Yep. Two whole weeks with the parents and my baby animals and the parents schnauzer (you know they're never going to be not-babies. Silly kids).
The list of things I accomplished is very short. But then the only thing I wanted to accomplish was my half of the BigSib's secret present quilt (Ha!), which I touched only enough to get the fabric out of storage, and to look at for a half day. I didn't even get up the inspiration to start cutting. But its all good, I'll do it...later. Heh.
I read. Oh glory be, it was lovely. I haven't finished a book in so long. I felt like I was back from some strange off-world adventure and finally getting back some equilibrium.
I baked. I experiment-baked. Mum had some citrus oils and we brought some freeze dried fruit powders together (from here. Don't bother with the Strawberry, meh). I ended up bringing a whole heap of baking back to Dunedin to throw down the throats of the unappreciative mouths at work, just to get rid of it. I wasn't a massive fan of the lime (though the lime cupcakes were better than the strawberry - lightly fragrant) and lemon oils, but the orange was lovely in chocolate chip/jaffa cookies. It must be completely subjective, because others have been opposite. I just assumed the lime was off. The maternal Nana also sent some witches rocky road (everything thrown in) down for the plebs I'm friends with, which must have been good - it disappeared very quickly.
I experimented with fudge. First time trying to make it - and the first time I didn't use a candy thermometer, big mistake. It was divine however, passion fruit (freeze dried powder) and white chocolate. So I froze it, balled it, and coated it in chocolate. I also decided to be a chocolatier in my next life.
The second attempt at fudge worked a little better, though I must have stirred a bit too long after the first boil, or not waited long enough for the final beating, because it never set fully. This one was raspberry, and also divine, if soft and tacky.
I celebrated. Mum's birthday - we all chipped in and got her a kindle, and I spent a half day helping her set it up. I'm not retarded - it took half a day because when I booted up her computer it was in desperate need of updates, she was running IE (bleurgh!), and her iPhone had never been connected to the laptop at all. So we sorted music and books and internet bookmarks; and hopefully now she can remember how to load books on the kindle and music on the iPhone without me (right Mum? Right?!). We had the most glorious Sunday lunch roast, oh god was it delicious. I don't think I've ever met anyone who can cook meat like my father, and I've been skimping on the meat to save $ all year, so it was pretty much heaven. I made a cake for desert, was trying for a red velvet layer but didn't put in enough red food colouring and a tad too much cocoa, so it was reddish brown, with failed-but-sinfully-delicious cream cheese icing (don't ask how I fucked that up, I was so angry).
The parents massive new kitchen is sublime. I probably cannot convey how beautiful it is, (so have a look - at half), I was reading at the butchers block with tea, in the mornings, rather than any other room.
I got glasses. And god, but do they get dirty easily?! Especially when baking. I don't know how you bespectacled people have coped all this time! And my peripheries are interrupted, and when I close my eyes at night I can still see the frame outline. It is so much easier using the computer, though, and long distance is crispy and beautiful. They're not that strong, but they do pretty much rock. I shan't complain too much. I don't recognise myself in the mirror. Very strange. And just because I couldn't help myself, I invested in a glasses chain. Heh.
I went impromptu antiquing (see my amazed face above? Yeah. Crockery); three generations, it was fun (so sneaky in the mirror).
I dirtied my feet in the filthy Whakatane river (squelching mud between your toes? Fun!)
I squeezed the bajeezers out of my animals.
And this. How could I bear to leave these faces?!
But to be honest, I was ready to come back. I'm ready to sort my life out.
Rollin' with the punches. That's me. Rollin' and plannin' and hopin' and hanging on.
It'll all work out.