’s hear it for smartphones). I have, surprisingly, been having a break. Up until Thursday, we had the most stunning weather. And there was some entertaining cricket on the box, and a knitting commission (with yarn delivered at the eleventh hour) to complete (all is done, with a bind off and blocking to go). It was fantastic to be in the Bay for longer than a weekend, and with a glut of fruit mince pies to get through.
It was the first time I’d been in the new Aquatic Centre at home, and I was determined to get some swimming done. I have a 10-trip, and I will use it when I’m up there. I’m used to a 20m pool now, so those extra 5 metres in the indoor pool really make a difference. But I learnt very quickly that my shoulder still has a long, long way to go. It really didn’t appreciate any sort of freestyle and told me so. Repeatedly. Thus, I had to stick to breaststroke. You know what? It’s not too bad. (And my shoulder doesn’t complain, so that’s a bonus). I swam until my arm wouldn’t move. My number of laps are improving, but a stiff and achy shoulder can be a bit of a bastard. I just need to be more diligent with the swimming and the shoulder this year. It took a serious knock in the last boxing class holding the pads, and it’s just not quite settled. I get the distinct impression that there’s a bit of a reality check as to what I can and can’t do this year with it, I’m trying to avoid that little discussion with myself for now.
And here we are. This year. 2012. A year legends are made of. My resolutions are relatively simple this year.
(in no particular order)
- don’t sweat the small stuff
- cross a couple of things off that bucket list
- do more library stuff
- spend more time with friends
- more music concerts
- work on being more spontaneous (there is method to that contradictory madness)
It’s more like a set of guidelines than anything else. There will be knitting (I have some commissions to do, and some WIPs for finish), but I am now on a yarn diet (the exception being commissions, if I do not have the yarn in my stash), and reading is to take precedence this year. I’m looking forward to buying a bookcase and filling it this year: both with my books currently in the Bay, and from my guilt-free trips to the various bookshops around the place that I have been avoiding for fear of buying tomes with nowhere to put them.
As for the 2011 introspections, like the ever-inspiring DrK, I would like to leave last year alone. I did much and learnt more, and I may put together something sort of knitting tally for it, but it’s just a thought at this stage. This is a year of more mindful knitting, more productive reading, and more considered writing.
Let’s see how long it lasts…