Monday 23 July 2012

Positive Procrastination

Everybody procrastinates, right? Well, there must be some people out there who don't, otherwise nobody would get anything done, and we wouldn't have cool stuff like Robots and Video Phones. (We're living in the future baby!)

But I digress. The point is that sometimes, those things we do to procrastinate aren't all bad. For example, I was all fired up about getting a new project underway. I had allotted myself an hour* to sit down and do some sketches. But did I do that which I set out to do? No. I cleaned my desk.

In fact, I sorted the entire workroom, but I only have photographic evidence of the desk. This took about 45 minutes, which left me 15 minutes for sketching before I had to stop and take care of boring stuff like laundry and cleaning.** I could have just shoved all the crap out of the way and got on with what I was supposed to do but I'm glad I didn't, because now I have a well sorted workroom, and when I allocate an hour to work on things I know that I can just sit down and start working.

So tell me, dear readers, how does procrastination manifest itself in your day to day doings, and what do you do with it! Or are you proof of my theory that there are, in fact, people who don't have this problem? (In which case, TEACH ME YOUR SECRETS!!)

*Time management: that's a whole blog post in itself...
** don't worry, the irony is not lost on me.

Tuesday 10 July 2012

Redcurrant Jelly and the Art of Failure

Is a failure still a failure if you don't achieve what you set out to do, but you're still happy with the results?

My vintage copy of the Edmonds Cookery book (mine is the edition at the bottom!) tells me that "A perfect jelly is clear, bright and tender, and when cut with a spoon has a clean surface." Yes well, mine is bright.... and it hasn't set at all.

I think I know where I went wrong.
I was supposed to be following this recipe. It's Delia, and nothing could go wrong with Delia, right? Well, that only applies if you actually follow the instructions. Which I did until I got to this point:
"...add the sugar, stir until absolutely dissolved, then bring the mixture up to a rapid boil, and boil for 8 minutes."
 After 5 minutes of rapid boiling the mixture was pretty think, and I got scared. "What if I over boil it? What if it gets too thick, and it won't strain? I am using a smaller quantity that it says here..." and so, with visions of a muslin cloth ball of congealed fruit weighing on my judgement, I took it off the heat and began to strain it.

So I don't have a jelly. But I do have a syrup, and a pretty delicious one, if I do say so myself. Which counts as a success as far as I'm concerned. 

And how can you possibly fail at preserving fruit when you have a dinosaur "helping?"

Sunday 8 July 2012

One Day Like This a Year...

So it hasn't been the best summer this year, but yesterday was glorious.

We went down to Cork to visit the family, and spent a good chunk of the afternoon in my Dad's back garden, where the combination of a whole lot of rain and a sunny afternoon was evident.

Usually the birds get most of the berry crop, but this year they hadn't been around (or they've all flown off somewhere dry for the summer...) and there was a bumper crop of black and red currents!

I foresee blackcurrant jam and redcurrant jelly in my immediate future. <3