Home is Where the Heart is

We have been told that LockDown is Stage 4 which allows 'walking in the streets (!) and a little more leeway for some stores. David and I went for a quick foray to the Mall this morning and I can't say I felt at ease being in an enclosed environment with little chat, no coffee and long queues. I will happily stay at home in the next few weeks and beyond if necessary. (Although I do miss contact, proper contact with my good friends).

A friend and I continue to write to each other. Mostly on a daily basis and I chuckle at the different views about what has been happening around us (and the world). As she always says, thank goodness we are all so different.

I have discovered that Zoom is my new 'best friend' especially now that I have discovered how to use it with relative ease. I've set up classes and find that I have wonderfully diverse groups from 'around the world' that meet on varying days for different creative and social moments. I am about to arrange 'videoing' views which could get a little complicated, but I will try to set things going so students receive a wide selection of ideas. I present sessions which vary from watercolour to letterform and I am enjoying the challenge of making notes, creating Power Point presentations and creative projects.

I even have bridge sessions using Bridge Base as well as a bi-weekly Zoom in with my bridge teacher which is far more intense than 'just' sitting around a bridge table.

After the great garden run-around I am walking around the garden with my matric poetry clutched in my hand trying to memorise some poetry that I love. Each week I will wander through my home, room by room looking at the books that are placed in piles in almost every nook and cranny and will choose those which are special to me to dig a little deeper.

I found my matric poetry book in the library in Elizabeth's room early this week Verse For You Book Three published by Longmans. I paged through it as I was strolling around the garden. The notations are neatly written in pencil (a very sharp one) and as I started searching for our set poems I had this very strong urge to giggle. Most of the poetry chosen as our syllabus was way beyond the 'ordinary' school girls that we were. 'The Laboratory Ancien Regime by Robert Browning: my notes state set in Paris +-18th century, conversation with a courtesan. Good grief, we had no clue about any of 'that' and we then had to analyse it. No wonder most of us never returned to school once we were released. I did however find one of my treasured poems 'Kubla Khan' and resolved to re-learn it as an exercise of brain while I exercise in the garden. (But now, reading it 'with intent' we all understand Taylor Coleridge was 'cooked' when writing it).

Back to searching for books: In kitchen I held my mother's green handwritten recipe book. Nearly all the pages are spot marked with highlights of beaten egg and spattered oil which decorated the pages as she cooked. I am able to cook but sadly don't have the passion she had for cooking the full flavoured dishes she served us. Bredies, Irish stews and a caramel custard which simply was the best ever and spoilt me for any other 'gourmet' restaurant offerings.

On top of the counter sits the Ottolenghi/Tamimi Jerusalem cookbook embracing the Quiet cook books from the Buddhist centre in Xpopo. Between these books lie 3 of the great philosophies and they are filled not only with personal stories but also delicious recipes. (and the books are eager to share their diversity).

I could go on about the recipes in a drawer near the mix master and all the other files bulging with goodness, but I won't. As with any households there are firm favourites which get requested time after time when we have a family get together.

Note to all: E stopped me as I walked back onto the veranda. 'Were you muttering to yourself when you were walking?' I nod. 'Are you loosing it?' I shrug. E raises her eyebrows, shakes her head and says 'I'm watching you'. I roll my eyes and continue upstairs and imagine Alph the sacred River running through caverns immeasurable to man.

As always and take care while you sing your happy birthday song as you wash your hands while wearing your mask. Till next time.