Being on leave for a reasonable amount of time is kind of tricky. Note I said tricky, not difficult. There’s a difference. I’m sure if I said five weeks of solid time away from work was difficult, I’d be hearing the scoffs and scorn from here. But making the most of five weeks, striking a balance between delicious slothfulness and hyper-productivity takes a fair bit of effort. More than I realised.
Think of it this way. If we had gone on holidays, we’d think nothing of an afternoon spent in a pub or gazing out over gorgeous scenery drinking something nice and reading/knitting/talking. More than afternoon, in fact. We’d spend most of the holiday just like that and be very happy doing so, away from domestic duties and any sense of obligation.
Because we’ve decided stayed home (for most of the time; we will have some very short breaks away) the dynamic is different. Easter was quiet and indulgent but after that we felt we needed to get on with stuff, like sorting out the garden, cleaning out the garage (what a huge job that is!) and so on. Honestly we could find jobs to do every single day that we’re home together but that’s not entirely the point of this break. For me especially, this break is about having as much creative time as possible and while I’ve been knitting like an obsessed madwoman on my nephew’s jacket, I haven’t felt there’s been enough other creative time. I’ve explained this to Sean and I think we’re on the right track now.
I began today by baking bread. I knew from the start that this was something I wanted to do more of while I had the time. It’s a very attractive loaf, don’t you think? It’s Nigella Lawson’s basic white loaf (next time I’ll add less salt. It was tasty but could have had half the amount of salt in it).
I spent the morning sewing, but I’ll save those projects to show for another day. There will be more sewing. It’s lovely to be stretching out and planning more time consuming projects.
One of the reasons we stayed home instead of going away was because we worked out we could do one of our favourite holiday activities right here. If we’d gone away, we’d have gone to a wine region. We have a perfectly wonderful wine industry on our doorstep that we never explore because, well, I have no idea why.
We kicked off with a couple of Murrumbateman wineries this afternoon, Jeir Creek and Clonakilla and it was fun! So much great local produce! All the things we’d do on holiday but minus the airfare and accommodation costs! It’s harvest time and the vines are looking very much at the end of their season. This afternoon a wine maker said, as he poured me a glass, is there a greater sound in the world than a wine glass filling? I’m pretty sure it’s one of the loveliest sounds I know.
I think our decision to stay home and explore our own region was a good one. Long drives through great scenery and coming home with bottles clinking in the boot of the car are all good things. We’ll be able to get our jobs done on domestic days, have days where we indulge, get to know our region a little more and all the while come home to sleep in our own bed.
The creative stuff remains a key priority for me. I need very much to be able to look back at the end of five weeks and feel like I made stuff, that I achieved an output I can be proud of. But that all sounds very earnest doesn’t it? It’s not meant to. I’m wanting to relax too. I’m just lucky I find creativity and productivity soothing and relaxing, especially if I’ve got a glass or two of wine to look forward to at the end of the day.
Before I go, one last thing. You know the pumpkin in the last post, the one that Alice adopted as her new best friend? They’re still very attached. I received this photo from her mum yesterday.
Her mum plans to cook the pumpkin this weekend. I am almost inclined to buy her one she can cook so Alice and Punkin can keep on being so very attached.