Dearest Ria,

I am so jealous that you are right now on Saltspring Island and it is summer where you are. If I didn’t like you so much I’d be sulky. Hey, if you get a chance check out Bruce’s Kitchen, yummm… I have such wonderful memories of Saltspring and Foxglove Farms. I’m going to attach some of my old Saltspring photos, just to be nostalgic.

Barn at Foxglove Farms.

Blooms at Saltspring market.

Dessert pizza! It’s the best! My niece and I went to town making dessert pizza one night, quite spontaneously – stewed apple, brown sugar and butter, vanilla ice-cream accompaniment. Crispy, caramelly, delicious. As for hoarding rhubarb, I would too. I HEART rhubarb. {By the way, do you think this letter exchange is just going to be us constantly agreeing with each other about how much we HEART food?? Hmmm. Probably. I’m not complaining…}

Speaking of HEART-ing things…I HEART parentheses! I am a total parentheses addict. I don’t know why. I guess I must speak in parentheses too as  I’m not a very sequential sort of a person (especially when excited) and I like to side-track into all sorts of interesting (to me) and related (pfff! only just) information. Seriously, how can a person not adore parentheses? You will never hear me bemoan any overuse of them, don’t you worry for a second, my friend.

So….did you notice what I left till last? Procrastination. What I would love to do right now is rattle off a list of helpful tips. I would like to say that I have battled the demon and won. I would like to give you a how-to-(kick-it-in-the-butt)-guide. I would like to… Okay, you get the picture. Procrastination plagues me. Having two children instead of one has not made a lick of difference to this particular beast. It’s a strange thing because I love to write and even when it is hard / challenging (let’s face it, sometimes it SO is) it is still so rewarding and it really gives me a great sense of purpose and satisfaction. So why not leap right to it, instead of doing other things that are far less fulfilling?? The laundry, for example. I don’t have an answer. Sometimes I wonder if it is exactly because of those things I have described above and us gals have a hard time putting ourselves and our needs first; or thinking that our work is “good enough” (fear and procrastination are good buddies, I’ve discovered). Of course the only good tip is to “just do it”, as they say in the footwear business. But sometimes I find it pays to trick yourself into making a small goal like a certain number of words to generate or chapters to edit per day. I like the expression – The way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Terrible quote to offer to a vegetarian, but you get the idea – set a tiny target for a big job and you’ll be more likely to achieve it, not feel so daunted and start to build up momentum. The other thing I battle with is the idea of sacrifice. You can’t do everything. If writing is a priority then something else will inevitably have to drop off the list. Again, something I think us women have a hard time accepting. We’re like to be all-rounders! We wanna get it all right! Well, sometimes your house is going to have to look like a pigsty or dinner is take-out (seven nights in a row…) or you don’t get to have a shower today, if you really, really, really want to write. It’s worth it, but it’s hard to accept. But, finally, back to fear. Don’t you think that it is the main reason we procrastinate? We just aren’t convinced that what we will create will be any good? I’d be keen to hear your musings on this. Is it just me?

Speaking of garden updates, have you heard of the Secret Garden installation in Milan by Paola Navone? Strange blue pods (constructed of 11,000 painted hazelnut branches) filled with hand-blown Murano glass chandeliers. Visitors are guided to the pods through “Orto Botanico” by little blue figures holding aloft red lampshades! Bizarre and mezmerising; check it out. I’ve just spent a good few minutes looking at the photos and daydreaming about trips to Italy. Now that’s just the kind of thing that might  be considered procrastination…

HUGS, Hannah x