A friend referenced me on facebook recently, saying that I had ‘found my bliss’. I don’t know that that is true. We often have deep conversations around the table over lunch, or dinner and Davies and Scarlett are fond of asking questions such as ‘what are the top three moments of your life so far?’. I think I’ve said before on here that we are very happy but then we were already very happy and I think if we lived anywhere or did anything we’d still find our way to be very happy.
We’ve had a lovely few days even though the weather has been grim. In between showers Ady and I have collected materials to build a wood store and bought wood of the local woodsman here on the island. We have spent spare half hours bringing the wood up the croft hill and I have been chief wood splitter. I like chopping firewood, it makes me happy. I think of that story of the grasshopper and the ant, I think of one of our WWOOF hosts who was an expert woodchopper and adamant that ‘girls can chop wood into matchsticks’, I think if the hours spent in the wind and rain last year gathering firewood in the depths of December and January. I remember splitting firewood back at our house in Sussex where we had an open fire and how we once had a particular chicken who would come and get all aggressive with me whenever he heard me chopping wood. There is something primal about wood chopping that touches me in ways other than making my back ache and my heart soar at the prospect of a full stash of firewood for the coming months ahead. And it’s not entirely to do with my yearning for Sarah Connor arm muscles either….
We’ve been collecting brambles – I gathered the first lot on Thursday while we were waiting for the Sheerwater and then Ady and I spent an hour or so this afternoon collecting more while the kids were at their art club with one of the Rum folk. They got to talk about arty stuff, do some mod-rock and get messy while we filled margarine tubs with brambles and chatted. This evening I turned them all into the first jars of bramble jam of the season – the first batch I have made with ginger, the next ones will be with chillis. I don’t like my jam to be boring!
I have bruised and battered legs from rogue lumps of wood that objected to being split and bashed my shins, along with war wounds from carrying things up the hill, foragers fingers stained purple and a bit tingly from bramble pricks and nettle stings and my back and arms ache from three days of proper work but it would appear my bliss is sitting right here alongside me.