10 Joyous Things

Life is not so bad. I am extremely busy – as expected – with making Love Is Awesome work. But in between the knitting, the felt-making, the printing, the parts-ordering, the web-promotion, the emailing and the recording, I want to take the time to ennumerate 10 supremely happy things I’ve enjoyed this week, and to liberally sprinkle my post with links so that you may all be led to joyous blisses of heart-mending things if you so desire.

This is the happy carnage of creativity in my home presently.

1. Making this LED flashing heart kit from Maplins has brought me no end of pleasure. My joy in the heart-making has been compounded because the heart I have made malfunctions! One of the LEDs on the left hand side doesn’t light up. I changed it for another LED, but this made no difference. Additionally, if the two terminals on the back are soldered TOGETHER, the other lights on that corner of the heart work, whereas if the two terminals are soldered separately, as intended, the whole corner is busted. So I have made a broken LED heart. This is befitting, but its quietly blinking presence at the end of my bed is immensely comforting at night when I am falling asleep and I am reassured by its busted flickering in the mornings when I wake also.

2. Making an apple and blackberry crumble from the blackberries I picked and the apples I blanched last year. After making the crumble, I basically left it on the side in a large dish and shamelessly picked at it all weekend long, taking tasty mouthfuls in between stints of work. I also left all my dishes until I wanted to clean them up, and didn’t have to worry about them bothering anyone but me. Ah blissful, tasty, selfish bacheloretting.

3. Nearly finishing my hourglass sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts in Sublime angora (Imagine the Joy when it is completed!)

4. Being given lovely yarn hand-dyed by Lisa of Sleeps in Oysters and beautiful stuff picked up by Stavroula on her travels. dreaming of what such things will be and feeling incredibly lucky to have the kind of friends who understand the place of Wool in restoring inner balance and happiness. I am thinking a lot about a renewed wardrobe; a New Woman kind of a thing, garnered from my stash, my fabric, my patterns, some beautiful repairs, etc. Think: Original Imaginative Budget Felix, made of yarn and stitches and things and mostly inspired in wardobe fashioning by the magnificent needled and her mighty wardobe powers.

5. TEA! A mighty chest of incredible teas – indeed, from the Mighty Leaf Company – came from aforementioned tea maestro in the post and has been blessing my teapot with fragrant and wondrous brews ever since. I have temporarily put the Yorkshire Tea (another source of joy) away while I savour the blisses of this box. Organic it may be, but the breakfast tea (2 bags of it) is class A strength. And so I am happy to have friends who understand the important role that TEA plays in the restoration of joy.

6. Audio books. Now I am sleeping on my own I can listen to audio books as I fall asleep, which means I get to dream about whodunnit, feagles, dragons, witches, wizards, or the doings of Rosemary Baron, depending on whether I am listening to Terry Pratchett’s incredible Tiffany Aching series or Agatha’s Christie’s inimitable murder mysteries. The entire compliment of the Reading City Council’s audio book collection is available to me at a less than 5 minute walk away since there is a library right opposite my new residence, and I can organise for books to be collected from there if I use the wonderfully efficient online catalogue.

7. The discovery of Victoria Spivey during a spree of Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Listen Again joy. I have had a few of Victoria’s songs on various compilations for a while so it was amazing to discover more about her.

8. Radio 4 in general, thanks for the tip, Lara.

9. Making felt letters on my beloved wooden table for this Love Assignment.

10. Creating my very own domestic washing-up installation complete with extortionate Thames Water bill beside the lovely sink. You cannot see the bill in this photo, but you must trust that it is there, waiting to suck up my funds.

Keen-eyed spotters will also notice the lovely casserole dish that my Aunt gave me for Christmas; it is in daily use here and shall today be used for the creation of my Mum’s recipe for veggie cobbler.

My Mum ought to be proud to learn that I texted her for this recipe after the impractical Ram Tome I picked up at the library left me entirely uninspired about what to make for Liz’s birthday tea/Oxford Bluestockings Wool Windoff later today. Sometimes it is the simple, affordable, nurturing, well-made food of our mothers that we need rather than the impractical, expensive vanities offered by an ambitious man.

Received by text:

B&W cass* is essentially chopped onions cooked till beginning to caramelise. Then add any mix of root veggies and loads of tomatoes (tinned.) Season. Cook for a bit then stir in bulgar wheat (4oz?) and bake for about 30 mins. May have grated cheese on top? Veggie cobbler, similar. Can add veggie mince to onion if you like. Loads of carrots parsnips etc. Make cobbler topping with dumpling recipe on suet package plus grated cheese seasoning mustard… Cut out rings like scones and put on top and bake. Sweetcorn goes well 🙂

This is good advice.

*bean and wheat casserole, another favourite teenage-hood dish.

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