Friday, July 2, 2010

Je maintiendrai

A month ago I dove into a few serious deadlines, and yesterday I emerged: luctor et emergo! In the meantime I finished GP book 3, wrote book 4 from start to finish, translated 2 travel guides (one of which I finished in 3 days - over 40K, must be a world record), completed a 40K medical translation and had loads of those little business jobs that come up and can't be refused. Add to that a test translation for a thriller, filling in the VAT returns, several interpreting stints at the police station, trying to keep the weeds in the allotment under control (unsuccessfully) and bottling up jars and jars of strawberry jam, and I really have no idea how I managed to survive and remain sane. June was hectic. But it's over now. It's July!!! (And 'we' are in the semi-finals of the World Cup - just to rub it in ;) )
All that hectic business here in the house had its effect on my knitting time. There was hardly any, as usually I would work until around 11, watch some telly and then collapse into bed. I did however get some work done on my big blanket, as I got loads of different mini-skeins in different colours via a Ravelry RAK, such as these, which I just had to use immediately:
Within the RAK group we also had a sock yarn swap, which resulted in a gorgeous selection of different coloured yarns too.
The blanket is getting on nicely, it's the ideal project for just the odd half hour here and there. Although, I do have to admit, that with the sweltering temperatures we've had this week, it has been weighing heavy and hot on my lap!

Other things that made me happy this month, and made it possible to pull through were these:
1. Home-made elderberry flower lemonade. It is amazing and very refreshing! And so easy to make! We have our own supply, as we have a small elderberry tree in our garden. But nature around us is very good to us, and there are loads and loads and loads of trees with branches hanging low enough to snip off a few umbels here and there. I just collect a pan full, cut up a lemon, add around 2 liters of water and let it sit out for a day. Then strain, add sugar to taste (I like it quite 'natural' while some people would add loads) and put in the fridge. Yum! With the hot weather, you can now see the umbels disappear by the day, so take the opportunity and make some while you still can, like she did. Another nice recipe to try is pancakes. Just shake off the flowers of a few umbels into your mix, add some sugar and bake away. It gives the pancakes a lovely delicate, perfumed flavour, which, according to Hannah, is a bit like lychee.
2. Strawberries. With over 60 strawberry plants in our allotment, we are stuffing our faces with strawberries. I collect around a kilo every 2 days, so just imagine... I make jams (just the strawberries, with rhubarb, with some red berries), strawberry souffles, coulis to put over ice cream, and of course we just eat them like they come, or mixed up in a nice fruit salad. Yum! (The picture above is of a bag containing 2.7 kilo of the red goodness. Seriously!)
3. The kids speaking English. They. Crack. Us. Up. We are going on holiday to Portrush late this Summer, and have been trying to get the kids to speak English a bit more. They finally start to understand that it will help immensly trying to get the kids there to understand them. (In turn, our mates in Ireland are teaching their kids a few Dutch sentences, haha) Whenever you hear Sam going 'Big fish, where are you???' standing in front of our fish tank, really, you melt... (ahhhhhh) (On the picture you're seeing Sticky Micky and Disco Dave having a little tĂȘte-a-tĂȘte.)
4. New drains. What has been bothering us for years, has now finally been fixed. And in the process, the dishwasher has also decided to start working again. Apparently the blocked pipe under the kitchen floor kept disabling the dishwasher drain motor. But now, fixed. Back in the 21st Century, without a smelly under-the-stairs-cupboard. Hooray!(See that hole under the door? That's how we communicated with the bloke who spent several hours under our floor. After spending several hours under our neighbour's floor, the day before. In a pool of sh... - yup, they had a broken toilet drain, yuck...)
5. Pride. When Hannah won first prize in her gymnastics category. Proud to bursting! And they look so cute in their new purple outfits!

6. Last chemo. June was also Last Chemo Day for my mom. She is such a trooper! Through it all, the tiredness, the fingers and toes going numb, the hair falling out, the colostomy becoming more and more of a hassle, she's been our BIG ray of sunshine! She's now got the Summer to recover, and will then start physiotherapy to get her fitness level back up, to get ready to have her bowels reattached. Another operation, yes, but one that will hopefully be the end of a very bad time, and the start of a healthy future.

And add to that number 7 and 8, one of my bestest friends D. getting married and another bestest friend T. having a baby girl! Unfortunately, our happiness at these two events did not last long, as the day T.'s waters broke, D. had a nervous breakdown, and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital the next day, for intensive treatment. Just married, mommy of 3 gorgeous kids (the youngest just 3 months old...) - heartbreaking... We're hoping and praying she will recover soon!

Right, more knitting-related content next time, as I've now got my mojo back (and time to knit)!


Jolanda said...

Wow, wat een energie! Petje af.

Tijm said...

Wat fijn om weer wat (enorm veel en leuk) van je te lezen!!

froukje said...

Eindelijk weer tijd om adem te halen! Fijne zomervakantie!

MoniqueB. said...

Ik miste je al!!
Geweldig dat je de deadlines hebt gehaald!
Heel knap hoor.
Je dochter op het hoogste podium! Geweldig.
En dat het met je moeder ook beter gaat is het allerbeste nieuws.

Ik wens de moeder van de 3 kleine kindjes veel sterkte.
En de nieuwe moeder een geweldig leven met haar babytje.

Lida said...

Leuk om de foto's te zien en wat van je te lezen, wat een punten.

Fijn dat je moeder klaar is met de chemo en die aardbeien die zien er heerlijk uit

marieke said...

na deze uitgebreide lijst activiteiten en gebeurtenissen begrijp ik wel dat het bloggen er wel eens bij in schiet. Maar het breien niet toch?