A Wee Update

Gingerbread Valentine 09

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!

Hayford Mills 279

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.

Around Glasgow 567 HDR

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). Hayford Mills 153 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

7 Replies to “A Wee Update”

  1. Good to hear you are seeing the sun (as you enjoy it so). Things really seem to be going well over the great blue for you both!
    I’m just happy to be able to back and checking in and blogging a bit again 🙂
    I saw you posted a zucchini muffin recipe I’ve not et checked out–and will as we’ve had some zucchini that has still been nice (and I love the stuff).

    Hope the skating goes well!

    : )

    1. Glad to hear the bun is baking well! We have friends in Portland due about the same time as you guys, and yeah – the point is being reached where getting out of bed in the morning is becoming somewhat of a drag. Give her a hug from us, and y’all hang in there! ♥

  2. I must have missed the post about T’s grandmother–my love to you both.

    Glad to hear everything is trucking along on your end, definitely sounds like a “just put one foot in front of the other” kind of months! Hooray for a bit of snow, it is so magical–we got dumped on yesterday but the high today is 50, so I doubt I’ll be seeing much of the 6 inches in another hour.

    Great gingerbread hearts!

    1. After the drama in January, where doctors pronounced my grandmother dead when she wasn’t, I tried to be a little more low-key when she actually DID die, because I felt like we’d kind of dragged you all through the crap with us already! She died about a month later, at the beginning of February, safe in her bed, on her own terms. So, all’s well that ends well, truly.

      Hopefully some news soon on where our lives will lead us next!

  3. You guys have always got things going on and it always sounds interesting. What’s going on with me? Ha! I wish I could say I’ve been productive, but I swear my attention span shortens by the minute.

    I’ve enjoyed the photos you’ve been taking of all the birds you’re seeing — such a variety compared to what we have here. There are a lot of crows, though. Congrats to you T for the possibility of your novel becoming a film!

    1. It sounds like things are productive for you – although we read your early January post and wished fiercely we were living near you so we could be walking partners – that stretch of beach sounds lovely. Sometimes it’s just that you need other people to go with you to get you started…

      The jackdaws are really having daily fights with the choughs – smaller black birds – and the wee tits, which is really annoying, but it’s certainly educational. We’re learning them all…

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