From my office window, I can see the orange tower of flats above the bus station – the very same flats I can see from kitchen window. And indeed, today, rather than seeing them from my desk, I am looking at them from my kitchen. The sky all around them is a soft grey, not a cloud to be seen, but it seems almost as though someone somewhere has forgotten to switch a light on.
It is not raining, but the pavement outside is wet, and there is the idea of rain in the air. It is a soft, gentle day, the kind of day that feels like a pause in time. And a pause is just what I need. On Sunday, I woke up feeling that there was something wrong – and the next thing I knew I was sick. Alas, not morning sickness making a return, but rather the dreaded norovirus. The past few days have melted in a haze of shivering and sweating and sick and sleep. And now that the noro has passed, a head cold has come out.
I think that it is my body’s way of saying that it needs a break, so I am trying to listen. I got up at 5am full of snuffles, so made myself an olbas oil tissue to soothe myself with. This afternoon, I did something that I have not done for a long time – take an afternoon bath. I love a bath at the best of times, but there is something even better about one taken in the middle of the day. I lit my lavender scented candle that I bought on last year’s trip to Aldeburgh, and have been eking out ever since. An old issue of Country Life Magazine had an interesting article on Jane Austen and the homes she lived in, so I took that in to read.
And now, I am feeling more human. Still coldy, but like it is on the the ebb, and that tomorrow when I wake up, I will feel better.
Later, I am going to potter gently in the kitchen with a little soothing cookery. Although it will be even more simple than that – the bringing together of quinces and brandy, cinnamon and brown sugar, cloves and a vanilla pod, and some star anise. They will have just enough time to meld together to become fragrant and delicious quince brandy in time for Christmas. (Not that I am drinking right now, of course, but I do like to take a little bottle of festive cheer with me for those who are!) If you are thinking of making some, I used a litre of brandy (bought with my Co-Op dividend points!) 6 quinces quartered, and split them between two kilner jars. The brown sugar was a healthy shake, 2 star anise went into each jar along with 4 cloves, half a vanilla pod, and half a cinnamon stick. Ideally they would have 6 weeks to meld together, but a little more or less won’t really hurt.
I am 15 weeks pregnant today. It doesn’t sound like much, until you translate it into months, and realise that in a week’s time I will be 4 months pregnant – very nearly halfway through! I can’t feel proper kicks yet, but the little flutterings I mentioned in my last post are getting stronger and more frequent. I really can’t wait for the first firm kick, although Carl does say with a smile that I may well regret that wish at some point in the near future!
Time for another pot of tea – I am finding the steam almost medicinal at the moment!