Confessions of a lost appetite

So many things are coming to a head and amongst all the action I seem to have lost my appetite. I have decided to focus on a limited selection of fruits, breads, white fish and eggs for now and will be reading some Ottolenghi for inspiration. His Middle Eastern palate  combines sweet with savoury – it all looks delicious, and he has a new recipe book out.

It’s disappointing when you spend time making soup, pita, salads, only to find that everything smells and tastes like cardboard – like Aldi does when you walk in! It’s all the cereal boxes under the lights and lack of air conditioning. Mr Fluff however is delighted that there are healthy blueberry muffins in the house. Who ever heard of a cat eating blueberries (apparently it’s okay for them to). They are well-hidden in a sealed box after cooling.

It’s also been hard going in to work at a place where the needs of others are huge and their self absorbed attitude and behaviour is draining on a daily basis. I no longer have the capacity or patience for underpinning and supporting flailing arts organisations or boards of staid oldies who won’t do the right things to help themselves. Going round in circles and not  taking  a risk isn’t my style.

So, as they say, be the change you want to see. Constant evolving is where it’s at, there is no sitting still. In many ways I feel quite robust at the moment, not defeated, but adapting. Dry sunny autumn days call for walks where I spot all the apple and pear trees dropping their fruits and it seems no one heeds what is all around them.

Maybe it’s time for this nation to change its attitude to the meaning of life. It doesn’t exist on a supermarket shelf, a screen, or in a vat of alcohol, it’s out there.

Travel is imminent – looking forward to a change of scene.

heartstitchedbuddah

 

 

Counting Butterflies – A Day Off

A longer weekend. We have rain after what seems to have been weeks of heat. In fact, it’s only been three, or was it four. I wonder if the grass will grow again, will it be green and long. No hose pipe bans here as yet. I remember the summer of ’95 and syphoning off bath water to feed the greenhouse then.

We grew all kinds of fruits in that little space. Cucumbers, loved by us and the slugs that found their way in. Peppers and tomatoes, turning from green to yellow and red, like traffic lights. An aubergine plant, a melon plant which broke through to the outside, reaching for the sky – no fruit though.

I grow nothing right now. But hope to again. Instead I go in search of good fruit. The local grocer has a decent variety as do the market stalls. The difference between a large lemon with  thick skin and a puny think-skinned one is all about aroma, flavour, longevity.

Aldi offers decent avocados, in a relaxing, meditative green that you’d want to dive in to. Piccolo tomatoes which smell as if they are straight from the soil. Clusters of beets, radishes, carrots, all bundled.

Shopping around pays, but it doesn’t have to cost the earth either.

I have gotten through a fair amount of writing in recent weeks and achieved quite a bit. There is now a brief hiatus as I wait for autumn to bring fresh results. September tends to bring change for me year on year.

As I go walkabout, it is more and more apparent to me what my life *should* be hereon in.

In the meantime, I have reading. Ivo Andric’s Bosnian Chronicle, Collected Fictions – Jorge Luis Borge and to finish Pullman’s latest La Belle Sauvage, which is delightful. Three more shorter novels on the side thereafter with cuisine themes, and a reserve at the library waits for me – George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo.

Someone once said all you need is a library and a garden and life’s just fine. Okay. I may have finally come to accept that. Except one needs yarns too.

Starting today for the next three weeks, Butterfly Conservation are asking us to count butterflies. Visit their website, download the app or chart. Spend 15 mins at a time counting. This can be done as often as you like over the next three weeks. I’ve noticed many butterflies recently in this hot summer, and bees. Just lovely, absolutely lovely.

Which fruit are you made of…

Plums are my ethnobotany. I feel their goodness in me. They have sustained me for years. I have grown and preserved them in my gardens, devoured them! They grow plentifully in my ancestral home. I have been lucky to have been surrounded by plum trees.

Towards the end of summer, there would be plums everywhere in the house, waiting, oozing sweetness.

We are not passionate enough about fruit trees. We need to reclaim ownership and care for them more.

Currently reading about ethnobotany, lemons in Italy, who owns our fruit and who owns us.

Jay Rayner’s A Greedy Man in a Hungry World is recommended. We need to be proactive about our food chains!