And green summers, with grass as green and juicy as above, mean: too much rain. The children have been bored beyond their and my wits. I have been a conflict manager rather than a loving and creative mother in the past 1,5 week. I am really hoping for a turnaround in the weather. So that the kids can play outside and we can go for a picknick by the sea…that would be lovely, I’d say.

Coming Saturday morning the last work will be done on my studio…there will be light! And this evening we have found a wonderful table for my kids to work on and for me to coach people and teach classes on. I’m delighted. Next week I can finally start to unpack EVERY box in the house, sort the keeps and the throwaways and make space. And perhaps sit down to sketch some of the ideas that have been playing tag in my head lately, but that have found no peace in my sketchbooks yet. Actually, all I have done fervently, was manage my kids and read books. I have read a huge pile of enormously fat books! At least 4000 pages in the last month or so. And already I have another 2400 pages here waiting for my eyes to knit the sentences into stories. I really love reading. Sometimes, when a book’s really good, it’s almost a transcendental experience. I can close a book and feel myself come back in the real world with a slight shock. When I read, I can forget EVERYthing. Isis said to me today: “Mom, you’re a Matilda!” And I couldn’t get a greater compliment than to remind her of one of my favorite Roald Dahl characters. Yes, I’m a Matilda. I love being a Matilda. I just wish that my fingers could move things without touching them. I’d dig that!

This weekend we’re also having friends over. It’s kind of funny…we moved 150 km westwards, but hardly a week went by without meeting some of our friends. I’m so glad. When you’re the one leaving there are no guarantees that friendships survive. But since I was rather picky about my friends (cough! cough! Ah, me so cocky!), I had a pretty good idea that my friendships wouldn’t suffer too much. Nothing that good dinners and nice stayovers wouldn’t be able to fix. I really have made a bunch of good friends…and I dare them all…to come pick oysters with us, prepare them and have a go! So, Saturday is oysterday…with clams, salad and a piece of meat for those who prefer that over shellfish. I’m already looking forward to rummaging about on the oysterbeds, running into sea anemones just under the water surface, hermit lobsters, starfish, sea urchins, shells, sea snails, crabs, lobster, shrimp…the oysterbeds are oozing life. And it’s so great to be able to see all of it without having to dive.

Then preparing the oysters is fun too. I turn out to have a talent for opening oyster shells, with a regular blunt knife. So, we can probably try out a new set of oyster recipes. Fried oysters are my favorite…with some salad or pasta, if you like. I saw a little recipe that involved oysters and ginger sirup today….that is a combination I wouldn’t have come up with. Sweet and spicy with the salty sea flavour of oysters? But it won’t do any harm to give it a try, I guess. I might just fry lots of oysters and then make a handful of dressings…

Make some mayonaise myself…a little more sour than ready made…fits the oysters and clams well. And some aïoli, of course, as well as some whiskey sauce. Hmm…

Okay, I’ve got to stop here…this is making me hungry! And I shouldn’t be giving away too much already. ‘Cause I still want to come up with some nice photos…. First, there’s some cleaning up to do and some errands to run. ‘Cause tomorrow the kids will cook us dinner. They can’t wait…it will be the first dinner they cook for friends! By the way, have you seen Masterchef junior? Have you seen that kids aged 10 or 11 actually prepare star class food? I am constantly wondering: is this for real? Or are they trained like monkeys? I don’t know, but if these kids are for real, then I should give my eldest much more free reign in the kitchen and not fuss too much. Who knows, maybe she can take over a few days a week? Or would 9 be too young? hehe

Well, I wish you all a great weekend. Till next week with some photos of the oysters and my studio!