A thoroughly grey day, with a drizzle so meagre it was like the raindrops were fainting from the sky in boredom.
I’ve not written because I have been watching all of the BBC’s Last Man Standing programs. It was a lot of work. Six athletes from various fields, three from Britain and three from the USA, are schlepped all over the world to compete in various sports, from water buffalo racing in Indonesia, to wrestling in India and canoe racing in Brazil.
I love this show. There is only one episode left and I shall be sad when it ends. Part of it is being able to witness, again and again, how these men can fall into forgetting themselves and let their bodies do the thinking, or how they can change tactics and make their minds override their weakened muscles and pounding hearts. How they trust themselves completely, body and mind.
Perhaps part of me is also curious at my own body’s abilities. I am naturally strong; it takes little effort for me to steady myself like a tree and lift something ridiculously heavy. I carry a lot of power in my legs. So I wonder if I actually made the most of my body’s physical capabilities, how much I could actually do.
Mostly however it is the places the guys end up, plunged into the cultural life of each village where they stay, taught by local experts in the sport they are trying to master. My favourite is West Africa’s Burkina Faso. Heat, dust, strange rituals, sacred crocodiles, women with lips plates. My body lurches with longing for some parts of the world and I do not understand why. My mind often slips away into thinking about one desert scene or another, parched landscapes that give way to the ocean, or perhaps a sliver of green where a river has carved through a valley, allowing life to spill its banks. Why do I yearn for these places when I can’t even sit in a hot sauna for more than 30 seconds? My body thrives in cold weather and in the summer I close the curtains and stay indoors.
My new Songlines Magazine has arrived. I am listening to it over and over, not letting myself read about the songs because I like to just let the music affect me, the rhythm and the voices. It fulfils some of my desire for adventure, to suddenly find myself beside a fire in the mountains of Spain, chewing on a piece of chorizo and watching the local women dance as the men look on, shifting in their seats as each stews in his own lust.
Not that today was without adventure. With the holidays nearing, some of the folks at work have started handing out cards. This is not for me. Giving a card doesn’t feel like enough of a statement. I need at least a little bit of drama and flavour. So I have set myself a task of making things. Truffles, Spanish almond and fig balls, mixed with a bit of brandy and rolled in sesame seeds (very good with cheese, so I have read), a chutney of apples and apricots and finally some sweet chilli jam. There are quite a few of us at work and I wanted everyone to have a little something. But I needed jars. So off I wandered to Lakewood, home of many kitchen supplies. I found jam jars and some larger preserve jars, stuffed them in the big bag I had brought with me and began the trek home. The long, long trek home. Never has the walk felt so far as it did today, carrying what turned out to be painfully heavy glass jars. I can lift heavy things, but distance under pressure is not my forte.
Finally I got home and rested for a few minutes before hauling out my prizes. As I looked for a way into the box of jars, I saw it. A simple sentence, all in capitals. LIDS NOT INCLUDED. Damn. That meant a bus trip all the way back. I fought the crowds and bought the last two bags of lids. Now, having spent almost the entire day searching for jars, I will be putting off the making of treats until next weekend and shall focus tomorrow’s efforts on writing and just being splendid.
In other news, my precious headset is broken. The mic doesn't work. A replacement will need to be found in the New Year. Also, my attempts to find a space lamp have failed. I shall continue the search.
There are, at the moment, 13 candles burning in the living room. I have also placed two candles on the floor of the kitchen. At least this way I’ll be able to see the wee rodent when he scuttles out to mock me with his genius. The trap now contains ultra expensive truffle chocolate. Perhaps he has a weakness for quality. Palate of doom. Succumb, little mouse, to the palate of doom…
The hill at Snurrom
10 hours ago