Friday, 28 February 2014

Freedom Tastes Like Blueberries

I've been waking up early lately. It's quite strange. One of the positive points of having my break was that I would no longer have to be up at the crack of dawn everyday. Now that this obligation has been lifted, I've turned into an early riser. The mind boggles.

I haven't been this productive before noon since I was in primary school. This has resulted in some amusing events of late. For example, I've taken back up running. I look like I'm having an epileptic fit when I'm doing it, but it is a truth universally acknowledged that nobody looks attractive when running, so I've made my peace with that.

So there I am, full of the joys of Spring, clad in my newly bought running paraphernalia, raring to go. The puppy, not so much.

                                                            Coco, the terror of Coolock

Yes, he is impossibly adorable. He's a miniature cross between a King Charles and a Jack Russell. Or at least, he's meant to be a miniature. He has grown exponentially since  we adopted him (see, this Jewish thing of over-feeding even extends to the dog). Thinking of his heart rather than his happiness, I put on his jumper (yeah, a jumper, as if he wasn't cute enough) and haul him out into the beautiful morning.

I start off walking briskly. The dog is having none of it. He literally parks his arse down while I persevere onward. I didn't need to imagine how this looked as I was greeted with our reflection in a shop window; Me, clad in Lycra, massive sunglasses and big headphones looking like a massive twat, dragging this grumpy, small(ish) dog behind me in a pastel blue jumper (not my choosing) who was working the puppy dog eyes to the height. I could hear the thoughts of passerby's "Ah would ye look, he's only a tiny thing and she's trying to run with him!"

 I glared at the dog; I know the amount of food he puts away on a daily basis. It's only a matter of time before I have to clean between the crevices of his skin due to weight gain. "I'm doing this for your own good" I tell him, mildly disturbed that I sound like my Mum.

Eventually, he becomes an active participant in this adventure, in so much as he obliges me when we're walking. When I break into a run, it becomes a battle of me dragging the dog behind me while also trying to fight against gale force winds. It takes a whole day before he forgives me.

Along with appearing like a heartless git, I've been doing other things with my free time. After picking up some fresh blueberries, I made blueberry and lavender ice cream for my family and the boyfriend's family (who I'm meeting for the first time on Sunday) and also a bluberry clafoutis.

It is a thing of beauty. The rich crust on top, melding with the sharpness of the berries rising up from beneath and balanced off with vanilla and sugar. I love baking and as I stirred the ingredients together, savoring the joy of the task, I realise this is the first moment in months that I have had the time and energy to do this. It's wonderful.

I'm slightly giddy each day at the option of choices stretching out before me. I can spend hours working on my novel, I can bake, I can read books until my hearts content, I can spend time with the people I love.

Today, I am seeing my other half, Kell Bells. I have a surprise for her and a fun experience for us both planned. It involves hair chalk and cake. My spirit is lighter than it has been since I was a child. I used to be afraid of the unknown, of not having my life mapped out. Now it excites me. I feel as if I am living and am discovering myself along the way. I am free.

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