Badminton + Kitchen sinks + the inevitable passage of time
May I recommend
A badminton net
Last spring was a fraught time in our house. Obviously, we were not unique in this…. After all, a global pandemic hit, schools were cancelled, everyone had to work from home, there were worries about economic collapse and mass death and perhaps in the biggest apocalyptical sign of them all, we found ourselves briefly comforted by Doug Ford’s affable, good ole boy persona.
Amidst the Pandemic Panic of spring 2020, in addition to buying this Red Cross Survival Pack (what, the backpack was cool) many, many pairs of self-soothing leggings and a lot of spaghetti, we made one good purchase. We hit Ye Olde Canadian Tire and bought a badminton net.
Now this sucker is definitely not Olympic caliber (is badminton an Olympic sport?). It is cheap and it is wobbly and it is damaged, thanks to the multiple times Daffodil has barged into it her quest to eat the bunnies who live in our hedge, but it has been a god send.
Last spring, during some very fraught months of home schooling (which Andrew, bless his heart, did the lion’s share of) one bright spot in our weird days was to eat lunch, then get outside to our own backyard, which was, as far as we could tell, free of both the Corona Virus and Doug Ford, and hit that birdie around. These were not epic games, the birdie inevitably got stuck in the tree, the dog inevitably took out a leg of the net. I would get distracted by weeding. Violet would get grumpy that the sun was in her eyes. For a while there was a wasp nest to worry about.
Playing badminton, or even getting exercise, wasn’t really the goal. Instead it was just to be standing outside together, breathing in air that wasn’t our house’s air, seeing our neighbours walk past in the back laneway and briefly thinking that there was a “real” life happening somewhere.
Ultimately it was a brief twenty minutes of un-worry in a spring that was saturated in the stuff.
We put the net up again this year, but we haven’t played as frequently. I am not sure why. After all, we’re still in the same situation as last spring: Global pandemic, home schooling, work from home, possible economic collapse. I guess it’s that the thick layer of thrumming anxiety is gone. Vaccines are in arms, I have plans to see my mum again and it feels like we’re on the right path.
Maybe we’re coming out of this, and the badminton net isn’t quite the necessity it was last spring. Perhaps in the truest sign that things are returning to normal, I am back to thinking that Doug Ford is an idiot.
What’s your hot take? Willing to go out on a limb like me and call the pandemic a “bad time”?
Eating over the sink
I would nominate your 11-year old’s uneaten grilled cheese crusts as a top contender for over the sink eating.
Some people consider eating at the sink to be sad, shameful, or undignified. But that’s because some people are cowards. The kitchen sink is exactly the place for the exuberantly juicy and uncontainably crunchy, the rare and the bountiful. Which is to say it’s the perfect spot for many of the best foods around. So let’s give sink food—glorious, athletic, smart, responsible, intimate sink food—its due recognition.
Another food related link
The heat is bearing down on us like a steam train, and my unending complaints about our home’s lack of air-conditioning will soon begin. Why don’t we get air conditioning you ask? Publicly I blame Andrew, but also not-so-secretly, it makes me feel tough and special (?) to not have it. Very stupid and I do end up hating myself and everyone else for about a week in July when the humidity is oppressive, my forearms stick to the table, and my actual ears are sweating.
Anyhoots, that’s when the salads will save us.
All that fresh in-season produce to eat raw, plus many of them are quick, light and ideal for when the heat waves hit. If you're already cramming your crisper, this roundup is for you. Here are 36 salads to enjoy this season: vivid and crisp, leafy, loaded with legumes and grains, grilled to perfection, and some full of fruit too.
Time is arbitrary, and yet it rules us all
This has been a weird year for noticing the passage of time. Stuck at home, without the usual markers and busyness to distract us, the pandemic has made it feel different, either slower or faster than usual. I’ve felt time acutely because at the same time as the pandemic began, I started a new job that was busy in the way that only a bureaucratic government job can be…often involving days literally full of meetings, all of them on Microsoft Teams. This has meant that I think about my workday in rigid chunks of back to back half hour meetings. There is never enough time. Never enough of those stingy little blocks in my Outlook Calendar.
Capitalism did not create clock time or vice versa, but the scientific and religious division of time into identical units established a useful infrastructure for capitalism to coordinate the exploitation and conversion of bodies, labor and goods into value. Clock time, the British sociologist Barbara Adam has argued, connected time to money. “Time could become commodified, compressed and controlled,” she wrote in her book “Time.” “These economic practices could then be globalized and imposed as the norm the world over.”
Nobody is gonna know
Unrelated, I like the lady’s sweater
I do really love these
Cat was lost for 7 months
Is this tiktok not just an example of the Plato’s Cave of shadows in which we all dwell?
I have two of these in my house
These are my basic dance moves
Side Part for the win
AMY TECTOR - THE HONEYBEE EMERALDS (MARCH 2022)
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Amy Tector, The Honeybee Emeralds (March 2022)