Back in Bournemouth, I’m getting back into ‘normalcy’ after three weeks of living out of a suitcase. My wash is tumbling, my to-do lists are getting sorted, and I’m mourning my chili plant (two winters in a row that they’ve succumbed).
The latest issue of Dorset Magazine lies, unopened, on my desk; the Hungarians have begun curing meats in the garage during my absence. Dorset house is taking on it’s winter ambience: fewer guests and older guests. Peter, a retiree from the NHS, is a recent arrival, keeping to himself except to exchange observations about world crises while microwaving dinner.
Andre Rieu has started his Advent Calendar, his traditional mix of schmaltz and glitter that I honestly do look forward to (my w.wezen sensibly prefers Fortnum’s). . Dutch friends are preparing for Dag Sinterklaas this weekend, the traditional day for giving gifts to the children (and putting the controversy of Zwarte Piet aside for the remainder of the season).
I’m a bit worn through from all of the travel though. I’ve done a bit of Christmas prep, but have mainly been trying to catch up with work and correspondence, get back onto a healthier lifestyle, and land a decent night’s (dreamless) sleep.
Past sins need correcting: I can’t travel to the US without diving into beef dinners (especially in Chicago), but now that it’s bad for both my weight and cholesterol.
So I compensate on returning by resuming the twice weekly fast days, exercising again, and eating more lentils and soups to stay near 12 stone. I gave myself a hand puree set for the holiday, so am enjoying testing new recipes and making the most of autumn’s root vegetables.
I have a lot of pictures, articles, and stories to catch up with in these pages, so will be doing the usual backfill for the next week. ‘Take time to thumb back through earlier blog pages as the month progresses: essays and photos have are being inserted that were started on the road, but that needed quiet time to finish and publish.