The first draft of this post was entitled something lugubrious along the lines of: "The dust is settling".
And then I read a blog post which kicked me up the backside and reminded me that I am not dead yet.
I need to keep my energy up.
The other day, the Most Huge Boss asked me: "Ruth, tell me - are you feeling empowered?"
The boiling bubbles of laughter were not easy to quell , but somehow I managed.
"Absolutely!" I replied. "I always feel empowered!"
You don't really need to know the context of the question (it involved a deeply sober Committee) but it was one that I have continued to ponder.
It's a concept that fits well with my plan to take control this year.
I don't have a clear direction right now, but I need to get on with living my life.
As FL put it (one of the last things he said to me): "Roo, you need to get your zing back".
The first: Seeded Halloumi and Harissa Rainbow Bowl involved a special trip to the shops and broke the scanner in the supermarket, as nobody had ever bought Freekeh before and it was not on the system. It was absolutely worth it - I had trouble saving the second portion for Sunday lunch, it was so delicious.
The second was: Roast Roots with Grapes and Lentils, an unlikely sounding recipe which has you roasting cauliflower, sweet potato, squash and grapes with fresh herbs and eating it with puy lentils. Another taste revelation!
Both recipes come from Anna Jones' A Modern Way to Cook. Buy it now!
So I lit the woodburner, and started a new knitting project: the Always Amsterdam shawl by Isabell Kraemer. I am using some beautiful handspun by Teos on the Isle of Skye, a gift from Christine several years ago. It is going to be gorgeous - soft, warm and drapey.
While I knitted, I listened to the audiobook of Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, a modern-day rewrite of Pride and Prejudice. It got a scathing review from Ursula Le Guin at the weekend, but if you enjoyed An American Wife I reckon you will appreciate this as a novel in its own right, Austen roots notwithstanding.
On Sunday, early morning sunshine saw me loading rubbish from the side of the house into a wheelbarrow and decanting it at the back of the garage, for a future trip to the tip.
I actually found a full sack of seasoned logs under the 3-foot deep pile of dead leaves, broken window frames, empty oil cans and golf balls.
Later in the afternoon I had a trip to the village, where a "collector's" shop opens only at weekends. I was hoping to find an outdoor bench, but instead came home with a sturdy vintage wicker basket with lovely wooden handles - perfect for logs and a definite upgrade from the plastic sheep feed bucket which used to sit at the fireside.
The bench was intended for my Garden of Remembrance up on the hill.
The deer have nibbled the buds from FL's tree, so I need to protect it somehow.
I have a little cairn of stones beside it that I add to on significant dates.
7 April was the anniversary of the day in 1979 when he first gave me a poem.
I want to put a seat up there so I can sit and knit .
I scattered some poppy seeds, in the hope they might grow and help FL sleep.
Don't worry - I know how crazy that sounds.
The roof repairs are complete: it no longer rains in the kitchen and I can open the upstairs windows - huzzah!
I have moments when I start to think I might have the kitchen refurbished... or I might keep chickens... or wallpaper my bedroom. But I still shy away from anything that feels permanent. A rug can be rolled up and taken to my next home, but new kitchen floor tiles would be part of the fabric of the farmhouse.
So although I am trying to dance again, I am treading carefully, in case I trip myself up.