There is something rather elicit about a long weekend created by a public holiday. It feels so much more of a gift of an extra day off work than those long weekends created from your holiday entitlement. Not that I get paid holidays of course, self employment doesn’t quite have that perk. Technically speaking I have a long weekend every week but the work ethic in me maintains those days for domestic labour so weekends still have a special place in the calendar and I can still generate those luxurious feelings a weekend generates.
Like Easter weekend in the northern hemisphere, Labour Weekend in New Zealand is a watershed moment in a gardeners diary. Traditionally time to flock to the garden centre and stock up on annuals, vegetables and lug bags of compost home with dreams of what the growing season will bring. Now I am growing much of my vegetables and annual flowers from seed I can skip the crowds and make better use of the time in the garden itself. Or I would be if it was pounding with rain and blowing a gale again. Still, there are plenty of seedlings to pot on under cover and hope that tomorrow I will actually be able to plant out my peas, beans and gourmet spuds. I fear my new bed building project will be delayed for another week.
I didn’t grow broad beans through the winter this year but we still have a plethora of spring vegetables from the garden on the table. Last night I harvested artichokes, leeks, asparagus and celery much of which were made it into a tasty bouillabaisse or if you prefer, fish stew. I am hatching a plan to bake bread tomorrow which requires copious amounts of egg whites so naturally I shall use the egg yolks for a rich hollandaise sauce to pair with the fresh artichokes. I may or may not also trial a no sugar ice cream to celebrate the long weekend.
Talking of things to celebrate, I heard this week that I have been accepted for a place on the Le Cordon Bleu Master of Gastronomic Tourism. When I say accepted, what I really mean is that they verified that my BA (Hons) and MBA weren’t fake and are now ready to take my fees. So from mid January weekends will no doubt include lots of studying but this is one Masters Degree I am going to relish from a purely personal point of view even if I am hatching plans for the longer term to shift my own professional work into a new space. What that means fully I’m not quite sure. I have ideas, some a little crazy, but grounded in soul searching and long conversations with myself about how I see life panning out. No doubt that this is all part of a seven-year itch since it was a little more that seven years ago that we made plans to shift to New Zealand and now having made that leap it’s the way of nature that I should start another cycle of life adventure.
For a while I toyed with the idea of studying at the Le Cordon Bleu here in Wellington and had fantasies about opening a bakery that specialised in vegetable cakes and breads. And maybe one day I will when we have completed grounded our wheat free, low carb, no sugar dietery regime. In the meantime, I am living the experience vicariously though my friend Heather who has just started and is writing about her experiences and taking lessons on making such choices from others such as the lovely Emma who writes at Poire Au Chocolate. To some extent I am going full circle in my formal higher education since my first degree was in Leisure Studies although back in the early 1980’s I was fixated on sport instead of food.
The course I’ll be studying is delivered on-line and I’m no stranger to the lonely life of self study having completed my MBA with the Open University in the UK. No doubt the experience will be different as the advances of technology makes collaboration and the multi-media experience so much easier through the Internet.
There is something very potent about making life changing decisions. I see it happen all the time in my work as a leadership coach and it gives me courage to make choices that I might otherwise I’d find hard to make. Slowly but surely my personal and professional interests are coming closer together and I’m excited about the prospects ahead.