I got up early-ish this morning, and waffled back and forth between going to the Sunday market and going to the Bait House, even for just a little while. The Bait House won out but not before toast with plum jam and Greek yogurt with honey, over a foo-foo magazine, with a cup of tea. I popped some cookies in the oven from the frozen dough in my freezer for the other volunteers and managed to make it to bus stop juuuust as the number 1 bus was pulling up.
It was a quiet day at the Bait House—when I first showed up there were lots of kids crowded around the touch tanks, but they thinned out considerably over the hour or so I was there. There’s a new adult octopus in the back tank and about a million gabillion little baby octopuses in the next tank over. The carpet shark population has thinned out a bit since the last time I was there, but there are still plenty of kawahai and crays and giant paua, in addition to the wandering anemones and duckbill limpets and kina that the kids love. I like to tell the parents “You’re raising up a scientist there!” if any kid is especially interested in what they see, especially if it’s a girl. One little curly head said to me, very seriously, “Can you teach me some more about some more things in here?”
I hopped on the bus and went directly to the supermarket near my house, all saltwatery and squinty in the sun. G met me there—he’d spent the night at a friend’s house after a party in Petone—and we did a relatively big shop, stocking up on bread and yogurt and tea and cheese and all the other little things that are nice to have at home, two re-useable bags’ worth. I put my laundry in the minute I got in and started a chicken stock with one of the carcasses in the freezer; I keep a special bag of garbage (carrot peelings, onion skins, celery fronds) for exactly this purpose, and it’s been one of the highlights of 2014. Bags of garbage that you boil in a pot!
I made a frittata with leftover roast vegetables and made my steel-cut oats for a week of breakfasts. As soon as my laundry was put to dry on the racks I baked a cake for my movie night while to a couple of my saved-up history podcasts—my bandmate is in town for the weekend and we are expecting more people than usual tonight, all of whom presumably like cake. I chopped the broccoli, sundried tomatoes, and olives for tonight’s pasta and did many many many dishes in my tiny sink in my tiny kitchen. I wouldn’t even know what to do with a dishwasher, now, I probably wouldn’t even remember to use it.
I have just finished a cup of tea and been reading a bit more of my foo-foo magazine as G strains the stock. In ten minutes I’m going to put dinner together and cut the cake for movie night; it’s a pretty big cake so I might be able to bring some to work tomorrow. All my regular bras are on the drying racks so I am wearing a wonky sports bra I got the last time I was in the US along with a camisole, a long-sleeve shirt that my mom got me from Target years ago, an old and frankly quite grody hoodie, fuzzy socks and my furry boots; I may change into regular shoes to walk the two blocks to movie night or I may not. I’m bringing all my nailpolishes too so we can paint our toenails as we fight about what to watch. Tomorrow I’ve got Pilates after work and I might have a go at mending all the holes in my pile of cheap merinos before catching up on Orphan Black.
I have nothing to report, I keep telling friends when we meet up for coffee or dinner or lunch. It’s a quiet year, a quiet time: a nine-to-five job, two duvets on the bed, lots of chicken soup. I’m not craving much change or excitement at the moment so I’m the opposite of bothered by it: I like being cozy and safe. Who knows what will happen next year or the year after that—my work is only until January, I have to go back to the States for at least a month and finally sell the house on the island, etc etc, on and on. At the moment I’m just happy to bake another cake and brew another cup of tea.