birthday candles, busyness and finding those quiet moments
Oh my goodness! I’ve been away so much longer than I intended … the bandwidth issues did indeed resolve themselves just as Julian predicted, but I’ve allowed myself to become so caught up with Abby’s birthday and end of year busyness that time has flown by.
And yet, as I sit here now writing, I am reminded that in fact, taking the time each day to record our days in words and pictures is very soothing and encouraging. As I miss day after day after day, I tell myself that I’m too busy, too much on, not enough time to sit down with my camera and laptop. Busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, busy. But that’s just not true.
Making the time to visit blockaday and add yet another chapter to the story that is our ordinary, lovely, homemade life is just what I need to encourage me to get up each morning with a smile and a cheerful belief that everything that needs to be done will be done and that we are capable of creating so much joy here in Bootville.
So – here I am. In two days, Abby and I will be making our last journey to Brisbane to visit Mum. We will help her with the LAST of the packing, be there when the removalists arrive, spend time with Nanny and Grandad, visit Rainbow Bay with CarolAnn and Peter, and then, next Tuesday, the three of us will head off with the car packed for our four day meandering along the Pacific coastline. We are all so excited … there are so many places we want to stop and remember along the way. And new places we want to check out.
Then, not this Friday but next, we will arrive at Mum’s new home in Merimbula. Oh my! A whole year has sped by since she bought her cottage by the sea and now it is time to move her in! Unbelievable!
Before then, there are still Christmas presents to be finished and wrapped and Bootville needs a good clean and tidy. So as to make life as comfy as possible for Jules who will be here all by his lonesome until the week of Christmas.
But! Right now, I have so much to share of the loveliness we have enjoyed over the last week with Abby’s fourteenth birthday and her marvellous Alice in Wonderland Party. First up – a candlelit birthday breakfast …
As we all know and lament, money just seems to drain away at this time of year, despite my efforts to keep everything handmade with as many supplies from thrift shops as I can find (yes, strangely enough, I don’t often find lovely gutermann cotton thread, or richly coloured pure wool felt, or the yards of quilting fabric needed to finish off some handmade projects in thrift shops! Such a bummer that! ) - and when you add birthdays and parties to Christmas – egads!
So last week, when I discovered that we needed new candles for the birthday ring, the thought of hopping back into the car and choofing back over to Honeybees and spending more money was more than I could bear. Instead, I hunted through the cupboards and dragged out all the sheets of beeswax I could find (we live near an apiarist supply store so do regularly stock up on these) and made our own wee candles. Nor could I find the ring’s little candle cups so resorted wrapping the bottoms in aluminium foil.
As I began rolling and pressing and melting, frantic thoughts of … “this is going to take so long! what a ridiculous way to spend the afternoon when I have so much to do already!” But as the kitchen filled with the soft, warm scent of beeswax, and the holes of our ring began to fill (all but two filled this year!), making candles was actually the loveliest way to wind down, slow my breath, and quieten the incessant, anxious chattering inside my head.
The homemade candles looked beautiful – dripped a bit, but picking the melted wax off the wooden ring was simply extra entertainment after the birthday feast later that night! The birthday breakfast table glowed, the hydrangeas and … (name completely gone from my head even though the garden is full of them, Nanny used to grow them and used to give me cuttings and I have loved them for years – do let me know if your know their name!) from the garden looked sweet and fresh, Julian’s poffertjes were warm and moorish … and the birthday girl was utterly delighted.
Her day began gently with much love, happiness and good dose of pretty. Just how birthdays should begin.