Changes of plans

No, of course the day didn’t work out as planned. It doesn’t, does it? No matter, it’ll all work out.

And a young woman, on University Challenge, just said that she is studying for a PHD in ‘Excessive Motivation’. Paxo’s face was a picture, and Ro and I fell about.

I had forgotten that the Sage had to pick up three lambs from the local abattoir. These lambs were born on one of our fields this spring and lived there all their young lives. Now, we will eat one and a half of them. A local butcher, in return for the other one and a half at a favourable price, butchered ours.

I had assumed the bits would arrive, all bagged up. But the Sage rang, asking if it would be better to decide for ourselves how they should be frozen. Fair enough. Last year, we cut them up ourselves. I don’t object to this, feeling it is a worthwhile thing to do, to acknowledge one is prepared to eat an actual animal, rather than buy anonymous bits of meat that one can feel disengaged from. But it’s hard work.

Anyway, it didn’t take all that long. But the deal with the butcher had not involved the offal, and by the time I had thinly sliced three livers, I felt a little queasy. And later, I filleted three mackerel, which I didn’t enjoy all that much either.

So not much of the china has been unpacked and labelled. However, I will be out all morning at a meeting (the one I posted the agenda of last week) and then straight back to the shop, as Al and family are all going to the dentist in the afternoon, so the Sage will have plenty of time on his own to get on with it.

My sister rang this evening. She was a bit astonished. I can’t say much, for reasons of discretion (yes, me, really, I can do discreet), but from next Monday she will have a new office manager and, unexpectedly, be without a key member of staff. She wondered if she was overreacting, in being somewhat shocked. I didn’t think she was and we had a long, encouraging talk.

She remembered that, some ten years ago, a similarly key member of staff had been found with her hand in the petty cash box and summarily dismissed (nothing like that this time, no stains on any characters). She and the (now being promoted) manager had coped, even though Wink’s husband had recently been diagnosed with leukaemia and was not well and it was a very busy and difficult time.

We agreed, we are copers. We cope so well that we don’t realise that we are coping. Later, I asked the Sage if I had been rather odd five years ago, when there were various things going on that, I now realise, might have made me a bit manic. I know my children were concerned. I know that people tended to just say ‘Yes, ZoĆ«, anything you say”. I know I coped. But I might have been a bit odd.

The Sage hadn’t noticed anything unusual at all.

10 comments on “Changes of plans

  1. luckyzmom

    When I was quite young I helped wrap up butchered meat at a neighbors; beef, pork or chickens they had raised; deer, elk or moose they had hunted. It was for me, like a party. I don’t suppose you saw it like that?

  2. mike

    “Excessive motivation”. So, she DID say that, and our ears weren’t playing tricks on us… well, that’s good to know!

    I did quite well on the earlier questions, but I think we all floundered towards the end, on both sides of the screen.

  3. mike

    I think she was on the losing side. The team with the nice looking chap in the tight black T-shirt and the captain who kept losing 5 points for bad interruptions won.

  4. The Boy

    Excessive motivation, that ranks up there with the chap I met who was doing a PhD in transcendental media. It was a rather baffeling, but quite interesting conversation.

    Yes, filleting fish is not one of the more pleasent chores, but better to do it ahead and eat the fish hot, than after as it cools while you cut.

  5. Z

    Oh Mike, I do appreciate you.

    Boy, I grew up in Lowestoft eating herrings and I’m happy to debone at the table, however approximately (the little bones are a little tickly, but not as tickly as shrimp legs). Ro is somewhat more fussy and sighs deeply when confronted by a whole fish, so I usually fillet them before or after cooking.


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