Autumn in Wellington is beautiful-The wind is crazy, the storms roll over the hills like big black cloud soldiers, bringing rain down on our room late at night. Fog obscures our usual view and the autumnal leaves flurry down from the trees like dramatic dancers, their colours are costumes for an annual show.
Before writing this post I wrote a rather long post which will not be published, detailing all the fears and anxieties I am dealing with as we move towards level three at 11:59pm tonight. I deleted that post before it could ever see the cool autumnal sun-We are all scared, anxious, and upset. There is no reason to drag it out, get it off my chest. Everyone is carrying the sam rock, even if it’s slightly different shapes. Instead, I am taking this quiet writing time to appreciate the time I have had this year to enjoy the air, the ground, and the sun which during this time of year working 8-6 I really wouldn’t see more than once a week.
Today, I am grateful for the mushroom I saw on a walk in the hills around my house. She was beautiful, covered in polka dots that screamed “Don’t eat me. I am probably deadly.” It was too cute. I didn’t take her home, but I snapped a photo which I love. Looking at it cheers me up, even today when I am for lack of better words, thoroughly not feeling it.
On the same walk, I saw a fluffy black cat-He looked rather wise. He is grouchy and doesn’t want to say hello, but he quite liked being photographed in all his regal feline glory. Both he and the mushroom have made a pact, I think and agreed to rule some woodland fantasy. I have attached both images, for your looking, as well as the spoils of foraging along the trail near my home. They’re hung like bright autumnal trophies, bravely holding their colour and waiting for Jack Frost to bite their toes.
I have been making soup for the last couple of weeks, throwing all the warm ingredients into a pot. Instead of writing about how I am upset and anxious that my friends and family are so far away, I am going to share the recipe I hope to make for them whenever we see each other again, which surely cannot be far off.
Hearty Lentil Soup
- Two Stalks Celery
- Half of 1 Leek
- Half of 1 Carrot
- Half cup lentils
- Italian Spice, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- Tumeric powder, to taste
- Red chilli flakes, to taste
- 2-3 vegetable stock cubes
- 2-3 cups water
Chop the celery, leek, and carrot very thinly and heat in oil until soft. Add salt and spices, to taste, mixing in the half cup of lentils and 2-3 cubes veggie stock. Add 1 cup of water to every cube, and a further cup if you would prefer a more brothy soup. Cook down until lentils and carrots fully cooked, and serve with fresh bread or rice.
On the days we haven’t been able to go out and enjoy the Autumnal weather due to the massive gusts of wind and rain I have been working on a list of local Wellington shops which have small name alternatives to big brands. You can find the list here, if you want to check it out. If you don’t live in Wellington there are likely other community initiatives for your area to attempt to help local businesses as well. The Facebook group New Zealand Made Products is a good resource for finding local businesses in Aotearoa which may make the things you’d usually buy imported from Australia, or even further afield. I plan to try and purchase as much as I can from New Zealand makers, even when stuck inside. Another great community initiative is SOS Business where you can preorder/purchase vouchers for your favourite local cafes and food places. I am grateful that even though level 3 is scary and stressful businesses will be able to operate again, and I am excited that I have once again been able to support my favourite stores (such as Scorpio Books, referenced in my last post My Top 5 Graphic Novels.
Even though I am anxious, there are many, many things I am grateful to this time for. Now please, please don’t let these past 5 weeks and the indefinite more be for nothing! Take care in level 3 everyone, see you there (from the safe distance of a zoom call!). Feel free to pop down some suggestions to keep busy, what you have been up to this autumn, or which local businesses you’re excited for in the comments!