Post #3213: time for cocktails

It’s not quite eleven in the morning and I am already thinking about tonight’s planned cocktail – The Jungle Bird – which I feel will counteract this dismal, pouring rain day just a tiny bit with it’s tropical themes. I’m in the wind-down towards the holidays, and just hosted the workplace holiday party on MS Teams which we spiced up by holding a trivia contest with gift cards as prizes. Sounds silly and small, but any levity seems welcome these days.

I really do feel like I’m sliding into the holidays and this week felt a bit like I was dialing it in a bit. I’m working right until Christmas Eve, but next week is bound to be quiet, and then I have the whole week after that off.

Food: I feel like I have barely anything to say about food this week. We ate well (fish cakes, pho, Indian leftovers, spaghetti) but the thing that really stands out was the soup that Brian made for dinner last night.

Earlier in the summer we won some cookbooks, including Gather by David Robertson. As it originates in Vancouver, the recipes in this collection focus on locally-available ingredients with a multi-ethnic influence – and included a curried soup with Peking duck. Though we can’t exactly get Peking duck on Gabriola, we did have duck stock in our larder, and so with a duck breast and panang curry paste substitute, Brian made a reasonable approximation of Robertson’s Thai Red Curry Coconut Duck soup. I highly recommend! Especially as the weather is so grey and dismal, this red and warming soup hit the spot.

Textiles: I’m still working on the Quadra Jeans, which would be almost finished except that when I got to the point of inserting the fly I discovered that I don’t have the right length zipper. Order has gone in for zippers, and some interfacing while I’m paying shipping anyways. In the meantime I started sewing a sweater out of some rayon/cotton blend in the stash. I am still in need of more wardrobe, and staples like easy pullovers would be nice to have at this time of year.

Did a bit of work on the big loom this week as I’m converting it to a new type of treadle tie-up. It’s a bit tedious so I only do a bit at a time, but I’m hoping to have that job done over the holidays if not before. Also plan to get one of my looms warped before the new year arrives. Weaving requires so much more time than I have in my everyday life, but I’m still trying to keep my skills sharp for a future in which I don’t have to work so much (or at all).

I’m trying to stash-bust some of my knitting yarns this days and so I started knitting this Aran-patterned scarf on the weekend.

Fitness: On Sunday I ran my longest distance ever (8.5 km) and ran continuously up the very steep Barret Hill for the first time (normally I walk about a minute of it). I can’t tell you how blown away I am by both of those things – and I’m thinking of going for 10 km before the end of the month just so I can say I did.

This week I’ve been experimenting with stacking runs and weight training workouts on the same days in order to get more complete “rest” days. Basically that means a short run (4 km) Tuesday and Thursday mornings during a break from work, and then upper body weight workouts in the afternoons of those same days with Monday and Friday reserved for lower body workouts. That gives me Wednesday and Saturday off completely as my longer run is usually scheduled for Sundays (as well as an afternoon walk with a friend). Not only does this give my body a break, but it should free up some time and mental space for other things on the days that I’m “off”. So far, so good. I really appreciated having Wednesday after work free this week, especially since I’m attending the online zendo on Wednesday nights now.

Work: Finished all the interviews and wrapped up the interview board reports this week, made some headway on my big project, started work on a related side project (retention and disposal guidance for web materials), but really lost my work steam by the end of the week. I’ve got a few more days of work before holidays, and they will be quiet so I’m hoping to get some project work done, but I’m also aware that it feels very much like the end of the year and I’m highly distractable right now.

Notable: It’s Mica’s 23rd birthday today! Feels hard to believe because that means we’ve been in each others lives for about thirteen years now – and also, she’s pretty much a grown up!

Other than that, we inch towards a very quiet Christmas at Birdsong. A few decorations and plans for some good feasting next weekend – but it’s going to be very quiet this year. It’s right now that I’m missing the large tables of friends and family we haven’t seen for most of the past year! I’m hopeful though that 2021 will bring gatherings again, drinking wine around the table after the dishes are cleared, sitting up late in the yard around the fire.

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