My garden is very frosty and in some desperate need of attention. This morning I wandered around it with a cup of tea putting off the washing up which recently, despite the purple bowl, has assumed Sisyphus status with me.
It doesn’t help that the paved bit by the house is covered with stuff. Stuff that needs a skip. Or some kind of organising. Like the defunct fridge freezer adding that whitegoods trash atmosphere to the air.
I was full of good intentions this autumn about gathering up the fallen leaves to bag up for future leaf mould but have instead left it to do its moulding all over the path, plants and minipond. I think I’m in a slight grey slough after a very happy christmas and birthday season.
Now begins the uphill slog to my birthday. Wasn’t it blue monday yesterday? The statistical low point of the year. Yay….
*shuffles feet, has another drag of tea*
I see plenty of loveliness among the clutter. Bare branches reaching into the pale sky makes my heart soar and ache with the patterned architectural beauty. The birds are clearly visible perching and twisting like acrobatic baubles, squabbling over berries . There is a gang of rowdy tits shoving each other around our bird feeder, fascinating Ida and Mittens who crouches by the back door lashing her tail ferociously.
The frost has blackened even the bindweed. I know that a mornings red-cheeked work will clear all the wizened overgrowth into my green bin leaving a clear canvas for my bulbs and this year’s garden dreaming.
I admire the uneven patio area under the pergola. Progress is like the tide coming in isn’t it? Three steps forward, two back, two forward, one back. On and on, creeping along.
It fits with my experience of living with depression as well. Sometimes walking, sometimes crawling. Some nights giving all you have to cling to the rock face. To stay still. Then other times letting yourself drift back with the swell, taking a breath, biding your time to start swimming upstream again.
I also think all the recent washing up has exposed me to too many politicians on Radio4. I feel incensed and kind of powerless. Never a good combination. Most recently I’ve been internally turmoiling over all the Worrell Thompson media coverage and comparing his celebrity caution with some of the sentencing handed out to teenagers shoplifting during the summers rioting.
Yes, yes – I know it’s not the same – taking a bottle of water during a riot is a different proposition but once again I reflect on how sentencing data would look pushed through a class filter. This ties in with a deeper rage against Cameron’s proposal dealing with “problem families” the language of which physically turned my stomach.
May I humbly suggest, tugging my fucking cap and all that, that he could lift his blinkered gaze to the system that has grown these “problem families.” Although the money thrown at this problem will surely be welcomed by the agencies and charities on the frontline applying pressure on the critical wounds, it’s like spending a fortune on the rash and not curing the virus that’s causing it. Or feeding the starving then sending them back to the ravished homelands. I could go on.
Above all it was the emotive, media spun, them and not us, disgustingly elitist and evidently ignorant language that truly turned my stomach. My feeling of dislocation from the etonesque boys who govern me grows ever stronger. Like a splinter in my hand it festers.
So I made some cakes.
I’d recommend these, they’re lovely. Do-able with a small helper as well.
100g of sugar. Brown is best, I use whatever I have, today; muscovado.
175ml sunflower oil.
220g flour (plain)
tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon (or mixed spice, sometimes I add ground ginger as well)
citrus fruit zest. Lemon or orange – or both
150g grated carrot (about 2)
something else. About 100g. Walnuts, mixed peel, sultanas etc
Mix the sugar and oil together.
Add the eggs.
Add the flour, spices and bi-carb and baking powder.
Fold in the grated carrot, zest and whatever you’re adding that’s extra. In this case, left over mixed peel.
Slop Spoon generously into muffin cases.
Cook in a medium oven until golden and a knife comes clean. About 20 minutes.
I iced these with a lime icing. Just icing sugar mixed with lime juice.
They definitely soothed the savage beast. That and tea with friends and a couple of chapters of the Snow Spider on the sofa with Zeph.