Before Christmas we harvested the first ear of corn (above) which as you can see Blair ate raw straight off the plant. Sadly once we got home from our holidays we discovered that the rest of the crop hadn't ripened successfully - too hot? Not enough water? Who knows. I'm not a big fan of corn so wasn't especially bothered but poor Blair was very disappointed.
The zucchini plants go on and on AND ON. I can only hope they finish soon - at this stage I'm just giving the zucchini away, and if no one wants them I'm feeding them to our worms. There are probably more out there as I type this.
Something that I'm feeling far more enthused about is the fact that the passionfruit are FINALLY starting to ripen. I say "finally", but the plants are only about 18 months old - the exact age that they are supposed to start bearing fruit. When we arrived home from New Zealand there was already one passionfruit ready for eating, and it was sweet and pulpy and delicious.
Not to be unbelievably fussy or anything… but it was almost too sweet. I like my passionfruit to be tart. Does anyone know how to make your passionfruit tart instead of syrupy sweet?
Since we've been home and blissfully free of work commitments (until, that is, Blair had to go back this week), we've been going down to the beach in the mornings for a swim.
If I only swim in our pool I never feel that I'm missing out on anything. However one dip in the ocean is all it takes to remind me that the pool can never really compare. The ocean is where it's at.
Early on the weekday mornings the beach is empty except for some very cheerful old people (and who can blame them for being so cheerful when this is how they start their days?). The water is cool and clear and refreshing.
As everyone told me, there is no better feeling for me at the moment than floating weightlessly. Blair always has to suggest that it's time to go, I could happily stay there all day.
Afterwards, there is a coffee van in the car park where I get my morning latte.
Mostly I feel I've sunk very comfortably into this whole "not working" thing, however the one transition that I've struggled with is the vast difference between the coffee I was getting in the city, and the coffee available near my house. Before my pregnancy craving demanded that I have a coffee every day I never knew the difference. Nowadays I realise I've become one of those insufferable coffee snobs. I had no idea there was so much bad coffee around.
The coffee van at the beach is run by a European couple so needless to say the coffee is excellent, but nearer home the options are far more dire. I'm considering buying a coffee machine for home - any recommendations? Although they're terribly convenient I'd rather not get a pod machine due to the waste factor. Plus I quite enjoy the morning ritual of going out to get a coffee - even if it is an extravagance on my new limited budget.
One of the great things about all this time off work has been the amount of time I can devote to reading. I had forgotten home much I love getting lost in a book, and I've been devouring them. I, for one, am always looking for recommendations, so thought I would share with you my top three summer reads.
- A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. I read this because I read her second book Delancey first (confused?). Molly writes the blog Orangette. Her books follow a charming theme of using her favourite recipes to tell her story. A Homemade Life is a gentle read and had me hooked until the end, when I wished there was more. It also made me itch to try out some of her recipes. I recommend reading this first, followed by Delancey.
- Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Another memoir (can you tell I'm right into non-fiction at the moment?) but quite a different one from A Homemade Life. It took me a while to warm to Cheryl and I nearly abandoned this book in the early stages. I'm so glad I didn't. Read the book before the movie comes out.
- We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. And lastly, a bit of fiction for variety. I have to admit I've only just started this but am already having to force myself to put it down to do other things. It was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and I can see why. Do yourself a favour and pick it up RIGHT NOW.
After "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves", I've got "Yes Please" by Amy Poehler to try.
Other books I have recently loved…
- The Feel-Good Hit of the Year by Liam Pieper
- Things I Didn't Expect by Monica Dux
- The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
- 127 Hours by Aron Ralston
- Touching the Void by Joe Simpson
- Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
- Paris Letters by Janice Macleod
Books that I have started but not loved…
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
- Out to Lunch by Stacey Ballis
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
- Never Make the Same Mistake Twice by Nene Leakes
- Lost & Found by Brooke Davis
- Room by Emma Donoghue
- The Fault in our Stars by John Green
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
- Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Looking at these lists makes me so grateful for my Kindle. There's no way I could afford to buy so many hard copy books, not to mention the fact that all of these I have obtained without ever leaving the comfort of my chair.
Got any truly excellent books that you want to recommend to me?