Welcome to Life, Inspired — The Weekend Review. This is the weekly column where I take a step back from the recipes so you can have a wider look at what’s been inspiring me, moving me, or just catching my fancy out there in the life beyond my kitchen.
What can I say? To be honest, I’m glad to see the departure of January. Last month brought an incredible array of highs and stress. It was filled with the worry, joy and exhaustion that any mother whose own children have difficult birth experiences knows.
While my third granddaughter, Miss Baby M, arrived more or less on time, on January 5, some issues meant that I stayed at my daughter’s home for a week to help out with the other girls and the household. I returned home to a major editing deadline for a new client and a hellacious cold. Just when that was behind me and I thought I could both relax and tackle my languishing to-do list, my fourth granddaughter was born, almost four weeks early, on January 19 after 24 hours and much medical drama. What makes for good TV makes for a harrowing life experience.
Baby H spent 10 days in the neonatal intensive care unit and my mission was to support her parents, in particular my daughter who stayed at the hospital almost 24 hours a day. I ran errands, delivered meals and provided as much emotional support as I could. Last Wednesday was a happy day, with Baby’s arrival home.
As these things go, immediately after this happy resolution I had to deal with another looming writing deadline, which I met in the wee hours of last night, just in the proverbial nick of time.
I’m pleased to report that both babies are thriving and my daughters are doing well, too. My reward for all this is drop-by cuddle calls and the sweet experience of witnessing the early days of new lives. I’m profoundly grateful for the joy and happy outcomes that January brought, and am fortunate to be at a place in my life where I’m free to spend time supporting my family, whether in the crisis moments or just the little things that make day-to-day life easier.
All that said, I’m happy to welcome February, with its promise of being “just” a normal month, perhaps with the opportunity to catch up on my sleep, let alone that to-do list.
While I haven’t gotten out for any walks lately that I would consider exercise, and I’m not sure I remember the way to the gym, I did spend some time strolling about Wortley Village in the last couple of days, taking photos for the destination piece I just published (see the Weekly Recap, below). The village is a funky blend of both vintage and new-age sensibilities, and is truly a pedestrian-friendly community. It’s possible to live here and meet all your needs without having a car (not that I plan to do that). I’ll continue to showcase the village in this space over time. Today’s photo is of the Village Harvest Bakery.
Spreading the Blogging Love
On January 21 I had the pleasure of delivering a presentation about food blogging to students members of the Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals at Brescia University College here in London. It was an invigorating experience to talk about something I love doing with a group of engaged participants. There were 25 people present, and we had a good question and answer session following the presentation. Some of them have been in touch to say that I inspired them in respect to their own blogs, which is very satisfying to hear!
You could call my first post this past week a January cliche, or you could just call it delicious and accept that it also happens to be highly nutritious. I call it a curried chickpea bowl with spiced cashew sour cream. I also published something new for me, a destination post exploring Wortley Village and some of its food scene. Who says you have to go far to do travel writing? Not that I wouldn’t mind. This piece is my submission to a contest called “Blog Your Way to Kelowna in 2015!”. The prize is travel, accommodation and fees for the Okanagan Food and Wine Writers’ Workshop in September. I’ll know March 1 if my article has made the long list.