Monday, 12 January 2009

january clearance

There. I've done it. I've quit my job. Good-bye, work-related stress. Hello, unemployment. Actually, it's not that bad. Once all the legal stuff has been sorted out, I'll be able to work freelance for the company. All in all, this should be a good thing.

I've been spendng the past couple of weeks just tidying up, making plans, signing the children up for swimming classes and finding a piano teacher for Lucas (I never thought this would turn out to be so difficult; piano teachers are in great demand in our area!). Simon bought me this organizer for Christmas, which has proved to be a great help. I'm comfortable with all things digital, but deep inside, I'm still an analogue girl. I prefer writing on pretty paper to typing my thoughts out on the computer, and despite my promise to Simon to use Google calendar for planning our daily activities, I still prefer to write everything down on a paper calendar. That's why I'm definitely loving my bulky organiser. I had to spend a few days copying birthdays, anniversaries, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses from my phone and computer to the organiser, but it's nice to see most of the information I need in just one place. I have my to-do lists and budget and menu plans in there as well. I know I sound like I've just made a huge discovery here, and most of you probably have an organiser like this, but I really have no idea how I managed to do do without one for the past six years. Life feels so much easier now.

New beginnings require new rituals so we're slowly adding them to our lives. Sofia and I have discovered the joys of duck spotting in our local meadows. Every school day, after dropping Lucas off, she and I wander down the park and onto the meadows. We normally catch the ducks swimming down the stream that runs through the estate. When it's not too cold, we stop for a few minutes to give them bits of bread. Sofia has a funny way of feeding them—she holds up the bread, shouts 'Duck!' and throws the bread at her feet. Of course the ducks are too wary to go near her and wait until we leave before they touch the bread.

I'm also trying to get our family more attuned to the rhythm of nature by celebrating festivals. I found two great books on festivals, both used in Steiner-Waldorf education: All Year Round: A Calendar of Celebrations (Lifeways) and Festivals, Family and Food (Lifeways). The books contain information on the festivals for each season, along with games, songs and recipes related to each festival. The first one we're celebrating is Candlemas, on the second of February. The children and I will decorate some candles on Sunday to prepare for the festival. Maybe we'll come up with our own Candlemas cake as well.

Maybe there'll be some Candlemas music as well, now that the little ones have a real piano to tinker with. It has been crazy around here since the piano arrived on Tuesday. It has been an object of faascination for children and adults alike. Oh, the look on Sofia's face when she sat on the piano stool and discovered that she can make music by pressing a few keys. She has tried fingers, elbows and feet to do the pressing, her whole tiny body sliding across the stool as she tries to hit the lowest and highest notes. It is pure delight! In a few weeks' time, Lucas will start his piano lessons. So much excitement around here! I'm so glad I'm here at home to witness all these.

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