I make domestic bliss into a sport. Or something. - Tactical Ninja
Sep. 16th, 2013
09:38 am - I make domestic bliss into a sport. Or something.
Yesterday was the first day since we moved into the new house that wasn't already booked well in advance to do things that weren't sorting out my craft room. The afternoon was booked for picking up a new desk for the YoT from Porirua (his first ever TradeMe purchase), doing a dump run to clear out the garage of empty cardboard boxes so we can use it, and participating in Meat!Fest with danjite and khaybee.
And oh, what a Meat!Fest it was! But first, to the craft room!
So when we drew straws for the rooms, I drew the short one. Well, not really, but Dr Wheel needs a room with good light and a nice vibe because of the likelihood of him working from home, and the YoT claimed the other large room which is only fair because he pretty much lives in his room when not working. And you know how every house has one small poky room in the back that faces the wrong way and most people use as a guest/spare/junk room? That's the one I got.
On the upside, the second the YoT leaves home I'm claiming his room, which is huge. But meanwhile, I have a craft cupbaord! Look!
I shouldn't be facetious - it's big enough to fit everything in, plus a table of my very own that I can leave stuff on. Right now, Yorick is on there awaiting his horn mache, since he's the first project that will be completed in the new room. On the right you can see my drug books and paper rolls and the loom and my ONE COUNTEM ONE bin each of fabric and fibre. On the windowsill are all my brushes, pencils, knives and moulding tools - where I can easily find the one I want OMG. Note also that the curtains I've shown you so far have increasing levels of hideousness.
On the left are my computer, games, the Hoff in his Grey Warden suit, and the shelves (covered by that green thing) with sewing machine, overlocker and various sewing gubbins. That basket contains spinning spools and a wool winder. The spinning wheel is in the loungs.
And then there is the cupboard. This used to be our hallway cupboard and had all our manchester and tools in it, but now we have a shed for tools and an airing cupboard so I got this back. Check it out:
Bottom to top: power tools, wire, bin of paints, electronics projects and gubbins, clamps, craft and leatherworking tools, latex gloves, glues, finishes and modelling clays. I would like to put another shelf in there because there is definitely room for one. But that's a project for after Yorick and when I have some spare cash. I am so happy to get this stuff out of every drawer in the house and into one place where I can just grab what I need.
So with that being done, I'm now turning my eye to the garden. It's pretty much a blank slate, in that there were established gardens but they haven't been maintained for years, and the previous tenants took their plants with them when they left. Vis:
This is probably the first one I'll tackle because it's already mostly done and only really needs a good dig over, some compost and a weed. This one faces east/north and is right outside the kitchen door, so I'm thinking herbs. Although what sort of herbs, I'm not sure. I have parsley, and we use a fair bit of thyme. Basil doesn't do well outdoors here - too much sun, wind, cold really. Dunno what else. Suggestions welcome.
And then there's this bit:
The lawn around the back here is flat, then drops away steeply into a bushy bit that's pretty much inaccessible. However, between the flat lawn and the bushy bit could be terraced and vegies planted there. It's a suntrap and low enough to be sheltered from the worst of the prevailing wind. I'm thinking trailing plants like melons and courgettes and pumpkins, interspersed with upright ones like peppers and silverbeet. There are already self-seeded potatoes and a fennel that I'll leave in.
And finally, this bit, which the landlord basically said "Have at it" about when I mentioned I like gardening:
This is sheltered from the worst of the wind but will still catch some, and will get sun till about mid afternoon. Here I'm thinking tomatoes, beans, peas, broccoli and spinach in the shady bit to stop it bolting. I eat a lot of spinach.
So yeah, there's some digging in my future. I should remember to grab my gardening tools out of storage next time I'm there.
Part of what brought this on is that my client from Saturday paid me partly in kind. This is fairly common, and I get given a lot of eggs, but this time it was seedlings. Michelle and I share a love of gardening (in fact we have a lot of shared interests and I see her more as a friend than a client), and when I mentioned my upcoming vegie adventures, she pressed these on me:
That's two pumpkins, two butternut squash and four chilis - all from heritage seeds. I've grown capsicums before but never chilis. I will have to think carefully about their placement. Right now they're in the shed/glasshouse and I'll harden them off while I get their beds prepped. Michelle also gave me some spinach seeds, and a couple of years ago bekitty gave me some other heritage seeds:
Watermelon, sugar snap peas, roma tomatoes, radishes and soybeans. So over this week I'll get some of them started in the shed and hopefully by Christmas we'll be munching on tasty homegrown vegies!
And then I'll get to play in the flowerbeds, which are actually my first love. There are existing beds waiting for TLC in the front area, and they are also full sun exposed blank slates.
I am leaning more and more toward taking another year off from academia, because my life is so full and every time I think about writing essays I think about all the other, more fulfilling things that I am doing right now, that I haven't yet had my fill of. I think about how much more mental and emotional space I have now for doing things that make me happy, and I think about how much more time I have for pursuit of said things as well.
And academia looks pretty damn grey by comparison. But, we'll see. I still have a month to decide.
And on that note, have a cartoon. It's about the little-known Rat Park drug experiment. You know that story about how rats addicted to drugs will push a lever for drugs instead of food until they die? This experiment demonstrated that the tendency towards destructive addiction in rats is associated more with their environment and how well it lends itself to fulfilment than with the drug itself. Basically, isolated rats in wire cages might push levers till they die, but rats in large spaces with other rats and toys to play with tended towards breaking their own addiction by choice. Read it - it's a short and easily accessible summary, and it's pretty damn myth-busting. Here's the original report (paywalled).