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some days

I had a job interview this morning. It went okay, I guess, but I'm not the greatest at job interviews and I didn't feel like I presented myself as well as I could have. And then I walked around town in the rain and was hungry and a little bit mopey but didn't feel like getting food from anywhere. Almost home, I stepped in dog poo (while wearing my good shoes) in front of the house that I hate walking past because its squalor seems to be crawling across the yard towards everything. Sigh. Some days, shit just happens like this. At home I made two pieces of toast and ate them with butter and squares of dark chocolate on top like they do in France (err, like I did in France, anyway). That helped. And I made coffee, though perhaps I shouldn't have because it felt like my heart rate picked up before I was even through grinding the beans. Then came the question of cleaning the house. Why bother cleaning the house when I could relax and read and maybe paint something? But I like being in the house better when it's clean, and someone has to do it. Remember when the Cat in the Hat eats cake in the bath and leaves a cat ring all around it? This is what I think about when scrubbing our tub. One of our cats likes to hang out in the tub and lap up the small puddles left from showers, but I don't think I can blame her. There were good points too. There always are. Two Anna's hummingbirds were serenading the world when I passed by. They perched in shrubs by the water, their tiny beaks buzzing and chirping sweetly and their faces iridescent fuchsia when caught by the light. At the water's edge, clumps and drifts of ducks placidly stirred - American wigeons and mergansers - and black oystercatchers and various gulls comically prowled the shore.

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when the moon is out

Today has been a day of seagulls. On my way home I slowed down to a crawl because a flock of gulls had surrounded an old man by the roadside. I think he was feeding them, and they wandered contentedly in the street. Out walking beside the ocean this afternoon, I saw was the usual unremarkable seagull presence and then, lit by the low sunlight, one gull coasted in on a flurry of white wings. It wandered on the shallow beach, zigzag-ing its way closer to me and cocking its head in a questioning way. This morning, despite my lucky squirrel socks, I stalled through three lights at a little hill in town. Happily, at that hour of the predawn there was no one to see. Still a little shaky from my drive (calm reservoirs get low when  overtired) while walking to work from the car in the dark, I heard something move in the bushes beside the sidewalk. I started and ran.

Work went surprisingly well for such a tired day. I got stuff done and made people laugh, which seems like an all around success to me.

There are some things I like about my job and its hours. Often I'll look up from rolling pastry to see people going by with umbrellas in the grey drizzle, and by the time I'm done work the sky clears up and there are usually patches, if not great swaths, of blue. Sleep deficiency makes me feel fragile and more open, which can be a beautiful experience.

A woman I worked with for years always commented that she had trouble sleeping when the moon was full. I think there may be something in this for me. The brightness inspires a creaturely alertness and the night is very beautiful when the moon is out.

I was lamenting to J on how this blog seems to have turned into "I woke up early, drove to work and hopefully didn't stall too much, worked, then came home and hung out with my rabbits" and he suggested that maybe this could be a dream post, about where I would like to be a year from now and what I wish I were doing. He's a clever man. What I would really like is to be at home with a baby, and to have a big vegetable garden and chickens, and spend my spare time baking, painting and crafting.

We are having a roast for dinner tonight, in stages because it always seems to take longer than we plan for. It is somewhat of a picnic as we've set up blankets on the floor in front of the fireplace.

Here is Seven the rabbit's advanced maths for the evening:

*9/8\

']+

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things missed

I keep thinking of things that I meant to write about after I’ve posted for the day. Yesterday I forgot to mention that I heated up marmalade without the rind-y bits as a substitute for apricot glaze, to brush over the tarts when they come out of the oven, and I toasted sliced almonds to scatter on top. How, moving back to Victoria we psyched ourselves up for days or even weeks of rain and it has been unexpectedly sunny.

When I was lying in bed on Thursday morning, I kept drifting off and I dreamt of kitchens, a car I couldn’t start, and catching then releasing broken butterflies.

Yesterday was J’s birthday and I wasn’t at all ready for it. I got out of bed early and made him a mouse card, and there was a trip to Lee Valley and the frangipane tarts, but I would have liked to have made it more special. When it’s my birthday he lavishes me with gifts and sweet plans.

At work, even though I feel I'm trying no more or less than before, it would seem my efforts are paying off; I was told that I'm on track. I got off work early this afternoon, but had to wait for J and the car to come at my usual time. I sat and ate a small and excellent rejected quiche and part of a strawberry rhubarb galette from work. There was a bunch of tulips that I wanted to buy across the street, but I had just enough change for cilantro for the rabbits.

We have a second set of keys for the car now, so now I also have a key. It feels symbolic for now being able to drive it and capably drive standard.

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small

Last night I hid in a box, because real life doesn't happen when you're in a box, right? Everything can just keep spinning away outside but inside is separated by a near-Narnian veil of what remains of childhood belief. It was a big moving box that belongs to my house rabbits - I had gone to sit with them to soothe my temper, and rather than face my partner who had taken the brunt of my work and money related anxieties, I eyed it, then just crawled in. It might have been cute, in happier circumstances, and if I were say three, or six. But it felt safe in there, the world reduced to a plush layer of slightly gnawed brown paper all within an arm's reach. When he found me, we talked about the overwhelming world until a softly snuffling rabbit nose got me to come out. I am most anxious about time spent unhappily, at work, say, in the pre-morning, and how it nibbles at the time I value, when I am free. Some people like their jobs - I have always found this amazing.

My cat woke me up yesterday morning with an epic concert of meows. This is her daily routine but I'm not usually home to hear it.

We walked around a small lake this afternoon as dusk settled. Swordferns and heavy tendrils of mist surrounded us, and from the path of muck and rock, we saw a raft of dark ducks in tight formation slowly sweep across the lake in front of us.

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Coastal January

There is something so right in a rainy day. Even when the dishes are piled on the counter and the dust bunnies are changing shapes in the corners, I can be here in my blanket of tired and just make coffee and stare out the window. I'm inspired by friends who are making beauty with their lives.

This feels like a time of gathering and beginning, with great growth around the corner. In the wet grass around my house, knobby bulbs are radiating their stored sun-energy, pushing upwards light green shoots. Small hard buds on the birch tree's branches are readying.

In my own life, so much has changed this winter. I have gained and lost, and settled into a new place in my old hometown. I'm working at working at another job, soon. I know I will find something better, that things always work out better than I expect, but I'm still scared. What I want is to be at home, painting my imagination.

Soon, I will do the dishes. I will switch to herbal tea. I will sit down at my desk, or maybe on the floor, and set aside the worry surrounding my uncertainty. It is okay not to know. I'm open to today. In my hands, solid things, and in my eyes, wonder.

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