Tuesday, 3 June 2008
Yesterday afternoon I decided I had finally had enough of feeling like rubbish - great grammar there. Sick of feeling that I was on a merry-go-round of problems and worries with no control; in other words, I felt I had become someone life happens to rather than someone who makes life happen and it doesn't suit me. Maybe I am a bit of a control freak, but I find this a scary way to live, always wondering what the next 'thing' will be or dreading collecting the post/ answering the phone for fear of more bad news. This is not living as I know it and yesterday I had enough.
I collected Sam and Lucy from school and drove to pretty Mylor Bridge (yes, I have mentioned it a before as I love it so). This pretty creek village has a post office right on the water and I needed to collect car tax, so a trip seemed worth the short drive. I think with hindsight - that wonderous thing - that I probably felt the need to be soothed and feel a bit safe, for want of a better word, and Mylor has always been that place for me. Anyway, the children sat in the car watching the boats bob on the high tide and the kids playing football in the field on the opposite bank until I returned and then it hit me: we go on a harvesting fest! Nothing better than a spot of gathering when you feel a bit blue, so we drove home, collected Mr Dave (who was miraculously early for once) and headed back to the lanes of Mylor.
It was such fun, more so because I expected Sam to say he would stay at home as he is 18 now and has done this for most of his life, but he practically leapt into the car and brought a smile to his mamma's face with his eagerness to participate - bless him. Jolly handy too as his 6ft plus height could reach far higher than either me or Dave.
We walked, we drove, stopping the car whenever we spotted another cluster of bushes (and I am talking lanes that probably see a tractor a few times a year not busy side lanes here). It was such fun watching everybody clutching their bags of the gorgeous creamy flowers with that magical perfume you either love or loathe rather like Marmite. Finally we headed for home where dinner was eaten, baby bathed and put to bed and the elderflowers counted - 110 flower umbels in all! Good grief! And just in case anyone is worried here, we made sure we left plenty on each plant and there were still plenty to come (hurray, elderberry wine/cordial/jelly...).
So here's what we made - two vats of elderflower cordial and one huge batch of elderflower champagne which unfortunately doesn't keep too long and will have to be drunk rather quickly to avoid wastage...oh dear! In all we made gallons of the stuff, but more importantly we had such a grat time doing it.
And do I feel more like me? Yes I do. Will it last? Probably not but
it's a start, and there's always the champagne when the going gets tough! So my thought for all those feeling blue today is to get thee out into some countryside if at all possible and pick these beautiful flowers. Cordial can also be made with dried flowers so town dwellers can still join in and if the bushes in your area aren't flowering yet then you can still go out to earmark the ones you will be using.
P.S. Thank you all so much for the good wishes; it means a lot x
PPS. We've also been making ginger beer, but I'll save that for another day! xx