Ennui and exhaustion. Markets, and soap.

by Veronica on May 30, 2015

in Life, Soapmaking

The packing hangs over my head, like some sort of spectre. It whispers at me. Why are you writing? There’s soap to pack. Real work to do.


I have a market tomorrow. I will wake up at 6am and triple check my boxes to make sure they’re packed properly. I’ll ignore the dark and make tea, coffee, whatever it takes to wake up. I’ll get my family out of bed and rush us out of the house as the sun climbs over the hills, highlighting the cold in the air.

All I want to do is lay in bed and sleep, blissful sleep. Evelyn hasn’t been sleeping, keeping me awake until two, three, four am. She won’t sleep, can’t sleep. Her pattern is all fucked up and here I am, paying the price with days of no sleep. And then she wakes up at 7am, tired and crotchety, like a tiny little fluffy headed gremlin, grizzling and grumbling until I get out of bed (PUT PANTS ON MUMMY! YOU PUT PANTS ON RIGHT NOW) and settle her onto the couch with breakfast and warm milk and cartoons.

By that stage, there’s no point heading back to bed. I’m awake and there’s real work to do. Soap to make and pack, a business to run.

It’s okay though, because my new paper arrived and packing soap will be interesting until the novelty wears off.

Paper for packing

I get sick. I lose 5kg. I can’t muster up the energy to do anything. My skin breaks out and I get a coldsore, but shhhhhh, because soap needs packing and there is a market tomorrow.

I forced myself to make soap the other day, full of ennui and exhaustion, I printed out my recipe and began.

It didn’t take long to remember why I love this work, love this job. Soap is soothing. You follow the recipe, smashing science and art together, creating amazing things.

It’s the process. The making, the swirling, the setting to gel. Photographing, cutting, photographing again.

Red soap with gold mica, backlit

Red Soap with Gold Mica

The packing is my least favourite job, right after taking inventory and paperwork, but it’s soothing still. Always soothing. Cut, fold, wrap, sticker. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I enjoy markets, mostly. They’re hard work, but the payoff is lovely. Talking to people about soap, helping pick scents, making money – what’s not to love?

(The cold mornings, packing boxes, frost on the windscreen. Tired children, grumpy children. Packing up. Buy my soap so I don’t have to take it home, please fortheloveofgod.)

But my newest favourite person Moire has promised to bring my nephew down to visit at the market, so there will be highlights. Smooshy delicious baby.

I’m not sure I mentioned his birth here – my brother, David, and his partner, Moire, welcomed baby Ruarígh (Rory) into the world last month and I am besotted. He is absolutely divine and I spend all my time conspiring on how to get my hands on him more often.



Ruarigh and Evelyn

See, divine.

So I will pack soap, in readiness. I will attempt to force a nap on Evelyn today so she doesn’t treat this evening like naptime and stay awake all night (again).

And tomorrow, I will smile and sell soap, because I am good at it, and I love doing it.

Market is 10am-3pm at Howrah Recreation Centre if you’re in Tasmania and interested in coming along to say hi.

river May 31, 2015 at 8:01 pm

oh oh oh, baby!!
He’s gorgeous, looks a little like David and the rest must be Moire. Is that Welsh?
When did Evelyn get so grown up?
I love your new wrapping papers.
I’ll send all-night-sleep-vibes to Evelyn.

Veronica May 31, 2015 at 10:13 pm

His latest photos make him look A LOT like his Dad, but then he’ll hold his face in a certain way and it’s all Moire in there. Moire has a strong Irish heritage – us too, but hers is less generations back, hence the Gaelic spelling of Ruarígh. I got to smoosh him today at my market. So much deliciousness.

Eve is so grown up now. She chatters non-stop, is full of opinions (MINE DO IT! MINE DO IT MINESELF!) and is absolutely delightful, except when she isn’t. She’s so much fun. I can say that now of course because she has been to sleep for an hour and I’ve forgotten the tantrums while I prepared dinner because how dare any clothing touch her skin and REMOVE THESE SOCKS RIGHT NOW ARGHHHHH.

And thank you. She was less rotten overnight last night, and she’s had a big day and a nap today (market day) so hopefully we get a full night. It’s meant to snow, so bed is the best place for everyone.

Rebecca June 3, 2015 at 12:20 pm

oh my goodness, Ev’s hair! It is soooo long and curly, utterly delightful. (until you try to comb it, wash it, keep it out of the eyes, lol) Beautiful boy babyness, as well. It is very nice to hear all about your ups and downs again. Hope your busy soap days still allow for writing – it lights up my days 🙂

BB June 19, 2015 at 10:48 pm

Oh Veronica… that soap looks DIVINE. And do NOT get me started on that baby… Do you post to Queensland (the soap, not the baby!)??

Veronica June 19, 2015 at 11:01 pm

I do post Australia wide! But not the baby, no. He’s rather attached to his mother (and so SMOOSHY!)

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