I was obviously paying more attention to the television than I thought last night.
It was on at one end of the room while I was sewing at the other. I woke up from a very specific dream about the Worcester sauce factory where there’d been a terrible industrial accident which had killed four people. Recounting the bizarreness to Steve, as we stumbled into clothes and attempted to dress Ida, I was laughing about the fact only those four people knew what went into the sauce so the recipe had been lost forever.
“Yes – that’s right.” he said tersely. “It was on Jamie’s cooking thing last night – only four people can add the ingredients – I think there’s only forty odd people working there all together…”
Really? I expect it’s written down somewhere though eh? I like to think of it in a chest at the end of some kind of Temple of Doom style labyrinth. Or a scroll sealed in a lead box then hidden in the bottom of a barrel of fermenting anchovies.
What amuses me is how much goes in unnoticed. It’s also a bit alarming, especially when I bend my mind to subliminal advertising…
Lots of the trees around us are very near to leafless. I love the patterns the branches make against the blank skies. We are also loving all the secret bird nests that have been revealed. We walk through a sheltered housing courtyard on the way to school and the landscapers have recently been there pruning back all the hedges and bushes. One shrub’s haircut has revealed a tiny delicate nest near the top. If I lift Ida up we can peer in to the meticulous woven lining. Every time she checks that a little bird made it, “with his beak and his toes?” and I say yes again, in the proper tones of wonder and respect. Today on the five minutes further walk home she told me a story about an Ida bird who had fallen out of her nest and a monster and a Daddy bird who lifts her up safely.
I’m still reeling from it. A whole proper story that started, once upon a time and ended with hurray and a triumphant jump in the air. For someone clinging to the idea she’s living in the moment, observing the everyday, how did I miss this? My beautiful golden baby walking around conducting invisible worlds. Of course I did know, because that’s what imaginary games are, children swimming through a landscape they’re constructing from behind those clever eyes.
But I’m still blown away by the recital. It has to be my favourite beautiful thing so far today. Although it’s vying with the careful setting by of two cashew nuts from Ida’s morning snack bowl. “In case we meet a squirrel..” The kitchen smells overwhelmingly fragrant as I’m cooking persian chicken for tea (marinated in garlic, sumac, allspice and paprika and stuffed with bulgar wheat and lamb mince studded with almonds,pine nuts and pistachios.)
Zeph was immensely cheered by the prospect of M&D coming for tea tonight as it means a “proper” meal and not rice soup or sardines on toast. Wednesdays really have become our version of sunday roast with the post meals constructed from left overs and the pre ones from stock cupboard staples.
The yellow snail on the front gate and the smell of paint from a house being renovated we passed on the way home spring to mind as well. I love the smell of paint – it seems so hopeful to me.
Ida is humming as she’s colouring and I’m about to do a bit of patchwork bag piecing which is my favourite bit. I feel pretty content and make the most of it – like when you get tired into a clean bed and stretch your toes out luxuriously.