A jar of life

The compost bin is filled to the brim with the fragments of thousands of tomato skins and the house smells of sauce.

My husband spent the best part of yesterday making up his annual batch of passata.  He made it despite feeling unwell, alternatively drenched in sweat and at other times dizzy enough to faint.

We’ve both caught a bug of sorts. I worry it might be contagious and get inside the passata, though my husband reassures me he’s sterilised the bottles and the sauce needs to boil for so long to reduce it, there’s not a chance even a single bug might survive.

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My husband gets so much pleasure out of making passata but to me it seems like too much hard work for the joy it brings.

Writing might well be the same, I tell myself. The pleasure I get sitting at the computer typing word after word, shedding skins like so many blanched tomatoes, then forcing them through a mincer, which separates skin from pulp, till my fingers are stained red with the juice, and itching with the acid.

I could not sleep last night for worrying about the opening of what might well be the next draft of my book, my memoir, my jar of passata, my life.