Everybody is hoping and praying for rain. Decent widespread rain. Falling in the places that need it. Not just in the city and coastal areas.
I've been having strange apocalyptic dreams. I wake in fear, afraid to get out of bed and go out back to the toilet. And when I do, I startle the fruit bat who comes to eat the plums in the middle of the night. In my half dreaming state, the flapping of her wings sounds much more ominous than it is. So I'm not sleeping well, and I have Christmas organising to do, preparations to make, shopping, the Christmas tree to assemble and trees full of fruit ready to be made into jam. I am hovering on the edge of anxiety, alternating between bursts of frenetic activity and inability to do anything at all. Except fret and worry about it all. So today I wrote a big list. What gets done, gets done. What doesn't, doesn't.
The plum tree has ripened early this year. Normally I make jam after Christmas. We finished the last of the homemade jam from 2002 earlier this year, so I was very keen to make some this summer and have some to give away. Mum came over yesterday and gave me a hand. We chatted as we stoned the fruit and she held Grace, who watched fascinated, while it was boiling. A breeze sprang up and cleared the haze away. Anxiety about whether this was making the fires worse aside, it was very pleasant to see the sky. Needless to say, I am very proud of my deep red, glowing jam (recipe and pictures here). I had some this morning and it is a beautiful light red, and quite sour. I like it that way, but I think I'll make some more in a week or two when more of the fruit is ripe.
The theme for self portrait challenge this month is red. You can see lots of red, in all its beauty and glory, here.