A little birdie once told me that life in retirement from full time work would be busier than I could have ever imagined. I simply smiled and nodded, secretly dreaming about the relaxed, if not altogether-lazy, lifestyle that Peter and I were so looking forward to. Six months into it I can unashamedly tell that you I'm eating humble pie on this one. Bizzy Lizzy is busier than ever!
It's quite interesting. The solid work ethic that has been with the both of us throughout our lives is still very much there, so we do look for structure in our days, to a degree. But it's at a far gentler pace. For me, there has been a little bit of crash and burn, physically, I mean. My body is still recovering from last year's illness and, truth be told, years of pushing through stress in all its forms. And it has taken me until the last fortnight or so to allow or force myself to sleep beyond 6am! Go figure, I know.
There's no sign of boredom on the horizon. Frankly, there's no time for that. As Peter says, 'we do stuff' now. We go to the gym and swimming pool, as regularly as possible. Then there's the cinema. We no longer have to wait in line, as there aren't too many folks who go to the movies mid morning! We can travel (near and far) on a whim, or simply take it easy and read a book all day long. Peter is engrossed in researching his family tree and has traced lines back to the Normans. He is meticulous in his research and I feel sure that the book he finally produces will be as accurate as can be. It's a wonderful retirement project for him.
Meanwhile, I've engaged in casual PR and marketing consultancy work, food-related, naturally. And I'm thoroughly enjoying it. In between jobs, I've been de-cluttering and re-organising the Blue House, as some of you who follow me on Facebook will have seen. Hopefully I've inspired you to do the same. I'm amazed at how much of 'everything' we have accumulated. Clothes, books, shoes, pantry items and kitchenware. We have loads of storage space, much of it groaning under the weight of 'things'. It's a slow but truly liberating process. Most recently, I re-arranged the white ware in my kitchen, freeing up space and storing dozens of items that are not used on a daily basis. I love white china and ceramics, evident by the stacks of it in my kitchen cupboards. Once upon a time I would scour op shops looking for more unusual pieces to add to the newer items in my collection. I thought it would be fun to showcase just a few of the pieces via an In My Kitchen post:
In my kitchen is my little mortar and pestle, handy for crushing or grinding everything from a few peppercorns to dried chillies or things like walnuts, when I don't feel like chopping them. It's also great for a small quantity of pesto.
In my kitchen are these very cute little chopstick rests, purchased for $1.00 at an op shop many years ago.
In my kitchen are these fluted ovenproof dishes, which can be used as soup bowls, deep pie plates or pudding bowls.
In my kitchen are these heart shaped moulds, about which In her book, Good Things (the name sake of this blog), author Jane Grigson wrote: 'Little white china hearts... make a good summer birthday present'. I use them for my couer a la creme.
In my kitchen are soufflé dishes in various sizes, perfect for baked puddings and pies too, including these chinchillas.
In my kitchen are these squared off bowls which can be used for salads and soups. Of course I have a dozen of them, as well as their 'Mother' which is a much larger version.
Also in my kitchen there are exquisite Meyer lemons, freshly picked from my pots. Oh, and a tiny white espresso cup.
My lovely friend, and fellow cook and food writer, Celia, hosts a round up every month, where food bloggers from around the world open the doors to the kitchens. Pop in to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and say hello! Happy cooking.
Tell me dear readers, what do you imagine yourself doing in retirement? What are your plans and what's on your bucket list? Perhaps you are already retired? How are you finding it? And do you happen to collect white ceramic ware?
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I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.