Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a country far far away ...

... I spent some time living on the edge of a desert during a prolonged drought.  Day after day after day dawned with blue skies and perpetual sunshine. It never rained, not even a little bit. You might find this hard to believe, but ongoing, unbroken blue skies and a complete dearth of rain become very dispiriting and rather boring. And if you rely on lake, river and rain water for your supplies, a complete lack of rain also gets quite worrying.  I kept the garden alive by putting the washing water from the washing machine on to it.  Rinsing water became the next cycle's washing water. We became very creative and resourceful in our use of water.

Then, one day, the drought broke.  I remember very vividly when it started to rain.  I happened to be out in the depths of the countryside visiting someone and remember quite clearly turning round and looking for the idiot who had put a sprinkler on their garden.  Austin, on the other hand, who must have been only two or three, had screaming hysterics because he, of course, had no memory of ever having felt water falling out of the sky before.

I vowed and declared that I would remember this experience and that I would remain perpetually grateful for the gift of water. In short, that I wouldn't ever complain about the rain again.

And by and large I don't complain much about the weather, if for no other reason than that there is absolutely nothing that I can do about it so it is a complete waste of time and breath complaining about it.

But really, dear Weather Dogs - this is ridiculous.  It hasn't stopped raining for months and months and months and months.  Months, I tell you. It started raining in something like April 2012 and hasn't properly stopped since. And when it isn't raining it's just dismal.  And when it's neither raining nor dismal - it's bloody snowing.  Enough already.  Or I might need to emigrate.  Again :-S

They were forecasting heavy snow for Sunday so on Saturday we hit the supermarket for supplies, making sure we had plenty of bread and milk and wine, and generally preparing ourselves for bad weather coming.  And we woke up on Sunday to find that - oh look: it was raining!! Persistently and dismally and drearily.  No snow. It was also the Chinese New Year (Welcome, again, Year of the Snake - who we had previously welcomed in a temple in Gifu at the beginning of January).  Snakes like warm sunny weather. Maybe we could swap the Weather Dogs for Weather Snakes?

I decided that we would celebrate the Chinese New Year, even though we don't usually.  So for an entree for our Sunday lunch  I prepared home made gyoza in the way Kaori had shown me but using home made gyoza wrappers. We had Chinese style poached chicken for the main course, reserving the poaching liquor for chicken noodle soup during the week.  We had remarkably non-Oriental chocolate and black currant brownies for dessert.  It was all extremely delicious.

And it remained wet and dismal and dreary outside. But we didn't care for we were warm and well fed and well wined inside.

We woke up on Monday morning to find that the promised snow had materialised overnight.  Fortunately there wasn't too much of it and The Builder was able to take me to the station to go to work. And equally fortunately it was only short lived so there is no snow lying about today. Which means, I hope, that my Japanese class will go ahead this evening.  If it does it will be the second class (out of five) that I have made it to so far this year. (Two classes cancelled and one I missed when I had flu.) My Japanese fluency is never going to get going if classes keep be cancelled :-S

But my gyoza are proving to be quite tasty!

Welcome to the Year of the Snake (again!)



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