There is nothing more tragic than having to throw away an entire unsliced loaf of fresh homemade bread.
Totally screwed up by rushing and/or being overambitious this week: one pair of net curtains, almost finished but now hours of unpicking and resewing away from completion; one loaf of homemade bread which was not given enough attention; one Saturday afternoon which should have been relaxing but wasn't.
It's not all bad news. The Friday evening knitting group has given me new focus and I am making great progress with a pair of handwarmers. This is my first attempt at cables, and there are surprisingly easy and satisfying. The yarn is baby alpaca, a gift from my boyfriend after his trip to Peru. How did he manage to get exactly the right type and amount of yarn for this project? And it's so soft! I can't stop touching it - knitting with this is so lovely that I don't want to finish. How will I ever knit with anything else?!
This afternoon marks my first attempt at pickling. Frequent visitors may remember my last attempt at preserving - the elderberry jam affectionately known as 'spider jam' because of the vast number of insects involved. It was never eaten. Before that was my very enjoyable afternoon spent making a tiny amount of crab apple glue. That was also never eaten. Hopefully this will fare better. This is beetroot pickled in spiced red wine vinegar. It sounds delicious...
I am realising that if I think of these activities as work, as tasks to be completed as quickly as possible, then I fail and feel like a failure. Instead, I need to approach these as learning opportunities to be savoured and enjoyed. If I had treated making bread and curtains as I did making pickle and knitting - focusing on the task itself rather than the deadline or outcome - perhaps they would have been more successful. Or at least less depressing. I might not have found myself on Saturday evening, singing 'Always look on the bright side of life' and 'Bring me sunshine' to remind myself how ridiculous it is to feel blue over a set of curtains.
The last few days have been a real reminder that this simple kind of living cannot be rushed. It will not adapt to my schedule - I have to make the changes. And I must remember to look for the joy in everything.