Was I playing hooky……….? Maybe, for a while. But then……….
With habitual predictability, the little alarm bell went off in my head, confirming the arrival of Spring. Despite the crabish nature within waging it`s customary war against the world, it`s attemps to postpone the consequences of arrival of said busy season, were futile. Once the cogs began turning, my scurrying and bustling around the garden left a dust trail, which, on occasion, obliterated my very whereabouts.
The produce from the garden has been generally good over the Winter period, with little need to buy vegetables from the store. Nevertheless, finding my fourth bucket of beetroots in as many weeks, deposited surrupticiously at my front door by Vags, had my feathers ruffling a tadge. The undisclosed delivery, perhaps in fear of the familiar light-hearted gripe from me – “more beetroot chutney then dear!?” Later that day, the pan of chutney quietly smirked at me through steamy bubbles. I suspect the deep rooted sub-conscious reaction at having to cut into tiny cubes so many onions, beets and apples resulted in……..”take that, you cheeky pan of chutney!” I said, slipping in an extra generous pinch of chillie flakes………and, deja vu! Damn! It has more than a keen, after burn.
Artichokes abound this year too, which I definitely do not mind. The ritualistic task of preparing the artichoke, the rhythmic removal of it`s spikey leaves, the nibbling of the tender ends of the leaves, which renders lips and tongue ink black, the mandatory use of copious amounts of lemon juice, with it`s zesty aroma airborne, is in fact, very therapeutic. Hubbie and me, a shady corner, coffee at hand, enjoying an hour or two, before other garden duties part our ways, conversation interspersed with the odd “ouch” when a naughty spike finds a finger. This harvest is still underway, but extra large jars bought in specially to cater for preserved arties.
Managed to put a few packets of vine leaves for dolmathas safely in the freezer too.
Thank goodness for Easter, where my usual baking sessions saw off the incalculable number of eggs making their way into my kitchen. Despite the traditionally red-dyed easter egg which represents the blood spilled by Jesus Christ on his crusifixion, I thought I`d try my hand at dying them organically this year. Onion skins, turmeric powder, beetroot juice (of course) and red cabbage leaves. The two latter home dyes resulted in a rather muddy coloured egg, but the onion skins and the turmeric were definitely more interesting as colours.
Utilizing more eggs, a half dozen jars of lemon curd for good measure, two or three loads in the incubator, several dozen shoved under various broody turkeys and I actually witnessed my egg basket empty for a whole day!
My roses, glowing in a luxurious blend of warm sunny days and abundant rain are magnificent this year. Learning to eek out the non-perfumed ones and leave only “workers” was the finest decision I have taken in my garden. The heavenly aroma creeps through my senses and leaves me exalting their existence breathlessly, where, much to Vag`s amusement, I bury my nose deep into their velvety petals and praise their efforts, up close, deep into their velvety ear.
I also decided it was time address the persistent problem of litter and fly tipping in our neighbourhood. Before compiling a letter to Mr Zervos, the Mayor of Agios, including a couple of photographs for his information, I set about and collected ten sacks of rubbish from the road side in less than a one kilometre radius of our house. The garbage men have collected the sacks of rubbish, but I still await a reply from our council on the subject. I do, however, take pleasure in seeing the road clean.
Coupled with my mental list of “to do” jobs, is my annual fantasy of finding a “home based” business which could survive in this “hostile-to-new-business-environment” called Greece.
In the meantime, I scour the newspaper regularly for suitable jobs, emailing copious obligatory CVs, attending two job interviews, but still, I live in hope that one day I`ll find a job which I don`t actually have to attend!