Coming Home - the end of the holidays and a green bean soup to comfort my Autumn cravings
Well, hello there! Long time, no see! If you're reading this post, it must mean I'm back from my holidays. And what holidays! This year, August has been really good, weather wise. The place we Summer at is always a bit chillier, a bit windy and foggy and misty, the waters are really cold, and the beach is not always the most inviting place in the whole world. But not this year. This year we lucked out, on that department. This year being at the beach was a joy, and I got so much rest there! Just lazying about, taking strolls by the water, breathing in that salty air and getting tanned and blond with the sun. It was heavenly. And I needed it so much more than I had even figured it out. Just allowing my mind to roam free, forgetting responsibilities and the same mind processes of old, I was able to come up with fresh new views and ideas, I was able to solve some writting glitches and resolve some narrative conflits I had had hovering about my mind.
It didn't start quite as heavenly as you might think, though. On our first day there, as we headed to Caldas da Rainha, we stopped at a crossroads and checked before we entered the main road, as everyone driving a car should do. The driver on the vehicle right behind us did not realize we had stopped, and he drove his car smack into ours. No one was hurt, except for the cars. But the second I looked at my son's face - my immediate reaction was to check on him - and saw how pale he was, even his lips had blanched, my heart stopped and I wanted to cry so hard. He had a bad scare, but it didn't last long. Mine did, though. I felt like the holidays were already ruined, but fought hard against that mindset and decided I was going to make the most of our three weeks and enjoy myself. Despite everything else. Oh, if every problem in my life was a piece broken out of a car...
So yeah, I took full advantage of the amazing weather and made the most of our days. There were days so hot you could only manage if you went into the water. There were days when I nearly fell asleep at the beach, that's how relaxed I was. There were barbecues and salads and crusty bread and yogurt dips every night. There were walks by the sea watching the sunset in all it's glory. There were trips to the market and bike rides and games and there was even the getting of my son hooked on Poirot! There were books to be read, and books to be written, and edited, and scanned through. There was a lot of good stuff, the best of times. I usually feel guilty at feeling happy, so I tend to restrain those feelings, I tend to tell myself to tone down on the happiness because I have so many people around who, sadly, are not in happy places in their lives. But not this time. I let the happy feels sink in. Even if I felt I did not deserve to be so blessed, and happy, and lucky.
There was a lot of resting being done, alright, this year there was no rushing around trying to fit in a million plans and a million things into our days, perhaps because we went for a longer stay. So there was a lot of early afternoons doing nothing but lazying around at home, son and dad playing a game on the laptop where they were chefs in a restaurant - don't ask! - and mom doing some research, some writting, some editing. I managed to quite reverse the mess I got myself into when I lost my files , I managed to re-write most of the chapters I had written and although some parts of it are quite different from my first version, there are things that came out better than the previous entries. Glad for that, as at some point I was telling a certain character's life story and was not happy with it all, so I changed everything except for the birthplace, and now sounds a lot better! I also did a re-reading of Book One of my upcoming series and did some tweaks about it, but I still have to work on it a bit more. I hope I get it all ready to be published - Kindle version, of course - by late November, early December. So there was a lot of good stuff done this vacation.
And because we always stock up with a trip to the market before we come back home, I usually find myself cooking comforting soups once we return, and so it turns out that my first post of the rentrée is to be... a soup!! Yes, I am already crazy for Autumn to come round, so I cook soups if only to console my comfort cravings. Green bean soup is a major classic in our home and a super easy one, too, all you need is:
- Six large-ish potatoes
- 3 large-ish carrots
- 250 gr green beans, sliced thinly
- 1 litre good homemade stock - either chicken or vegetable
- one large onion
- one courgette
- one turnip