Two years? Whaaat?

I think the pandemic and associated restrictions knocked the stuffing out of all of us and left a lasting effect. Me, anyway. I haven’t paid any attention to this blog for over two years. I’ve still been doing stuff and I hope in some posts to come that I’ll be able to show what I’ve been at. But I’ve mainly been posting things on Instagram.

It’s my sense, in any case, that many people who blogged prior to the pandemic have now shifted their attention to social media. Posts on the likes of Instagram are shorter, more versatile. There’s the possibility of more attention from others, especially with the use of tags, and there is definitely more interaction. With Stories, there is also more immediacy.

But, as with focussing solely on news headlines or hourly bulletins to get to grips with what’s going on in the world, there is no real depth in social media posts. Not everyone needs depth, of course, and that’s fine. Personally, I like depth. I like context. I like reasons and rationale. The why of things. And I also like writing. I’ve missed that. For me, the writing is far more important than whether anybody reads what I’ve written.

It’s the same with the creative things I do. I don’t need an audience. Don’t get me wrong, I like to be noticed. But I do the things I do for me, primarily. It’s the process from idea, through processing it and working on it, to a finished (or sometimes unfinished) thing that gives me the satisfaction. I’m not selling things or, trying to ‘monetise’ my presence. I’m just doing things that I enjoy doing, or sometimes feel compelled in my head to do, or things that people suggest I might like to have a go at.

Today, I simplified the structure of this blog a little. I’ve dispensed with the old home page and I may do more simplification as time goes on. In the meantime, I’ll just go with the flow and see what happens. I’ll still post on Instagram and not every Instagram post will be embellished upon here. But I’ll use this blog as a sort of creative journal to give some depth and context to the things I do.

Anyway, my primary focus over the last week or so has been making marmalade. I like marmalade. And I love making it. My sense of where we are in the year was askew a few weeks ago, and when marmalade pics started appearing in messages and posts a couple of weeks ago, I was kind of wondering why people were making marmalade in October. Then I remembered it was January and, most importantly, Seville Orange season. @willdublin8 reminded me more directly and also introduced the notion of using blood oranges. I haven’t been as courageous as him in making it with only blood oranges but I used them to make up about a third of the fruit content and, even with that, they made a lovely difference to the colour of the marmalade.

I use Delia Smith’s recipe (again suggested by Will some years ago) and, for me, it’s fool-proof. It hasn’t failed me yet. This year I was more patient with the simmering process with the result that I got a lot more jars of marmalade than ever before out of each batch. Fabaroony.

Here’s a slideshow of this year’s marmalade making:

That’s it for now. Next post soon. I’ll have something interesting to show you for St Brigid’s Day.

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