Confessions of a nosh-lover.

I’d like to say that I got through crimbo without eating any chocolate, but that would be a fib. It happened to be in a bit of cake and on a biscuit. Salt intake has been kept to zilch in my own cooking, but it’s a major bmr when noshing out on other’s cuisine.

Over the months I have noticed how salty, fatty and sweet our world is. How easy it is to insult someone by saying you can’t eat what they have cooked, and then giving in quietly the next time, to keep the peace. People get touchy about food and drink, especially when they know what going without means. You eat what you have and that’s that.

Another crimble is imminent next weekend, followed by other people’s slavas, all in January. Seven course dinners will test my resilience. If there is Hungarian salami in the mezze, I’m screwed. It’s costly stuff, forget Italian salamis, Hungarian is the emperor!

I won’t be going to all feasts I’ve been invited to. And there is a wholly vegan n fish side to the cuisine which I will partake in at home, minus the salt – difficult with salted cod, polenta – minus the cheese, sauerkraut minus the smoked ribs. Then I will get fed-up with all of it and revert to brown rice and lentils, raw fruits and veg.

Our relationship with food is linked to our connection to wars, famines, poverty, community and domestic strife. Balance is possible across the globe. We don’t need to live in extremes of not having enough to producing too much. We can alter traditions too, if we wish.

Then there’s Chinese New Year…

I still dream of an orchard in the sun. Fruits kissed by sunshine is surely the essence of life. 

Europe, anywhere…

I can’t deny that I feel disenchanted and disappointed by political events of our time. That Europe drifts further away from me when I want it closer than ever before. I think I’m turning in to a lover of Italy to begin with – I have spent a good few months reading Italian novels, history, learning the language, watching films. I can feel the sunshine and warmth sometimes. Italy is close to my heritage in many ways and has been here throughout my life, influencing, quietly.

Then there’s Greece. My local library is being kept busy as my reserves keep coming. I have learnt that the books I want tend to be kept at two other libraries in the riding. That’s quite interesting to note.

On availability of books and films, you would think access wasn’t an issue, but sadly I am finding it more and more difficult to get hold of many non-English language films and even harder to get hold of books. There is a distinct change in the air in our cultural world. But I will be keeping the doors open to my mind and will not be swayed by populism and the  global companies who keep our archives and catalogues narrow. There is a counter-productive element to globalisation  – more sometimes means less.

Oh, I forgot Ireland – definitely deserving of a literary visit!

I live in a part of the UK where diversity is significant to its history and its existence. We are here for a reason, embedded and new. The time when people wanted to send everyone ‘back’ has been here before, a time when some were seen as undesirable, too successful.

Keep the doors open, keep your mind open and above all, don’t let your heart shrivel up. There’s plenty of good stuff to be reading as the world evolves this way and that.

To thine own self be true.