Thursday, 11 December 2008

Snow, friends and how to embrace what we have.

I want to talk about a few things today, so perhaps I should kick off with the fact that we had snow on Tuesday night so we were confronted with a white mass yesterday morning. This caused a mixture of reactions in our household. For once, DH was up and around with me and the kids, rather than laying in bed until I leave to take the kids to school and then having to come back to take him to work! He was playing it cool, but I knew he was excited. The kids had no such qualms over showing their excitement and were dressed, breakfasted and wanting to go outside about 45 minutes before they needed to be at school. My reaction was a bit more lacklustre I'm afraid. I just thought to myself, 'oh God, I need to try and drive in all that and I can't remember the snow-driving rules again'. I always think it is quite amazing that one person's idea of fun can be another's worst nightmare. It goes to prove that we are all different and all a little unique, but also it depends on your point of view and the level of responsibility you take for certain situations too, I think.

It reminded me a bit of a conversation I had on Facebook with an old childhood friend on Monday. I wrote my status for Monday as something like, 'Have kneaded my bread dough and it is now proving nicely', and she commented saying 'bloody hell, you are well domesticated nowadays. Makes me feel quite inadequate!' Well I felt a bit taken aback. Was this the same person who had written last week that she was really excited to be taking her kids to see Madagascar 2 at the cinema? Or the person who had had a fantastic time at her kid's school disco and been dancing away with all the kids (she is also heavily pregnant I might add here!)? When I read these things, I wished dearly that I would have been able to get excited about taking my kids to the cinema and also, if I was excited, to be able to admit it 'openly' on Facebook. But that just isn't me, as I am sure that she has never thought about making her own bread, whereas I am obsessed with it at the moment after finding little packets of Fresh yeast at the supermarket. As the late, great Elizabeth Zimmerman wrote about knitting: 'if you hate to knit, why, bless you, don't; follow your secret heart and take up something else.' I think that sometimes we see others doing stuff and we feel that that would be nice.... but..! There is no time and no inclination to fit in ALL these things. We are so accustomed nowadays to seeing certain lifestyles advertised to us and feeling that if we don't fit in to certain boxes then we are rubbish that it is hard to switch this off in ourselves. There is also the problem of recognising it on the first place too, of course as there are so many media channels that influence us covertly.

That's the thing about us humans isn't it? We are never happy with what we have. Sometimes it is best to accept things. In fact not just simply accept them, somethings are naturally unacceptable, but maybe to embrace those things that we cannot change. Perhaps what I needed to think when I woke up yesterday, was 'Snow. A good chance to practice my driving at my own pace in the snow so that I get better. As it is a fact here that life doesn't just stop when it snows.' Also, maybe reading what others are doing is also a good way to get inspired and embrace a bit of change. Perhaps my friend's post, rather than make me feel envious, would have been a good opportunity to think, oh a kid's disco, not sure I would be up for that, but I wonder if my own kids might like to put some music on later and have a dance around the front room. So inspiration rather than feeling that I am a hopeless mum. Sometimes it is the way you look at stuff that needs a rethink, as opposed to what you do.


  1. I am looking forward to hearing all about your bread making experiences. There is nothing better than getting your hands into flour and yeast and creating (well ... trying too at least!) some wonderful bread or viennoiserie. Seeing the almost magical transformation of the flour, yeast, salt and water into bread. have you managed to get your hands on Dough or Crust yet or were these on your Christmas list? Oh dear ... I feel the need to break out the DVD's that come with both these books! I think of it as almost baking porn for me! ;)

    I am not sure if I will get around to making stollen this year, but will be making mince pies over the next few days. I am going to make mini ones and put marzipan stars, a few may have a pecan nut on the top instead of pastry. I was going to make them today, but there is too much Bobsleigh (yippee :-) ) for me to watch and catch up with - thank you British Eurosport 2 for deciding to start showing this and Bob Skeleton again after a 3 year absence!!! Next Week there is more Skeleton and Bobsleigh live action from Cesana, Italy.

    As for snow ... I think that as you get older, your initial excitement at the white dusting or heavy layer of snow soon disappears when you have to drive in the snow and contend with slippery, icy roads. Snow now makes me long for and think of log fires, pots of tea, making hearty soups and casseroles. Oh dear ... I feel myself getting a little bit carried away ... I think a cup of tea and a Billy's Farm spelt, walnut and ginger biscuit is in order.

    Sending you very Big hugs and a warm mince pie

    Love Alex xxx

  2. Wow Alex, what a brill comment!! I think I do want to talk about breadmaking a bit more and yes I have both Dough and Crust on my xmas list but have brought my sister the wonderful and tried and tested by me Bread Matters by Andrew Whitely which I love. Cookery books with a story are what do it for me really and the story he tells is fascinating. I am like you as I get older too and it is the call of the cosy inside and winter cooking that makes me think fondly of winter now or being in Turin on a crisp, cold day at one of the very posh cafes drinking hot chocolate which has more in common with chocolate custard than the poor old Cadburys Options we get fobbed off with at home!!

    Hope the Bobsleigh is good, and look forward to hearing all about the mince pies, take care, Melxxxxx