Ah, Joni

I had the Joni Mitchell song Circle Game in my head this morning when I was writing this. I love a small portion of her stuff (California, Blue, River – clearly mostly from the album Blue). I’m an optimist by nature and inclination, but right now that’s being tested for a variety of reasons (see below). I expect many of us are having our boundaries pushed currently and personally I don’t think late autumn into winter and the holiday season is a great time for such things to happen.

Last week was irritating and stressful. Just as I was thinking about perhaps a graceful descent to the winter solstice and the holidays one of the other people who covers the client I work for Monday-Tuesday early shifts said she was unwell and couldn’t work the Wednesday-Friday shifts she covers. She gave no notice (ie, she did this Tuesday afternoon) and said she needed to be off for a month. And, no, she doesn’t have Covid.

The guy I work for is nice but in some ways inept – he sets systems up and then goes on to the next thing. Meaning that if something goes wonky he doesn’t have backups (when discussing this situation he did say, to his credit, “this is my problem” before we rescued him). Thus, the third person who works this client (and works US daytime) and I have divided up the Wednesday-Friday shifts for the next month. We did make it clear though that if second person bails totally neither of us is prepared to continue in this vein after the new year. So, he needs to keep on top of whether person two is returning and if not figure something out before 2021.

At least I’ve gotten further on the garden. Moved the wisteria to the shadier side, where a clematis used to live (it expired in a very wet winter) and a rose to the other, sunnier side (not where the wisteria was). Cleaned up the base of both the sunnier and shadier fence sides; made a space for a new, spring-blooming clematis. Sorted the side area of the shed at the back where the bikes live under a tarp. Pushed the ivy and nettle shoots back under the fence to number 3 (I’m number 2) where they originate.

Doing that helped with things. That and returning to yoga (managed three Zoom sessions last week) plus the longer dog walks.

The only things I smelled in the madness post Tuesday were candles. The Dayleford tomato one is grand – very earthy but fresh; the Diptyque Thé is mediocre as tea (I bought it because the Feu de Bois was so good, but it’s not black tea at all – how do they get away with describing this as the smell of Russian black tea?) but smells fine and candle-ish (you know what I mean); the Marie-Stella-Maris Objets d’Amsterdam (which is supposed to smell of things in Amsterdam) smells like an upmarket hotel which is fine as well; and the l’Artisan Traversée du Bosphore smells of Turkish delight, which is distracting and happiness-inducing, and reminded me I need to buy some from the farm shop.

I’ve been thinking about holiday smells as well. I’m pretty much sorted what with the Diptyque Feu de Bois mentioned earlier and the Tauer l’Air candle. I have a fig candle somewhere as well.

My DIY guy comes on Thursday to help hang pictures. We know where the Xmas tree will be placed, though I refuse to get one until earliest second week in December.

The winner of the Cartier l’Heure Fouguese sample is Ariel. Please send your details along. Click on the Drop Us a Note at the top with a reminder of what you won and your mailing address. Just be aware that I’ll probably include the durian candy to mask this being perfume…

  • Portia says:

    YAY! Spending time in the garden will soothe all your stresses away Cinnamon.
    Good luck with the extra work. It’s a bummer but at least you’ll have some extra spending money for the season. That’s gotta be a win, yeah?
    Portia x

  • Ariel says:

    “Both Sides, Now” from Mitchell’s album Cloud is one of my very favorite songs. My best friend and I used to sing it at the top of our lungs from our illegally rented fire escape, illegally drunk on gin and tonics. (I’m so sorry, neighbors of the past.)

    We were both runaways and we convinced a landlord- a former Elvis impersonator- to rent to us anyway. We had multiple jobs and multiple boys trailing after us and we thought we knew much more than we did.

    Twenty-four years later we still love that song and it means so much to us- our understanding and attachment to the lyrics has grown along with out waistlines and friendship.

    Apparently, Idina Menzel sang this during her Barefoot at the Symphony tour- I’m sure she did an amazing job.

    Thanks for the durian!

  • Dina C. says:

    I only have Joni’s “Court and Spark” album, but I really enjoy it. I’m putting it on right now. Like scent, music is a real mood-lifter for me. Sounds like you’ve made great progress at the house in the past week in the gardens. I’ve been enjoying a Thymes candle called Simmered Cider. Thymes products include bath & body, scents, candles, and they’re made in the USA. The price point is very affordable, too. (not affiliated, just really like them) They’re the guys who make the awesome Frasier Fir candles which I love at Christmas time.

    • Cinnamon says:

      I love candles, but I particularly love them in the run-up to the holidays. The house smells festive. We do both Hannukah and Xmas and the tree doesn’t come down till Epiphany. So the holiday period runs long. In the past few years I’ve bought a new appropriate candle each year. This year, however, I’m being good and using what I already have.

  • March says:

    I adore Blue, although I have to be in the right mood for it. In fact, I’m going to put it on right now.

    • Cinnamon says:

      I was never really a Joni girl, or Judy Collins for that matter (and am still perplexed as to why Stephen Stills wrote Suite: Judy Blue Eyes for her), but I absolutely adore Blue.

  • Musette says:

    LOL! I have visions of that durian candy traveling across the globe for years to come! Joni is my spirit animal – and I’ve come to love her later works, especially her 2000 Both Sides Now. xoxoxoxo

    • Cinnamon says:

      I watched the 2000 BSN. Her voice has lowered. I guess that’s not surprising. There’s a great version of BSN out there by Dexys. Recommend a listen.