Simple pleasures.

Home made pesto in iceblock trays, ready for the freezer.

Life has been gently sliding by in a very relaxed rhythm. This early retirement thing has so far been very good to me. I’m reading lots of books, taking cheeky naps whenever I feel like it and generally living a very (quietly) hedonistic life.

I’ve been making many batches of pesto and putting them in the freezer. I bought a punnet of basil seedlings from Bunnings last year and wouldn’t you know it? Nearly every seedling I scattered around the garden has grown. I just love the smell of basil so harvesting the leaves and producing pesto isn’t exactly a chore. Instead of pine nuts I’m using almonds. The last couple of times I went to Costco I forgot that I already had a huge bag of almonds at home and so I bought one more. Now, making this pesto is helping me to use them up.

Also, did you know that keeping almonds in the freezer means that they always taste beautifully fresh? I love my freezers.

Path down to our backyard beach.

This is the view we get most mornings when we go down to our Backyard Beach. It’s a lovely way to start the day and the dogs can’t believe their luck that we’re doing this so often.

I thought for sure that I’d have all of the outside painting done by now but my body seems to have decided that it wants a slower pace, so I haven’t been ‘in the zone’ to get major jobs done around here. I’ve finished my 25th book for 2021 and puddled around the garden doing bits and pieces and I guess that’s ok. After all, I have all the time in the world to get things done. I wrote a post on the other blog about my first month of real retirement called ‘Retirement seems so natural‘ and I included a list of the best books I’ve read so far this year. I’ll include that list at the bottom of this post. Thank goodness for copy and paste!

Remember how I planted what I thought were pumpkin seeds in 3 large pots and placed them under the baby trees in my orchard to let the vines ramble? They’ve run amok, turning into zucchinis and a cross between pumpkins and zucchinis. I guess I planted them too close together last year! I gave a zucchini the size of a 3 month old baby to my neighbours and then a couple of days later I found a plastic bag full of home-grown potatoes hanging over the side fence.

They went nicely with a roast and our home-grown red cabbage.

I think I first read about wicking boxes on foodnstuff’s blog. These strawberries have been in this box for years and they still happily produce each year. I was resigned to the fact that they were for Jeffrey, because he keeps stealing them, but look at these beauties!

Well, it’s 1:30 pm on a Sunday. I need to go and do a few things around the place, but as promised, I’ll leave you with these Thumping Good Reads.

Some of the books I’ve read so far this year:

  • ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ – Tevis. This one was so beautifully written – I kept putting it down after each chapter just to savour the writing. Jack29 gave me this for Christmas so I read it before I watched the tv show. Both were excellent.
  • Wife After Wife’ – Hayfield. This one was quite clever – a re-telling of Henry VIII and his wives – but set in the present day. I’m a huge Tudor history fan, so this was right up my alley.
  • Find You First‘ – Barclay. Stephen King tweeted that this book “Blew my mind” so I was curious to read it. Couldn’t put it down.
  • The Thursday Murder Club‘ – Osman. This was another gift from Jack29 and so far, he’s nailing it with the book choices! This is a gently funny, very original and very English murder mystery tale. I’m already hanging out for the next in the series.
  • ‘Olive, Mabel and Me; Life and Adventures with 2 very good dogs’ – Cotter. Those of you who have seen the videos that Andrew Cotter, a Scottish sports commentator, made with his dogs during the lockdowns will know Olive and Mabel. This is one book I had to have – it was one of the books I bought with the book voucher my friends at work gave me. I’ll include a clip at the end.

No financial books? That’s right. These books are the best of the ones I’ve tackled so far this year and let’s face it – life isn’t all about money. Nothing’s better than curling up with a good novel.

6 thoughts on “Simple pleasures.

  1. Isn’t it amazing how you slip into idleness, achieving some things each day but not a lot and the days just slip by. You reminisce in your mind about you found time to do things and go to work. It becomes unimaginable. Ok, that is my life of retirement.

    • Next year I’m going to splash out and get a big bag of pine nuts from Costco. But this year? I was knee-deep in almonds and I couldn’t justify buying pine nuts when I had so many perfectly good almonds to use.

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