The Grand Plan and the Grand Easter Lamb

When you wake up on a Sunday and for the first time after a year or so you have nothing to do, feels very strange. So strange that even squeezing oranges and cutting up a bagel in half, spreading salted butter and blackcurrant jam seems, well, again, very strange. I keep feeling that I have to start rushing, so as to sit in front of my laptop with my books and journal articles, like I did every other Sunday since September. Or, worse, I feel like I have to rush to my morning job, then rush to the University and then rush to my desk to work until midnight or later, only to repeat the same pattern the following day. As you may have guessed, rushing was the word which defined my life these last few months, as all I did was work and study, trying to juggle too many apples and oranges up in the air, feeling constantly that I would drop them. The grand plan of working almost full time and studying more than full time was too grand for one person to bear. If the past year were a battle, I appear in front of you, dear reader, injured, with bandages and crutches, barely able to walk, but with a huge smile on my face. Fine, at the moment there is no huge smile, just a feeling that I have somehow won the battle. But most of the time, I still feel quite disoriented.

So much so, that when I decided to slow roast a lamb for the Greek Easter (last Sunday) and went shopping for the groceries, I forgot to buy the main ingredients, fresh rosemary and garlic. I also forgot to buy red dye with which I need to hard boil the Easter eggs so that they turn red. I guess I should be happy I did get the lamb and did not come home with an Easter chicken! That said, on Easter Sunday I am facing the dilemma: leave my comfy pyjamas and warm house to walk all the way to the corner shop and see if they have fresh rosemary and garlic or maybe cook the lamb using dried rosemary and the few (slightly old) cloves of garlic that I discovered in the cupboard?

As I am debating my options, I remember that a few weeks ago we realized that our oven may be broken, meaning that it seems to be unable to roast at 100-150 degrees and, having a life of its own, it goes straight to 200. Maybe the oven is sympathetic to my rough year and is also rushing on my behalf. Which means that now I have to persuade myself and my oven that we do have 6 hours to sit around and wait for the lamb to be roasted while reading a book or watching TV. Hmm…At the moment neither my mind, nor the oven seem to understand this, as they both feel we need to keep rushing.

Back to my problem, I think that in such situations, one has two ways of moving forward: Yes, I could go downstairs to get all the missing ingredients (this lamb definitely needs fresh rosemary), and I could roast the lamb turning the oven on and off, so as to sort of maintain an ideal low-ish temperature. Ooooor, I could just toast the other half of the bagel, make some fresh coffee on my French press and sit leisurely on the couch, listening to music and maybe write for my blog.

Needless to say, the lamb is still in my fridge and that evening we celebrated Easter with some grilled lamb chops which I discovered in the freezer, white hard boiled eggs, an Easter salad (yes, I had managed to get all the ingredients for this one, victory!) and Easter napkins that my parents had sent. It was the least traditional Easter I had ever experienced, but if this year taught me anything, it is that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, things may never be perfect. But less-than-perfect is actually not such a bad thing. Especially if it means having the time and the inspiration to write for the first time in months!

Welcome back, dear reader.