I wrote the following a few weeks ago, about mid-November, but didn’t have the photos to go with it. Perhaps it was predominantly Winter-blues that made me feel low in the first place, but even though the days are still getting shorter and the weather is ‘cat’, the Christmas-cheer is firmly taking hold now. More on that in the next blog.
When you are involved in the care of others, privately or professionally, you are considered to be doing a ‘great job’ and we do our best. But when you make a mistake, however small, un-intended, or with the best of intentions, that mistake counts far greater than all the good you have done. Because it can negatively affect a person who is dependent on your care. Not reacting fast enough, accurate enough, detailed enough, attentive enough can cause discomfort. A small mistake or short-coming can undo much of the good work you are doing, even in your own opinion. Or more precisely: especially in my own opinion!
So, pondering over my shortcomings towards my fellow humans and without much I could do about it, I was feeling pretty low for a few days. Needed to cheer up and get on with things! Help was on its way, I thought, in the form of a parcel. A few weeks ago I treated myself to an on-line order of food-stuff from Holland, my native country. The minimum postage is for 20 kg, so there’s a great incentive to use up the weight you are paying for! My order came to about 16 kg, and a massive 50 items. After a loooong wait, the big box finally arrived one day. Under the watchful eye of The Sidekick the items were unpacked. Coffee, biscuits, cheese, chocolate, pickles, peanut-butter, drop, selected herbs and sauces, anything a Dutch person-living-abroad craves from time to time. It was all well wrapped and travelled well, except for the Droste cacoa. About ¼ of the chocolate powder was spread around the box, but no matter. The only minor disappointment were the chocolate letters, a December tradition (bottom right). They arrived in Milk-chocolate, though I had ordered Dark. Hard enough to get quality dark chocolate in these parts! But The Sidekick likes it, so it’s an early Christmas for him.
The arrival of all these goodies only worked a small way towards cheering me up while I had a taste of this and that. After the unveiling the Sidekick decided to go to his own abode for a while and then I realised, in spite of all the goodies, I had nothing out for the dinner, no meat defrosted! Shock, horror. We decided he would return later and we’d drive to town for a take-away. Comfort Food, just what I needed!
An hour later I was ready to go, but storm Barney had gathered momentum by now and it seemed stupid to face this monster, just for a take-away. Phoned The Sidekick, who was relieved he didn’t have to drive in the storm and quickly agreed. I would Cook-From-Scratch, as they say: I had 2 eggs, potatoes and a can of tuna. Joined by our late harvest of tomatoes and our own onions and garlic I turned this into a Spanish Tortilla (omelette) accompanied by Tuna in tomato-sauce. And some of my Dutch cheese melted on top of the Tortilla at the finish.(in fact, the tuna and cheese were the only items we had not grown ourselves) As I was getting underway with my food-creation I caught myself humming! Not comfort food, but creative food was cheering me up.
After dinner I found a post on facebook on how to crochet a Christmas decoration. Link here, I hope
I haven’t crocheted in about……20 or 30 years. Have lots of wool, cotton and other leftover yarns lying around and inherited a well equipped sowing-box from my mother. It didn’t take long to gather tools and materials to get started. As it had been so long, it took all my attention and distracted me completely from my worries. Even with my lack of experience, it still came out looking ok.
So give it a try, if you need cheering up: get creative.
For good measure I then made a few baskets and decorations with willow, dogwood and date-palm.