Just realized that we hadn’t actually communicated for awhile except for D’s “links” posts and that we really owe everybody at least a brief update on what’s been going on here in the hinterlands.
Hi. How are you? How are your jobs and your pregnancies and your new babies and your grandkids and your snow packs and your woodpiles and your new cars and your lives?
As for us, we’re… fine. Working. Boring, huh? But, that’s how it is, this time of year. Nothing going on, but some spots of brightness as we watch movies (latest, “Adam’s Rib”, 1949, with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn – where they play a slightly surreal spousal lawyering team — what were they thinking with that weird Adam crying plot twist?), crowing over the orchids both blooming (Okay, that’s only T.), figuring out new uses for mint (a spectacular apple and carrot salad – the mint added just the right touch), and otherwise trying to insert spice into the last bits of winter’s dreich and snell.
We’ve done a little baking (those gingerbread hearts were shared with everybody who came to rehearsal on Valentine’s Day). We used the basic recipe from Bakerella, with added spices, but found we needed to frantically adjust it by adding additional liquid. As is sometimes the case, both wheat and white UK flours can be very dry as compared to US flour. Sometimes this isn’t the case, so we’re not sure what went on, but apparently this batch just… was. This had to be the stiffest cookie-dough we’ve ever dealt with, to the point that it actually sheared off one of the dough-hooks of our wee hand-mixer. (Yes, we miss the Kitchenaid. But, we’re glad it’s in a good home, and kept very busy!) We haven’t done any more gluten-free baking just yet, but have sampled some store-bought gluten free baked goods. We can see a real need to learn to bake one’s own!
Speaking of snow packs – we actually got a tiny bit of snow over the weekend, but it didn’t stick, just came down in crisp little bubbles and melted. As the light has grown longer – at last! – D. is no longer both leaving the house and returning in the dark, but we’re both enjoying sun in the kitchen in the morning on the weekends (it doesn’t really get in there until half past nine) and sunsets – gloriously pink and lavender and orange.
We’ve both been rather wrapped up in writing – T. because she’s been
cursed tasked with doing a production breakdown of her last novel to be shopped around to movie producers, and D. because he’s still mired in corrections and dissertation revisions. T. was told that her write-up is finally in shape, so she can go back to pushing herself to finish her mystery novel – hurray! – and any other straight fiction writing with non-technical jargon such as “logline” and “beat sheet” and the like. D. is trying to meet the self-imposed deadline of the end of February for his write-up, giving him the chance to get the corrections approved earlier than expected, and to get back to the focus of figuring out where we’re going and what we’re doing next. T. has been holding off doing a thorough Spring cleaning to the house, since she tries to stay quiet on the weekends – but soon her excuses will be gone. She is regretful of this already, but plans to draft D. into furniture hauling, vacuuming floors, and window washing. Heh, heh.
In chorus, we’re prepping for two concerts – and are slightly disappointed to note that we’ll not be singing in Polish. Apparently one of the soloists quit, and the task of replacing the soloists and getting another up to speed in the language for the Syzmonowski was just a bit too much, with the concert coming quickly next month. Otherwise, we’re moving right along learning the Berlioz Te Deum, and looking forward to rehearsing with our divided choir and the children’s chorus, which will make the music spectacularly chaotic and noisy. In a good way. Seriously.
We’ve been enjoying the fact that we bought a container of suet-balls for the wild birds and have strung them in the trees outside our windows, in the hopes that we can someday get a decent picture of some of the bird life which frequents the garden. In addition to the ever-present magpies, we’ve identified a twitter of tits; blue tit, longtailed tit, stone chat, whin chat, and twite, which is not really a tit, and looks an awful lot like a house wren. (Also, it’s a bit awkward discussing birds in D’s office of a morning. He rolls his eyes a lot.) Of course, none of those really wants to hold still for its picture to be taken (although back in November T. caught a picture of a juvenile goldfinch, shown to the right). We’ve also had jackdaw, rook, and carrion crow going after the suet balls, but D. has strung the most recent batch onto much smaller twigs, in the hopes of discouraging the larger birds. However, crows are horribly smart, and once they know there’s food on offer… well. You can’t get rid of crows of any kind. And don’t ever throw things at them. They remember. And tattle. And plague. We just might have to get used to our little murder…
The hunt for academic jobs for D. is sort-of on hold until the thesis gets completely accepted and he can say that he’s well and truly done. He’s applied for a few positions which sounded interesting and which had early deadlines, but the hunt begins anew in earnest after next weekend. Our passports are still away with the UK Borders Agency, getting the student visas extended through until well after graduation, so hopefully we’ll be able to plan some travels soon – the visa process could take until mid-March or so, though, so until then we’re stuck with staying in the country. This creates a slight problem, as D. can’t plan to go on interviews except for within the UK. C’est la vie.
And that’s about where things are with us. T. plans to sit in on her grandmother’s memorial service via Skype – which shows how far technology has come. No passport? No ticket home? No problem. Meanwhile, D. has a pair of roller skates he’s also chomping at the bit to try one weekend day it’s not icy – but nothing doing, until those corrections are done… ::sigh::
Aside from that, not much terribly exciting going on, just continuing on with the work before us, trying to get through it and come out the other side.
And that’s us. So, how are you?
-D & T