I tend to drive according to rules. If a sign says 60, I slow down to 60; if a sign says 100, I won't go over 100; if I pass a school during drop-off/pick-up times, I slow down to 40.
Except, I seem to stand out whilst doing that. Several times a week I drive past a school at about 8:50 in the morning and, like clockwork!, when I slow down to 40 - like the sign says - I instantly gather a following of cars behind me. And I am not dumb: if I am going 40 in a 40 zone and there are cars catching up with me whilst I am doing 40, they must be doing more than that.
Or on a highway near where I live: recently a new speed zone was introduced bringing the top speed down to 60 and several times I've been honked at. Like... what!?! I drive the speed limit and I get honked at?!?
And so this morning I watched with glee - with pure, unadulterated joy - how in that school zone where I regularly pick up a following of cars who do not abide by school zone speed limit, a policeman was operating. He was measuring speed, and ticketing people who were over the limit. And, quite expectedly, where he had a line of cars pulled over, there were two SUVs and one fairly new Honda.
And I was, like, suck it up, bastards!
Because darn I am tired of feeling like an a$$hole when I am the one who slows down near schools and they honk at me for doing it.
A few days ago I got to talk to an Estonian lady about what it means to me to be living in New Zealand as an Estonian, and it got me thinking.
For example: she described with a kind of disappointment the mouldy tomatoes sold in her local shop in Estonia and it got me thinking that I would actually like to eat food that... spoils. Not spoiled food - but food that spoils. Food that's capable of spoiling.
Compared to what I grew up with in Estonia, here fruit and vegetables take a long time to go off. Having worked on several farms whilst backpacking and having seen the amount of spraying (herbicides, pesticides etc) that goes on, I am not surprised that it does, but... still. Talking to that lady reminded me of it.
I know organic produce is available, even in Christchurch, and I know I could get hold of it fairly easily, but I know the price tag involved. My family goes through such an obscene amount of fruit and veggies each week - in part due to these two monsters ;)...
... that we have made a conscious decision to eat large amounts of treated food, rather than small amounts of organic food, and it's a decision I stand by.
Frances Mayes wrote in a book called Under the Tuscan Sun,
"At home I plan a menu ahead, though I frequently improvise as I shop. Here, I only begin to think when I see what's ripe this week. My impulse is to overload; I forget there are not then hungry people at home. At first I was miffed when tomatoes or peas had spoiled when I got around to cooking them a few days later. Finally I caught on that what you buy today is ready - picked or dug this morning at its peak. This also explained another puzzle; I never understood why Italian refrigerators are so minute until I realised that they don't store food the way we do. The Sub-Zero giant I have at home begins to seem almost institutional compared to the toy fridge I now have here."
Which is one of the reasons I cherish homegrown food so much. There's not much - we work with what we've got - but still.
In the backyard we have a nectarine tree which is in bloom right now and if the weather holds, we may have an abundant crop of nectarines again come late summer.
Along the fenceline where there is a strip of exposed soil, garlic grows.
By the bedroom window a lemon tree has been providing us with lemons all winter long. It is sheltered from the wind where it grows, and red brick wall captures heat during the day which protects the tree from frost.
We are doing well.
It's been five days now since The Kid's legs have gone into bilateral casts and though Monday was a bit rough with the first set of casts not working well - which then led us to a late evening hospital visit where casts were taken off and another set were put on - it is now quite well-rehearsed the way we go about our days.
The Kid is a trooper. Honestly, I thought there were going to be so many more restrictions on what he could do and couldn't do, and instead I have found that it actually quite... works. The way it's done.
I may write a separate post about why the casts were put on and what we have done to accommodate the change (including a pretty cool piece of clothing I made which has allowed The Kid to use the sandpit!!!), but for now I'll just say that: we're doing well.
And by the way: The Girlie's walking :).