My brain hasn’t been operating in a fashion that has lent itself to writing recipes. Which isn’t to say we haven’t been eating. Eating has been simpler because the shadows I wrote about this time last year have faded. The pressure now comes from the groaning plum trees, and my over-excuberant tomato planting, rather than trying to concoct a healing broth that will perform medical miracles. But actually who really cares if the birds eat the plums and some of the tomatoes fall over-ripe and rotten to the greenhouse floor. It’s possible I will make jam. It’s possible I will bottle jars of tomato sauce and line them in neat rows in the cold store. But then again I may be too busy picking flowers, catching up on novels that I somehow stopped reading, or biking along the back lanes listening to old songs.
I guess it’s more likely I will be busy working, or tending to the multiple needs and desires of my boys. But I’m taking a little break from from all the demands that usually fall upon me. I’m taking a little moment to smell the roses. To drift into a world where I put a little more importance on the catching up on novels and biking along the back lanes than I have over the last few years, because running yourself into the ground isn’t a great idea. People often say to me, when they hear I have four kids and a busy job, ‘you must be superwoman’ and I laugh it off because I don’t feel like superwoman. And here’s the thing. Superwoman doesn’t exist. It’s hard work, and sometimes you fall over, and that’s when you are thankful to the people around you who are there to pick you up. And then, some time later, when everything seems manageable again you make a chocolate cake and life goes back to normal.