Wednesday, 27 March 2013


Finished and ready to go. So, let's.. go back in the house and sit by the fire..
  We were going to go to Scotland in the van. But the weather decided otherwise.
Ahh.. memories of balmy evenings, friends and baking...
I was going to rebuild my clay pizza oven in the garden but I don't think the clay would be workable at these temperatures.
Everything is on hold awaiting the arrival of weather in which one can actually consider doing something out outside, other than scurrying from the car to the front door huddled in a coat.

This time last year, it was briefly warm and the two aforementioned post-brain-haemorrhage convalescence projects were in full swing. Ok it would be a while until the DVLA let me drive my splendid van, but I was happy rebuilding the interior such that adventures could take place in it. It allowed me to use the remaining fragments of thinking ability I could muster at that point and promised a future I didn't at various times then expect to have.

Similarly the sequential nature of stomping sand into clay and making mud pies in a way so as to be ultimately useful was also therapeutic, again in anticipation of better times to come when my head didn't hurt and the question "Marmite or marmalade?" didn't send me into paralysed apoplexy for three hours.

But time moved on apace. It rained all Summer but even so, the oven got used spectacularly effectively on a couple of very enjoyable occasions with dear friends. The van not quite so much. But the hope was there.

And so, here we are, the high pressure hanging over the British Isles, drawing nasty blasts of icy winds from Scandinavia. We hide inside, staring forlornly out of the window at the snowflakes, awaiting some sign that our frozen fingers may yet unfurl and shade our eyes from a cheerful beneficent sun.

But I have, what me old Dad used to call the "eeby-jeebies". I want to get GOING!
I desire to drive my van to outdoor places where we can spill out on to the grass of moorlands and drink tea, to sit on the step of my van, ok, swaddled in a fleece perhaps but drinking beer wistfully whilst the sun sinks gloriously below the Atlantic horizon.

My restless feet tap a mute Riverdance under the table as I think of all the things I want to be doing. I have seeds to plant, raised beds to repair, sheds to refelt. But not in that bloody cold! No fear!
So, inside passtimes absorb my restlessness. I now have 20 gallons of beer made recently (my big sack of malt is now half the size it was and the results are most spectacular, though I say so myself.)
A gorgeous pale ale I made recently.
But when can I sit in the garden? When can I stand, peel in hand, and slide pizzas into my oven with the blast of heat from the fire in my face, my eyelashes singed and my eyes streaming from the woodsmoke? It's been so long and we really do deserve some Summer at some point. It's not much to ask is it?

So, hope springs eternal. There will be beer on the patio. I shall rebuild my oven (and the process will be documented here, or those closer to hand: Come and help. And learn how to make one yourself). And I will drive to the sea in my van and look wistfuly westwards. And if you want, I will let you have a go in my kayak.
And a small enclave of Bohemia will decamp to North Devon where wine will be drunk whilst we talk nonsense as the sun goes down. That's the plan, anyway.
I look forward to seeing you there.

1 comment:

Librarian said...

Pretty much the same here, although not quite as much snow as on your island.
My legs and feet are itching to get out for a run, I want to wear my pretty dresses, I want to feel the sun on my bare arms and not have to equip myself as if for a polar expedition every time I leave the house!
But it'll come, you'll see. The question is, when.