Vegetable Soup

Good news arrived in my inbox this morning. A few years ago I was invited to participate in an international working group to develop a set of standards in health care. We were all volunteers, lending our time to a very worthwhile endeavour. It was interesting, and it was challenging. I am co-author, with the rest of the team, of an article that has just been accepted for publication in an academic journal. This will probably be my very last academic publication, and it is one that I was very glad to have been involved with.

Here it is, December 11th, and there is virtually no snow! We are very glad of this! We know there is over a foot of snow on the ground where we used to live, at the country house. We are both very happy to be here at Mist Cottage, where the weather seems almost tropical by comparison to our former home in the bush.

I started the second crochet blanket last week, before our travels. This allowed me to work on the blanket as we travelled in the car. What a difference it makes to the whole experience, for me and for Attila. My eyes are busy with my project, I don’t notice the traffic on the highway, the transport trucks that weave out of their lanes as we pass them, the distracted drivers who also veer onto the shoulder and into the other lanes, as the drivers talk on their cell phones, smoke cigarettes, or struggle with junk food packaging. I don’t see it, when I am so delightfully occupied with my crochet hook. I don’t see it, so I don’t react to it. Attila does see it, and he navigates us through the fray with diligence.

Attila and I have very different driving styles. I tend to react with more immediacy to things I perceive on the road, and Attila has a more “wait and see” approach. Both are very effective, and very different. This means that when there is something going on in the traffic, while Attila is watching and waiting to see, I am reacting, subtly reacting. Attila, attuned to my presence, is aware of my reaction, no matter how subtle it is, and this distracts him from his own way of dealing with the developing situation, which is not desirable. What I don’t see, I don’t react to, so reading, and more recently crocheting, are important activities for me to involve myself in when we are travelling.

I made a Vegetable Soup today, intending it for my midday meals. It simmered in a heavy bottomed stock pot all day, and by the time Attila arrived home the mouthwatering aroma filled the house. So we had the soup for dinner, with plenty left over for small meals for the rest of the week.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 PM EST Monday 11 December 2017
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -5.9°C
Dew point: -11.7°C
Humidity: 63%
Wind: ENE 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -10


“Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it.”
J. K. Rowling