Sunday, March 29, 2009

How on Earth-Hour???


You know you have severe tardiness issues when you're late for Earth Hour...

... as we were.

Yes, I'm ashamed to admit that even in our own home ~ without going anywhere; without putting on makeup and getting tizzied up in the good clobber {and that's just hubby ~ let alone me}; without the flurry of last minute feeding of kitties and possums; without setting the timer on the video ~ we still couldn't manage to turn up on time.

It started off well enough but became Mission: Impossible when hubby decided to cook risotto for dinner.

Don't get me wrong. I love that he cooks for us. He's a fantastic cook. He can find his way around fresh herbs and spices without any help from a compass or Wii Cooking Mama.

But he's meticulous. Thorough. Each ingredient that requires chopping is slowly and methodically assessed and dissected so that each piece is the exact same size as the next. And if someone manufactured spirit-levels for chefs, we would own one.

Viewing hubby's prepped food would send an obsessive compulsive straight to Nirvana, though the trip home again could be delayed quite significantly by the sound of one hundred-times-washed hand clapping. {Don't worry, though. This überneatness is healthily counterbalanced by a disturbing habit of tossing eggshells and vegetable peels into the sink. We haven't had a sink with a garbage disposal since 1998.}

While Slow Food proponents around the globe might be rejoicing at the sound of all this, I, on the other hand, watched in horror as the clock ticked inexorably towards 8:30pm and a C minus in Social Conscience.

My inner screeching banchee grappled with my inner Dr Phil until I discovered that lying prostrate on the sofa with a bottle of gin for five minutes is an excellent home-made spirit level. Armed with a new resolve, I boldly offered myself as a sous-chef in an effort to get us over the Thin Green line. Though a little rusty, I used to hold an Honorary Speedy Gonzales diploma for my food prepping. I figure there is a time and a place for precision, like brain surgery and Swiss clocks {damn, is it already 8:20pm?}, not onions and mushrooms.

It was a valiant effort, but at 8:30pm, the arborio was still drowning in a sea of stock and only time could save it. Another sixteen point three minutes, to be precise. But after finally sitting down for dinner on the deck, we stayed in candlelight for a full hour anyway, then added a little more as the CFC-free equivalent of several Hail Marys. I don't know if it counts, but it eased the guilt somewhat.

I only hope we aren't 'outed' by Google satellite maps. I bet they didn't turn those off for Earth Hour. Damned modern technology.


  1. Hee hee. Good for you for staying in candlelight for the full hour plus some.
    Lovely story too!

  2. Bonsoir, Mme Benaut! Up late again, I see. Thank you for saying hello. Yes, sitting in candlelight was the easy part. Sweet dreams!

  3. At least you remembered! I wasn't home, but things were plugged in: TV, microwave, etc. Yikes! Please don't hate me because I'm forgetful!

  4. Maybe it's like the tree falling in the forest thing ... if you weren't even home, were your appliances really on at all? {And don't worry, from cali, there's nothin' but love here.}

  5. Shell: LOL! You are now officially crowned the Awesome Aussie!

  6. Oooh, a crown ~ how chuffed am I?! Thank you, from cali!

  7. Oh Shell, you were probably the only ones in your neighborhood to even try. It's all about awareness. Good for you.

    Now, I wonder if OCD is an Aries trait? I don't need my vegetables and herbs to be cut all the same size (that's my husband), but I do clean the kitchen as I go along. By the time we sit down to eat the dishes are done. Is that so wrong?

    Loved your story.

  8. I thought tardiness was an Aries trait? My husband and I are both Aries and we're always hopelessly running behind for everything (though he's a little better than I).

    I didn't even know Earth Hour was yesterday so thanks for enlightening me, Shell. I went out to dinner with friends and we walked to the restaurant so I hope that counted for something.

  9. Clean-as-you-go? How can something so good be wrong, Petrea! Maybe OCD is an Aries trait, but if so, my hubby indeed has a different strain from yours. His doesn't extend to the kitchen cleaning. His OCD is exhausted by the time he's finished, and he's happy to leave the cooking-bomb disposal expert {that would be me} to clean up behind him {though I guess that's a fair trade}!

  10. So, PCN, I didn't realise you were also an Aries! And to find out that Aries can be OCD and tardy ~ interesting combination! {Somehow I imagine a Punctual Petrea, though...?} I've never before put our perpetual tardiness down to hubby being an Aries ~ I won't tell him, otherwise he'll think that's the perfect excuse!

  11. And PCN, I'm sure your walking counted, absolutely! As Petrea says, it's all helping to raise awareness.

  12. It was my husband who came up with the explanation for our tardiness--"It MUST be because we're Aries!" Since I didn't have any evidence to the contrary, I had to go along with it. But, wow, OCD and tardiness, how lucky for us!

    When's your hubby's birthday, Shell? My husband's is this Sunday the 5th and mine will be next Saturday, the 11th. My mother's is April 8, my goddaughter's is April 12, my other niece was 5 days ago. It's ridiculous this time of year. I go into the card shop and buy in bulk.

  13. You do have a busy birthday month, PCN ~ that's impressive! So, you have an Irish Aries hubby and you're also Aries ~ never a dull moment at your place! My hubby's birthday is 23rd March. I'm Sagittarius, so we, likewise, have two fires burning chez nous. Lucky we both like fireworks and marshmallows. Happy birthday to your hubby for Sunday and I'll wish you yours closer to it!

  14. I'm often late. Hate to admit it but it's true. How late depends on how much authority I give in my mind to the person I'm being late to, if that makes any sense...

  15. Wow, Petrea! I was only just telling hubby that I had - err, perhaps made him the subject of my post - and he said something along those very lines about his reasons for being late. Evidence is mounting to support the theory!

  16. Yes. Blame the risotto -- is there anything that takes longer to cook? Truth be told: we were late too! Worse, we let the kids keep their bedroom light on so that they could read. So we only partially observed. We're horrible people, I know.

  17. Margaret, I find risotto to be an excellent excuse for any number of things. But don't feel bad ~ as Petrea said, let's feel good that we still did something. Every bit helps. And protecting your kids' eyesight is a worthy cause!


Merci, grazie, thank you for joining our conversation lounge. Your smile lights up the room. Even more beautifully than our crystal chandelier. x


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