It’s that time of the year. Not quite Christmas. Not quite holidays. Not quite summer.
Life at Chez EllaDee & the G.O. and Sydney’s November weather have been dancing to the same discordant tune, akin to the noise of my recorder playing in second class at school.
Weather-wise it’s been four seasons-plus in one day. Plus being torrential rain, fierce winds, hail and tornadoes. November the month of my birth & my sister’s and associated celebrations has long been infamous for heterogeneous weather.
Likewise, the everyday of this eleventh month has been a mixed bag. It’s been an eye-opener to the comfort I find in being a creature of somewhat boring habit.
The G.O. was finally released from the project that’s been the bane of his existence since Easter the year before last. He was headed for a new project on the South Coast, near Kiama where we like to steal infrequent weekends away, involving an extra couple of hours driving each day on top of his usual 7 am to whenever workdays.
Inclement weather, a project fast heading to disaster and deadline diverted his efforts locally for a couple of weeks although he was working 4 am, 6 am, 7 am to whenever and 6 days.
Meanwhile, it was quiet, sometimes very quiet, on the solo home front unless of course I opened the door to the soundtrack of the train line. But, that was my only respite. My mostly peaceful work days at my desk overlooking the harbour became unexpectedly but not unpleasantly hectic. It’s just the timing wasn’t great; home comforts depend on one of us having capacity to attend to them.
Fortunately earlier in November I devoted a Saturday afternoon to cooking, replenishing the freezer contents we’d depleted during Sustainable September. We had food so long as we desired meatballs, pasta and tomato sauce or variations thereof. And lasagne. Also frozen peas.
As is the way of us and ours, we still hadn’t caught up on family visits, hopefully reassigning them as December festive activities. But catching up with Dad took care of itself, unlike him, when he had a couple of stints in hospital. He’s fine now but he is 70-ish and it’s apparent he needs to keep an eye on his health, at least for a while. The first time, he was home before we could get up there but last weekend he was stuck in a recuperation unit, not fully sick not fully well, so we drove up for a visit… spending a couple of hours even in a sunny verandah hospital ward is vast incentive to look after one’s health.
All the while, I’ve been trying to nurture our shop sustainable philosophies via Saturday farmers markets and shop local quest for the early Christmas gifts we’re delivering next week.
Despite plentiful Christmassy bling and seasonal Big Store offerings, my selected shop local sources weren’t yet in the Santa spirit and I felt stressed, despairing of meeting the deadline and criteria. I can’t blame them really, I feel the same way – it’s November. I haven’t even had my birthday yet.
I’m determined we will have a sustainable food Christmas lunch, and thanks to Flavour Crusader I’ve ordered Burrawong Gaian chicken from Barraganyatti, and ham from Nambucca Valley Meat on the Move at Congarinni South, both local to Taylors Arm.
Michael Pollan has dominated my reading lately. I’ve returned to reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals after a hiatus reading Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. Paraphrasing my review of Cooked… If you eat, ‘Cooked’ deserves a place on your bookshelf.
A paragraph from The Omnivore’s Dilemma profoundly moved me… The beauty of the Internet is that it allows like-minded people to find their tribes, and then for the tribes to find their way to us… us being in that instance Joe Salatin’s Polyface Farms, but also encompassing other sustainability advocates. Now, that’s what kept me going through November, my tribe, the WordPress bloggers who delight me daily with their inspiration and insight.
On Friday we head north to Taylors Arm. The G.O.’s industry has a no-work long weekend. Regardless, he was predictably asked to work Saturday.
Hopefully the November weather will find its mojo both for our weekend away and for the Nambucca River Festival.
But, no matter the weather or goings-on there’s always a rainbow over my shoulder.