blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Sunday, August 14, 2016


Whether you're young or old, it's essential to have something to look forward to. Maybe a Buddhist monk would gently dispute this, but it seems to me that it's the looking forward that keeps us alive. However, there has to be a fine balance. If there's too much to look forward to at once, the pleasure of anticipation can turn into panic, but not if you're prepared.

I anticipate a hiatus in this blog, soon, because our grandsons and their parents are arriving for a fortnight's visit next week, and I'll not have much time for the self-indulgence of blog-writing while they're here. After they've left, I'll be setting off to spend some time with my mother and my sister in Wales, and that trip might be combined with joining Chris on a business trip to Germany (if the people concerned can get it arranged in time) before I return to Ottawa. Chris and I were also thinking of flying over the Carolinas in our Cessna, maybe to Savannah, Georgia, and back, before the summer ends, an appealing thought, but that might have to be postponed because of bad weather. Therefore our plans, as usual, are vague. Anyhow, whatever we do, I need to think as far ahead as I can, so for the last few days I've been sorting out cupboards and clothes, trying to make some order out of chaos, so that I don't panic once we are in medias res. Children in the house will be a major distraction.

I have to shop in advance of the family's visit so have started on that, and have been preparing meals in advance as well. By degrees I am putting aside any food I imagine the boys will enjoy. I made a lot of chocolate chip cookies, but have just over-baked the last batch, being sidetracked by this blogpost; also made a strawberry-rhubarb pie, a peach-cherry-blackberry pie and some zucchini squares (like carrot cake––following a cupcakes recipe). I am not usually this domestic, only when the mood takes me. I have already concocted and stored a salad dressing and a stir-fry sauce. Next, I'll start on the savoury dishes that can be frozen. Once six lively and hungry people start fussing around in my kitchen I shall be glad I did all this, because speed and simplicity will be of the essence.

I tidied the bathroom cupboards, packing some towels in carrier bags for outings to swimming spots. Next, I'll have to start on the sleeping arrangements and the bedding. We'll have to use our basement as a bedroom which means clearing up the books, magazines and other paraphernalia presently scattered around.

Of course the most fun to be had is in thinking of what we'll do with the family. Like Koko, I've got a little list (not that sort of list), in case they run out of their own ideas.

Not only do I need to think about the holidays and family visits; I've also been working through a to-do list for the volunteer groups I'm involved with, planned every German conversation morning, venue and topic, between now and the start of December, and edited the next newsletter to be published for the Rockcliffe Flying Club. By the time we reach December we'll have another commitment ahead. Chris is going to be speaking at the ESE-Kongress in Sindelfingen, near Stuttgart, once again, and needs to spend plenty of preparation time because it's in German. Meanwhile, outside of work, he's busy creating videos for the flying club's ground school and completing a book of questions about the theory of instrument flying, to be published by the Aviation Publishers Co. Ltd. in Ottawa. I'm one of the people helping him with the proofreading.

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