It is time to celebrate another festival, this time Shrove Tuesday. We have pancakes fairly often as a celebration breakfast and it is my husband, or sometimes my best friend, who wield whisk and frying pan. They both make delicious pancakes, of which I am an eager consumer, and so I have never had call to make batter before. Today, my husband will not be in from work in time to make the batter and let it stand, which he tells me he likes it to do, even though I noticed in the recipe it said quite clearly, in italics, that this batter did not need to stand. Never having been in charge of the batter before, I bow to his wisdom and preferred way and so I have just finished whisking eggs and flour and milk. All we await now is his genius with the frying pan. Usually Shrove Tuesday creeps up and surprises me, quite often we miss it altogether and I find myself tumbling in to Lent without thought and arrive at Easter unprepared. This year is different, largely due to my New Year's Intentions. Pancake Day is my selected festival for March and so figured earlier than usual in my planning. And this brought Lent to mind. I had one idea to mark Lent out as different (other than my usual fast from pickled beetroot, banana cake and chocolate oranges) but then I was asked to prepare a piece of writing for Holy Week and this seemed a good focus instead. I will put a little time aside daily to write and this will draw my thoughts, heart and soul towards the Easter story.
It also serves as a timely reminder to revisit my intentions and see how I'm doing.
Bookham 10k is done and Hastings Half-Marathon is in 12 days time. Training is going well and I got a personal best at my regular 5k the week before last so I'm feeling good. And I have completed 69 of these 5ks, creeping towards my goal of 100 and the prize of a black T-shirt. My mother-in-law received a hand-painted card last week and I have another upstairs ready for a birthday next week. Plans for the North Downs Way are ready to kick off on 3rd April and, of course, I am celebrating March's festival today.
Over my husband's half-term holiday and this weekend I was able to catch up with four girl-friends whom I have not seen much of in recent months. I put in future dates with a couple and am working on it with the other two. I am trying to be more mindful of these relationships and at least contact by text or e-mail more frequently, little stitches in the tapestry of relationship.
The crowning glory for me was meeting up with my first-cousin-once-removed last weekend. For those of you who don't have a handy little chart to look these things up on, a first-cousin-once-removed is a parent's cousin, in this case my dad's. He remembered me from my grandmother's funeral but I had no recollection of him. I remembered his dad well though, both from experience and family stories. We spent a pleasant hour or so talking of relatives, drinking tea and sharing photos. I was even invited to a family barbeque. I have found it deeply grounding and surprisingly emotional to discover and meet my cousins and aunt and uncle in thes last couple of years, people I didn't know existed, to learn more family history from my maternal uncle and to begin to see my place in a complex web of human beings, and that I am not just the product of my nuclear family.
All in all, I think it's going pretty well.