Monday, May 21, 2007


I calculate that over the last ten years I've spent more time in my offices and than I have in my homes. For a long time I felt more comfortable at my desk than in my house, and I felt a sense of relief when I put the key in the lock each morning, and a pang of loss when I closed the door behind me at the last possible second at the end of the day. But yesterday I went into work to drop off my clothes for the week, and I felt so alienated in that space. The institutional, grey carpet, the perfectly acceptable and perfectly uninspiring beech veneer furniture, the blinds - they are all so very blah. There's no life in that space and no welcome for me. Unlike the room in which I am now sitting, the office at work as neat as a pin with no dolls, toy engines, prams, wraps, mislaid socks, towels to mop up Nell's spits, and pen marked furniture. There are no scuffs, flakes, marks on the carpet, and bits of dog and cat fluff. There are none of the bits and pieces of my current life. Boring.

I think the office needs some pink, so tomorrow when I go in these will come along with me.
They're hyacinths, pink and happy. I'm hoping they will remind me of the garden and home and family. And when I start to lose my vision and get sucked in to the ever increasing demands of work, they'll remind to shift my focus back to what makes me feel best. Besides, I think we could all do with a little more pink in our lives.

In the meantime, they're sititng in my study at home, brightening this cold and wet day. My plans to build a compost heap and plant more green manure have been scuppered by the weather, so I'm doing the week's baking and making some soups to freeze for those days when I come home to shattered to cook (I don't think the freezer is big enough to store all the meals I'll need to deal with that eventuality).

Eating from the garden: not much really, just the last of the walnuts in some more muffins. It's a barren time of year, between the last of the bok choy and the first of the cabbages. If we needed the garden we'd be going hungry now.


VictoriaE said...

Good luck with negotiating the work/home balance. I know you have the brains to be able to pull it off well, and it will be very interesting to hear some of your thoughts on it all along the way. I like that you arn't willing to be pushed around.

Janet said...

Good luck! Beautiful hyacinths too...

Jenny said...

Good luck, going back to work is a weird thing and I never really felt comfortable there. Eventually I ran away and came home. I couldn't be bothered trying to care about things I no longer cared about.

nutmeg said...

I have been trying to read your blog all week and do it the justice it deserves. You raise many varied and intersting points.

The work/stay-at-home issues are on my mind alot lately. While my husband is the main bread winner I have found myself looking to do "something" outside the home. But I feel/want the domestic sphere to remain a large part of my life. I don't think there ultimately is a "balance" but a place where most everyone's needs within a family unit are meet most of the time. Keeping this in mind and finding something to satisfy what I call the other half of my brain is prooving challenging. I am also mindful of not "whinging and whining" about this time in my life because I at least have choices - many others don't often have this luxury.

I wish you all the best for your return to work and look forward to your thoughts on it all.

As to your garden - I love how you list what you are eating/harvesting. And I love how you are in Tasmania and I get to compare and contrast our "growing climates". I have done a number of Permaculture courses and they do challenge traditional thinking. I remember someone saying you should throw a mixed lot of seeds in the air and plant them where they land - all higgeldy piggeldy. The green manure crop is a great idea - I am going to turn at least half back into the ground where it stands and the other half for our compost, along with kitchen scraps and see how that goes. Once we got the mix right we just can't go without our compost bins now!

Well, I've hogged your comment box enough I'll let you get back to things and I hope that lovely pink hyacinth brings colour to your workplace :-)