Well, it has been a while since I wrote a post on here. The long job is still on-going and long. No surprises there. But, the project is on track and progress is being made. It has dawned on me how multi-faceted this journey has become. It started as a blog on ale, and ale does remain the central theme, however it has become something much more.
Income is slowly starting to roll in. I am busy with a good variety of jobs, some of which I hope to continue in the very long term. One is a bit random, but that is fine. The journey is full of twists and turns and I am embracing them all. I continue to be grateful of the kindness of others and mindful of what I am doing and the experiences that they bring. My life is very much still in technicolour, though I am occasionally plagued by moments of grey, I am aware of these and mindful to not let them de-rail my journey. I let them pass into my awareness, examine them, be kind to myself and let them go.
The anti-mosquito garden plants are still establishing themselves and there has only been one casualty, a Rose-scented Geranium. It basically got a heavy beating in a typhoon. RIP. The mosquito menace has sub-sided, but I can’t start jumping up and down with glee and claim it is all down to my cunning use of plants just yet. The weather has got colder and this could account for the recent absence of this airborne menace. All the same, the winged irritants were not in evidence last night and this brings me onto my second area of progress. The brick built BBQ!
Here we have had real progress. The BBQ got it’s first test-run last night, un-assisted by firelighters, fluids and other chemical-based nasties. It did take a while to get going, but golly did it cook! Ouch! Fingers were sizzled and meat was cremated. Only a slice of tin foil was discarded and even most of the charcoal will be used again.
The use of the BBQ was also spiritually significant since it is the end of Samhain (the end of summer/harvest festival which pre-dates All-Hallows Eve). The fire, feasting and consumption of beer was a basically a good-bye to the sunny days of summer and a welcome to the colder and darker days to come. I had already made my beer-sacrifice a few days earlier at the start of the festival. I should also note that I am currently exploring a twist in my spiritual journey and re-examining my Christian roots. Could I actually be a Christian, perhaps a Celtic Christian? The jury is out and my exploration is on-going. Anyway, the BBQ has been tested and with spiritual significance. Perfect.
The vegetable plot is up and running. It is producing it’s bounty of Japanese rocket leaves, Komatsuna and spring onions. Spinach, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, mooli, peas, beans and more spring onions are also taking shape. I am in the process of erecting a wall of coffee grounds around the cabbages to prevent the inevitable onslaught of our slimy ever-present enemy, the slug. Again, this barricade is an experiment. I will up-date the results of this in time.
My favoured weapon of audial assault, the fiddle, is still making strange noises at the behest of my digits. These sounds are gradually resembling the jigs, reels and hornpipes that I enjoyed playing on the banjo and mandolin. I would say that they are almost half-recognisable. Not bad going. Still some way to go, but that is ok, we are in this for the long run.
So, “what about actually brewing beer?” I hear you ask. Actually, there is news there too. I will be going back the motherland in February (to get my beloved hound, another story) and will be able to pick-up the kit then. I should also be able to fund a couple of brews by then too. Hopefully, this will by then be an on-going thing, with two brews a month, so that I can keep myself a steady supply of increasingly tasty ale (we live in hope, and as you probably know by now, I am one of life’s optimists). I reckon I should be able to start tasting the fruit of my brewing-labours in March.
As you can see, I am further into the journey and enjoying it. It is heartening to see the progress since September and I am still confident that I will soon be brewing my own ale. Actually brewing ale will present a long-awaited bend in the road of this long journey. I look forward to travelling further down this road and tasting the experiences that it brings.