Tag Archives: joy

But I can’t help falling in love with you

I love food, I mean everything about it. The history, the preparing, the reading, the eating. It is my passion, and often my reason for being, and it has been for as long as I can remember. I was making choux pastry at 10 years of age, churning my own butter at 11, at 13 I was making hand made filled chocolates, by 14 I had a subscription to US Gourmet magazine, at 16 I decided that I wanted to own my own catering company and live a life revolving around food for the rest of my life. And then life got in the way. A bit of family trauma, a bit of displacement, a violent boyfriend at uni and the diagnosis of coeliacs disease at a time when gluten free bread occasionally still came in tins!

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Picked up those lovely Goodhousekeeping ones on the left at church fete, complete bargain!

A catering company when I couldn’t taste anything seemed crazy so that idea faded away with sadness and instead I ended up working in the nightclub/bar/restaurant industry. It was hard work, fun, crazy, tiring and a complete buzz. My (ex) husband was extremely successful in his field of nightclubs – I think there is a still a plaque dedicated to him somewhere in the bowels of Fabric! – and we spent our spare time, and money, not clubbing but going to amazing restaurants and bars in the Uk and abroad. Foliage at the Mandarin Oriental remains the best food I have ever eaten, Chris Staines we love you!

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The ones I requested as Christmas gifts.

I started hosting dinner parties again. 14 people around a table that took up our whole living room in a our tiny basement flat in Notting Hill was not an uncommon event. 8 courses with a wine flight? I’m your gal. all prepared in a kitchen the size of a small wardrobe – the fridge lived in the hallway. Oh how I loved it. I have collected cookery books as long as  can remember, I never part with any of them, I read the recipes for pleasure, they relax me, always have. I was the odd 12 year old at the library borrowing cookery books and then taking them home to type out the recipes as I couldn’t afford to photo copy them and the internet didn’t exist then.

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Mixers and blenders and whisks, oh my

How could I let this passion slip away from me? I have no idea, it lights me up, makes me feel enthusiastic, it’s my measure of life. if I tire of cookery book I know I have tired of life and am feeling a bit depressed. It is my constant gauge of happiness, its amazing. And yet I never really ever write about it, why? I have no bloody idea so I shall start writing about here, in my tiny space in the internet, and I shall love very single minute of it.

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Fascinating facts about food. I have re read this three times, never gets boring.

I’m jealous of the way the rain falls upon your skin.

I have previously written about the “Cult of busy”, and I still feel that society seems to equate being busy with being successful, its the grown up version of being popular at school I suppose. “Can’t stop, I’m super busy right now” read- “I am so amazing at what I do that everyone wants a piece of me, and I still look amazing, I shag my husband four times a week and I go to the gym before work. blah blah blah.” I may be exaggerating but really, is this the aspirational lifestyle we as women are faced with? It must be to some extent or so many women wouldn’t claim to be living it.

Or do we fall into the other camp? the recent rise of the “slummy mummy”. “Oh I don’t feed my kids organic fish fingers  and I’m always rushing to get them to the school gates on time”(as I stand in my gorgeous Boden jumper – tap for credits), read – “I’m not a prefect mummy but goodness don’t I look good without trying. I’m not a slave to convention yet I am raising fantastic children”. This has become aspirational too. It is all starting to feel too curated. I appreciate that we all curate our lives to a certain extent, before the rise of social media too, we present to the world what we want them to see, the version of us that we wish we could be or would be all the time.

I know what you see is not reality but sometimes I just can’t help it. “Why aren’t I as pretty/glamorous/dynamic/exciting/dynamic/successful as her?” Errr, because we are all different, I am me and that is OK. And “she” is normally at least 10 years younger than me. See how I set myself up for a fall?.

Am I jealous? yes. Does this make me feel good? No. Does it mean I am not satisfied with my own life? Maybe. Does that worry me? Yes. Compare and contrast is a hideously self destructive game to play. We really are our own worst enemies as well as our very best cheerleaders but at the times that the negative takes over it is often hard to see a way back.