Friday, January 20, 2012

Blame Housekeeping

I realize that this may sound dangerously like something Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in New York last year, but I as for The Moi, I have the more conventional kind of housekeeping in mind when I say: blame housekeeping. It was the main reason that my blog enjoyed a month-long hiatus. Recent challenges included not only the usual dishabille of hearth and home, but also my digital backlog. The dust bunnies behind my sofa, aka the herd of dust buffalo – given their size and numbers, were absolutely nothing compared to the digital backlog that urgently needed attention.

I don’t mean to insinuate that my computer caught a virus or anything like that. Pas de fear. It is just that my digital life was totally snowed in under an avalanche, and the only tool that I had to dig myself out of it was a teaspoon.

The worst of started when I came home from Ireland late October last year. I had piled dozens of new books, and hundreds of pages of new documents onto the pool table in my study, but that was not the biggest challenge that faced me. It was all the new digital material on my computer. Even I was aghast at the scope of it.

The most daunting part was the more than 1,000 emails that I had not yet read, let alone dealt with. Since 50-100 new emails were being added daily – many of them either interesting or helpful or both -  I feared that I would never catch up. Ever. To make things worse, I then got flattened by a month-long flu. Think avalanche. Think teaspoon. If I were writing this in the form of doggerel, then I might have to say that I went from bad to verse. Ooh – that was awful.

So, I quit blogging for a bit and amongst other things, I attacked the pool table, and with good reason. The Christmas season is when actually playing pool is a significant part of the family scene. I could have thrown all my piles of papers into boxes, and hid them under my desk, but instead I filed and processed each and every bit of paper. Well, most of them. There is still one more half-sorted box to go. Still, I do plan to award myself a medal for this accomplishment.

The really good part of my blogging hiatus is that my email backlog is down to 145, from a high of 1,237. Just as importantly, the piles on my side table are organized in terms of urgency. Hopefully, the wooden surface beneath them will once again see the light of day.

I don’t mean to infer that I spent the entire past month doing nothing but all of the above. There was also a wonderful amount of time spent eating, drinking, conversing and cavorting as one does at this time of year. Amongst other things, I reckon that I baked close to 50 loaves of bread that all were consumed at the various family and community events:
My cup - aka my Bosch machine - overfloweth

One of our family pleasures included the stunning meals prepared by my eldest daughter and her husband:
The seasonings in the eggplant and basil haunt me still - in a good way.

Another pleasure was joining dozens of others in a Roberts Creek tradition as boats were set forth on January 1st:
Andreas' boat is one of these. Photo Credit: Micah Silver

Thankfully, our beach was readied for our 12th Night party by Andreas and Micah. Now – that’s taking housekeeping to an extreme point, but the log that they were wrestling with was totally blocking our path to the beach.
Andreas in his Mennonite Mafia hat. The log is bigger than it looks in the picture.

With that and many more such tasks accomplished, not only was Twelfth Night celebrated in fine form, our tradition was recorded in the Globe and Mail, and a heart-felt piece of writing was shared for the first time with all and sundry: 
Vanessa read a heartfelt piece. The Moi on the right. Photo Credit: Russ Tkachuck

Now that the aftermath has all been attended to, I am finally back in the saddle, even if it is some forty-one days later. One of my plans for the rest of 2012 is to post six pieces to my blog every month. Just as last year, they will focus on my research and whatever else catches my eye. Books. Food. You name it.

Onward. 2012.


  1. Carolyn Hendry (Oliver)February 12, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Your blog is very informative and easily read. What a talent you have. Want to add that you have been of great assistance to all of us seeking our connection to the first William Oliver (pre 1700). Will continue to be in touch and again thanks.

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