Thursday, September 29, 2005

to do list


This weekend J and I were supposed to go to Italy. We have been planning it for months - drifting down to the Ligurian coast for pesto, wine, porcini and, above all, the good vibe...

But the to do list took over: A an office to organise, a studio to clean up, tiles to clean, classical bows to try, French residency to establish, windows to finish, a stove to build and several hemp floors to lay, a large commission so nearly there and space to make for the next. That is, over and above the daily painting and posting...................

I felt disappointed until, shopping in Carpentras, I came across these:


Suddenly I felt rather smug.

At 6 o'clock Julian was still painting. I sat in the rattan chair and watched him - rosé glass hardly touched, a half peeled lemon on a gold rimmed saucer lit by the light from the new window and three brushes sprigged in his right hand. He curled the finger and thumb of his left hand up together and brought the circle to his eye to frame the image. Just above his shoulder the sun started to relax over the Ventoux and the mistral whispered urgent messages through the cracks still to fill. Behind him books quivered with inspiration - Chardin, Matisse, Cezanne, Surtel, Corot. At his feet a small grey cat nudged adoration into his ankle.

I'd cooked - Moroccan chicken high in cinnamon aromatics and swamped in harissa, but Julian was still in need of some creative release and so, inspired by the imminent visit from our chef friends, he marinaded lamb with juniper berries ('they grow partout' said our neighbour), and made Richard Olney's terrine of poultry livers. Cep soup and lemon pie are to be prepared tomorrow.....

There is too much to do and no time and yet....

There is nothing on our to do list, which is not the stuff of dreams.



Blogger Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Ruth, you have No Idea how incredibly helpful that post, and particularly the last line, was to me today. A stressed-out day with extra stress on top, and me struggling to find a way through. There is one thing on our list which is not the stuff of dreams - but only one, and it applies completely to all the rest. SUCH a help. Thank you.

3:27 PM  
Blogger granny p said...

ruth - all your done list is stuff of dreams too; to be smelt tasted heard felt gazed at. Lovely. You live in a part of France I knew once. You make me see it again

7:21 PM  

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