I've been learning a lot of things in the last few days.
ONE: Jethro is an excellent baby
He makes me laugh and cry at the same time. The skin! The feets! The fingers! The grumpy looks! The farts! o mi gawd, the farts. He is one stinky little guy.
Zoe has done very well. Owen has too. In fact, while we were sitting and talking the other day, he came in triumphant from fixing the car door. Look at you, I said. Fixed a door and made a baby. Yeah, he beamed from ear to ear, how good am I! Zoe and I gave each other a girl look. He's done splendidly. It's a bittersweet pleasure, having a baby just around the corner, more sweet than bitter, thankfully. And I get cuddles whenever I want, as long as I check beforehand that the household isn't sleeping. I had one today. Little baby. He has a heart-shaped head, and normally looks very peaceful and sweet. Stoopid camera.
TWO: Girls have more to give
On that subject, my doctor got my miscarriage tests back and reported that the problem was a chromosomal issue. He advised that even if we don't try again, we should get some basic tests done to see if we're unlucky or completely incompatible. So Best Beloved and I trotted along to our local pathology lab with a form each. Mine had a box full of incomprehensible doctor scrawl, and his had one word: chromosomes. Which translated as: one vial for him, TWELVE for me! Blimey. Now we wait a month.
THREE: to get the nice things, you have to give a little
BB has been cooking up a storm. In midsummer heat. I can't work out if he's obsessive or just stubborn. He's certainly not sensible. We reached a crisis on Saturday night when he'd spent all the time that the house usually takes to cool down, stirring plum chutney and plum jelly makings. Then he lay on the bed and whinged about the heat. I nearly donged him over the head with a cooking pot, especially when he said let's get an air conditioner. GRRRR. I replied sweetly that I'd rather get batts, and a sail out the front to deflect the heat, and I'd rather he let the house cool down.
BUT. Out of that came this:
Ooohhhhh... plum jelly. Very lush and sweet and a colour to dive into. Just a little bit on a spoon bursts into flavour in your mouth.
Our plum tree didn't handle the drought very well this year, despite extra water rations, and has produced little rugged fruit, tough but full of flavour. BB decided jelly would be more effective than jam because you don't have to be as careful with the cutting and stoning. Good call, apart from the frigging heat.
FOUR: you don't need the fancy stuff to get the good stuff.
I was very impressed last year when BB decided he could make jelly without fancy equipment. He nicked my typesetting stool from the shed and a goodly length of muslin and rigged up the Jam Stool. It works a treat.
A view from above. You have to leave it like this for at least overnight, if not a day or two. All the plummy / appley / quincey / [insert fruit here] goodness seeps downwards to make a lovely juice which is then transformed into jelly. Too faffy for me, but I have my own particular faffinesses, so who am I to point fingers? And it all tastes so good... a friend walked in today and exclaimed at the setup. Apparently her grandmother used to do the same thing, and made divine jellies. So there you go. Our household is devoted to reclaiming old technologies.
I was going to write something here about the work I've been doing over the last week, but I think it would make a better post by itself, so I'll stop here and start writing it up. I need to get it out of my system...