Sunday, 6 September 2009

What are we doing today?

Kept on making out adjustments from our old UK lifestyle, that's what we are doing.

At this moment I am having a go at preserving tomatoes, which seems a lot of effort what with it involving kilner jars and steaming and oh, grumbly, grumbly, more mess. I am sitting outside the awning, the sun is shining, and you know what? I have the smidgeon of a one-ness with what I am doing, which means me and my head are engaged in the same task. Most often, when I am doing a task, my head is off doing its own thing, thoughts rolling round my head hither and thither while I carry on doing what I am doing. Today, we seem to be all together as I sit with legs akimbo prepping the tomatoes on the grass (? well there would be grass if it were to rain: just now the grass is hay. And dust.) in between my feet.

Hubs is tinkering about behind me in the tall barn. His Project Of The Day is to put a blade sharpener onto an old cutting bench. My idea. Last time he used the sharpener it was on the floor of the awning. He wouldn't let me post those photos, but now he has put the sharpener into a safer position, I'm going to slip this one in:

I have just had a sip of tomato pulp, the recipe as given to be my friend, Val. Not much of a recipe really, just 1Kg tomatoes, 1 spoonful of sugar, 1 spoonful of salt. And so why does it taste so much better that the tinned tomatoes bought from the supermarket. Hence: another small step in our desensitization from supermarket food to home-grown. Really, really, food really, really tastes so much better when it is grown and harvested from fresh, that is what I am discovering.

"That's bad luck. I've broken my drill." Hubs yells out. "I've got the bit stuck in it."
"Try some oil" I say.
"Can't. Haven't got any."
"Try some Olive Oil".
"Where is it?"
"In the kitchen caravan".
Where in the 'van?"
"In the cupboard".
"Where in the cupboard?"
So I have just gone and got it for him, which seemed the best thing to do. And now Hubs must be a happy chappy because I can hear the drill working. Must go and rescue my bottle of olive oil otherwise that will be lost forever. He has a tendency to put things away in odd places. Bless.
"I've mounted my gear!" Hubs yells out. Imagination does a quick flash, but sensibility returns. Project Sharpener has been a succeess. Now I can hear him sharpening up something. Hang on a minute while I go and do a photo shoot for you.

"Vera, I did a big boys job" he said, pride oozing from the top of his head down to his toes: better than spending all day playing games on the PC which is what the usual Sunday acivity consisted of back in the UK. Living life, that is what Hubs is doing now.

Now it is later on in the day, and I have a confession to make: my Preserving Tomatoes didn't get very far, just down into our tums. The tomatoes were just too tasty to boil up in a kilner jar, so I added a few bits of this and we had them for lunch! Methinks that the Preserving Tomatoes Project might fetch up as a 2010 project. I am a little nervous about handling hot kilner jars, especially in the close confines of the caravan. I can manage jam jars, but kilner jars seem beyond my handling skills at the moment. But there is always next year. And I should be in the kitchen in the house. Whooppeeee! More space. Less cluttered. More tidy? Probably not!

Family pow-wow sitting on the floor of the half barn this afternoon: we have decided to save money by filling in the holes in the wall of the half barn ourselves, and also tiling the floor. The money saved can go to the fosse. Now the veg growing season is slowing up we needed a project to carry us through to the end of the year, so this will be it. A bit of dissent amongst the pow-wow members over the colour of the tiles, but that was soon fixed by a cup of tea and a biscuit. There was a plate of biscuits but the pow-wow member with four legs decided to grab a couple before they were shared out. Said member was sent away in disgrace, leaving the other pow-wow members with less to nibble with their tea, but bonhommie restored. Third member made a return soon afterwards, so all in all it became a productive pow-wow meet although the colour of the tiles is still up for discussion.

Now we have come to the end of the day. Soon time for bed. It has been a grand day, with lots of activities which are good for the soul. And here is my desk:

....which is awash with pots of chutney and jam waiting to be found a home. Plus the desk itself is sticky, and the computer keyboard and the mouse, and everything else! The kitchen caravan is just as sticky. Which means that I, of course, am sticky as well!

Hope your Sunday was a good and productive day as well, and that you laughed as much as we did.


DUTA said...

Every beginning/change is difficult; it's good that you can laugh in the meantime. Gradually, the house will be ready, you'll have all the neccessary facilities, and then the broken drill, the kilner jars, the stickiness, will all be forgotten.

Vera said...

Thanks for popping in Duta. One of the reasons why I write this blog is to keep a 'diary' of our early days here and our journey towards being smallholders so that we can look back at it in later years to see how far we have come. Another reason is to meet people like yourself! As I say, nice to have to pop in.

TheChicGeek said...

Hello Vera :) It is always a treat to pop in on your day. I can dream that I am living in the country....stickiness, broken drills and kilner all sounds so wonderful to me...a day working on the land...perfect! :)

Wishing you much happiness this week!

Vera said...

Thanks for your words, D, and I love the thought of sharing my country living with you. We are on a steep learning curve here, and it means a lot to me that other people pop in and see what we are up to, the same as I enjoy visiting with other people. Blessings to you...