"Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by." (from the Nun's prayer)
Gather ye rosebuds indeed. In the classic phrase, "I did my back in", and I've been lying around for the last ten or so days, sore and stiff and feeling sorry for myself. This is an occupational hazard of mothering, and particularly of mothering to two girls under two. I've never done anything dramatic like juggle babies and flaming torches but my ligaments are stretchy and I've been lazy, lifting with my back and not my knees, carrying on my hip and all those other forbidden behaviours. I am paying with my body and with my wallet; frustrating, as ultrasounds and pressure point manipulations at the physio are not high on my list of cool things to do and buy. Disconcerting too, as I do old people exercises in the pool with the arthritic women and the men with dodgy knees, watching with a leetle bit of jealousy as nubile young couples bob by in each other's arms. When did I go from nubile to decrepit? The (admittedly already thin) veneer of yummy mummy has been stripped from me. I am feeling old.
And frustrated. There's a hill of tomatoes to turn into provisions and I'm itching to get started. Handling - hell, fondling - tomatoes is a sensuous experience. They sit so neatly and heavily in my hand and when I cut them open they are red, red, red right through. Some are pillar box red, others are scarlet, others still are best described as rosy. Put on a black pan with white garlic, green basil and the dull grey of thyme and oregano and those tomatoes glow. Of all the things I grow in the garden, these give me the most joy even though, truth be told, I'm not really a big fan of the tomato as something to eat. It's the aesthetics more than the taste. Both apples and tomatoes have been posited as Adam and Eve's downfall in Eden; I'd put my money on the tomato doing the damage: shiny and sexy, they are not something to refuse politely.
So I'll focus on these and not my back and thank my stars, and the physio, that I'll be back in the kitchen tomorrow.
Eating from the garden: some unidentified apples for snacks. Nothing else as my father has generously flown down to be our domestic drudge; he's a lovely, generous and intelligent man but the cooking is tending to snags and frozen peas (not that there's much wrong with that).