As far as I am concerned, my plans extend till March. Rather my only plan is to finish the manuscript by March. Though Partner would like me to think in terms of a 10-year plan -- "Where do you see yourself in 10 years" he asked the other day -- I have a huge problem doing that. Even hypothetical 10-year-planning is kind of impossible for me. So far whenever I have planned, I've had things going belly-up on me. In fact each time I plan, life and the situation goes so, so against the plans and often in ways that I couldn't have even imagined, I am bloody scared of long-term planning. Short term it is for me. The current short-term for me is the Christmas break. Here's my plan(s) for the holidays:
1. If it's hot, go for a swim in the ocean.
2. Buy new bras. (again)
3. Get a massage.
4. Give myself a manicure.
I haven't read in ages. Actually I read some a couple of months back -- The Help was in that list -- but somehow it feels like its been a while. Got hold of some new and old books that I intend to finish in the coming 10 days. Here's my holiday reading list:
1. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez: I used to own a copy, till I made the mistake of lending it to Partner. This was when we had started dating and he hadn't yet become Partner. The book had been a gift from a fun French guy I knew (and dated for a bit). It had a lovely message from him on the front page. Partner borrowed it to read on his flight back home. That was the last I saw of the book. When asked what happened to the book, Partner said he threw it.
2. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, Marina Lewycka: My mother-in-law's recommendation and her book as well. "Extremely funny" according to The Times and "Outstanding" according to the Daily Mail. "Mad and hilarious" adds the Daily Telegraph. Neither the name of the book nor the design is anything that would have made me pick it up at a bookstore. But mum (Ma is my mother, mum is mother-in-law) and I have a somewhat similar reading taste. So I think I will like this one. I am also forever open to reading something different, good and someone new. Can't wait to read it.
3. The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger: Recommended by Happy's (not real name) mum from my mothers' group, her book as well. It was quite nice to walk back from the doctor and find the book sitting at my doorstep. Happy's mum had some interesting things to say about the book, let's see how I go with it.
This bit is being written today, if you are reading this, it has obviously been uploaded. Baby should be waking up soon, let's do this fast: Tomorrow we head off to Torquay. I love that place. It's close to Melbourne for a quick drive yet always gives me the feeling of going on a holiday. And god knows I need a holiday. Partner needs it even more than I do.
Maybe it's because I've had a late initiation into the whole Christmas-craziness thing, but I'm absolutely loving it. Perhaps also because I've not had years of having to wonder "So what do I buy for gifts this time?" The cake in the picture is one of the cake's I'm taking; perhaps we'll have it for Christmas-night dinner. It's a chocolate cake with buttercream icing and alternate layers of strawberries and raspberries. Tomorrow it will get a layer of sinfully-delicious ganache on it. My Christmas gifts are also handmade but I cannot tell you right now because I don't want the family to know yet. If I can manage the time (and Mia), I intend to take a hummingbird cake and some home-baked white bread as well. I made the bread the other day and Partner said it was fantastic.
This Christmas is also special because it's going to be Mia's first. Next year I might put up a tree as well. It's funny how as a kid (and watching 'foreign') movies I'd wondered why we didn't put up a tree. I used to hang a stocking next to my bed as well. That was before I began to realise the whole "I'm a Hindu" and "Christmas is for Christians" differentiation. And that despite Hollywood movies saying Santa Claus has a gift for every child in the world, the "every" meant only Christian kids. What was really, really nice though was that Ma never stopped me from putting up that stocking. I don't recall her ever telling me the Hindu-Christian difference either. I probably picked that up at school.
I am looking forward to the week ahead. To be amid family, all of whom are mad in varying degrees. Of course that includes me; one of the reasons we all get along so well. It's my third new year in Australia and I am absolutely loving being surrounded by people I love. Since I started living away from my parents (2000), I've spent far too many new years either heart-broken and lonely or out of my wits with alcohol and other assorted intoxicants. I am not sorry if some of you out there don't like that fact. I got an email the other day, as usual from someone anonymous. About how they were a fan of Emancipation of Eve but how they won't be reading anymore because now I "only write about my white Partner and life abroad". I am sorry that you are upset that I am happy. But I'd rather have you upset and me happy than the other way round.
For 2011 I wish to do the following:
1. Finish The Book.
2. Start an exercise regime, even if it means going for a 30-minute walk with Mia in the pram.
3. Start my stretching exercises for the back before I get bed-ridden.
4. Stop all carbonated drinks and shut my eyes even if I see a poster for Coke.
5. Try not to eat the left-over icing from various cakes.
6. Bake more and try baking stuff that's original. How bad can mixing butter, flour and eggs in different proportions be?
7. Have LOTS of sex. Avoid babies. As in having anymore!
8. Drink at least 5 glasses of water everyday, take it up to 8. Most days I only manage two, I am horrible.
9. Start swimming. Take Mia swimming as well.
10. EARN MONEY IN SOME WAY. OR THE OTHER.
11. Read at least one good book a month.
12. Try all the recipes from at least one of the cook books I own.
13. Quit smoking. (No comments on that one people.)
I think I heard Mia babbling. That means she's had a good sleep. I LOVE it each time she wakes up. When I go next to her cot, she looks right into my eyes and flashes the mostamazinglybrilliant grin at me. Then she stretches her arms and does this jittery-dancy-thing, which means she is very happy to see me. Seriously, I don't think anyone has ever been as happy to see me. And I don't even have to get naked for her. Or wax. I love her totally, completely, absolutely. She's my baby girl.
See you in the new year folks. Have a good one. Be happy. If you can't, get drunk. Tequila's always good. Hugs and all.