The Good Day Chart

The Small One sat down one day and drew lots of boxes on a piece of paper:

Me:”What’s that darling?”
TSO: “a Good Day Chart Mummy”
Me: “So how does that work then?”
TSO: “At the end of the day you put a tick in the box if it’s been a good day, and a cross if it’s been a bad day.”

Since the creation of the ‘Good Day Chart’ The Small One has had chronic hayfever, not much sleep, fallen over on numerous occasions, experienced a few disasterous playdates, and her fairy glitter tattoo rubbed off prematurely in the bath (resulting in much sadness). Yet, at the end of the day, the good has always outweighed the bad, a tick goes in the box, and ‘good’ is written underneath.

Small One, you are pretty cool.

The Pearl

In 2004 I ordered a CD from Amazon, and was sent the wrong one, but as it’s music (AND free), there clearly would have been something wrong with me had I not listened to it.

Love it.

‘The way we are’ is the album, by a sort of grungey/alt rock duo called ‘Fleming and John’, and it’s definitely intrinsically linked to most memories I have of my first crack at ‘adulting’. My favourite track (apart from ‘Ugly girl’ for its superb lyrics: “Is she so nice it makes up for her face?”) is ‘The Pearl’. Fleming wrote this after reading a book by John Steinbeck with the same title, and 14 years ago I thought “I’ll read that “. Last week I ordered it, and today I finished it.

The Pearl is one of those sorts of books that you would read in an English Lit class, and want to annotate. It really is so packed with meaning it takes a few a goes to really get everything that is trying to be said, but when you do get there, you are deeply in awe.

The story is set in Bolivia, and the main characters are from a fishing village who don’t have two pennies to rub together, but one day, discover great wealth. The rest of the story unfolds around how this ‘wealth’ literally changes everything, turning the world upside-down. Given a chance, I don’t think many people would be able to finish this book without being made to re-evaluate at least something going on in their life. It is actually that good. You would want to sing about it.

Castle on the Hill

Love really is responsible for some pretty cool things.

Pictured is Wilder’s Folly, or ‘Pigeon Tower’ as it’s also known locally (which is far too utilitarian a name in my view, given its romantic intentions), and was built by Rev Henry Wilder when he fell in love with Joan Thoyts, a local girl from Sulhamstead. The intention of the folly was that Henry and Joan could each see it from their respective dwellings, and would serve as a physical representation of their affections until they could be together. They married in 1768.

The folly is no Taj Mahal, but on my walk this morning when I saw it, it just made me think about how much I love that love can drive people to do extraordinary things. Like, it’s such a powerful emotion, and creates such energy, it feels like it can’t always be contained in your being; it drives you, propels you to ‘act’ in some way.

And then heartbreak can have a similar effect. In the same way that falling in love can make you feel like a Duracell bunny, no longer experiencing the return of your affections can sometimes create a new type of momentum, keeping you running for fear of falling flat on your face. It’s not always a bad thing. It’s a chance for introspection, and wisdom, and the fact you have all this energy to channel into finding balance again means that happiness becomes rather a cause for action, not merely an ambition. Elizabeth Gilbert I think would probably agree.

I wonder if love past and/or present for someone, or something is actually the cause of most action? Other than that carried out through obligation…

Perhaps time for another walk.

The 3am you

Except the watershed for my ‘reveal all’ seems to happen at roughly 11pm. For some reason, this is when my brain ponders the wonders of the universe, and I end up having my most deep and meaningful conversations. It’s something to do with night and the dark, which I think almost gives you the cover to open up. Maybe more conversations should be had in the later hours. Thus also supporting my fervent belief too in siestas.

Chewing it over

Rhubarb

I have never really ‘got’ food’. As in, I do like eating, and everyone needs to eat, but I have never really been one to paw studiously through recipe books; and my definition of meal planning is to look in the fridge, see what’s most withered, and concoct a questionably edible creation around it.

Until now.

I have started to understand more the creative side of haute cuisine; it’s a bit like painting, but with an asparagus tip and a raspberry jus. What really appeals to me however, is how food is basically a wonderfully social thing. Really, thinking about it, so many countries make mealtimes the backbone of family life and time with friends, and this is totally genius! Everyone needs to eat, and sharing a meal is a collective experience, so there is at least something everyone has in common at that time. There is also the growing, preparing and cooking of the food which can involve lots of interaction and working together. The growing part is totally fantastic too –  I’m sure I will write at length about our allotment in time as it is becoming less like a muddy patch, and more something Tom and Barbara might own up to.

So with all this in mind, I have started to invest a bit more time into culinary experiments (some more successful than others), with a mind to sharing as many as possible. So far, actually, it’s been really great. On those days when it’s been raining, we’ve been potty training, and Iggle Piggle has almost broken me, it has been lovely to invite some friendly faces round and offer them a bit of cake. On the odd occasion where I have even managed a pot of something, turning up to a friend’s house to share lunch has been a bit spesh.

Despite having lived here for most of my life, Reading doesn’t often inspire me, but I will take ownership of it on this occasion, as there is organised ‘The Reading Town Meal’. This is a mission to feed 1000+ people at a special lunch in the town’s ornamental gardens, using home grown fruit and veg. I think it’s an awesome idea.

Now I’m rather afraid I sound a bit ‘holier than thou’, which, obvs is totally not the case. This blog is, as ever, a mind dump of things that inspire me, make me laugh, and occasionally throw me off the rails entirely. I just wanted to share with myself really that something as simple as food can build upon two of the things I probably value the most; friendships and adventures.

And an excuse to eat cake. Brill.

Finding home

A return to blog titles.

Today, when I had 5 mins off, I watched this TED talk given by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of ‘Eat, Pray, Love.

She describes writing as being her home, something she returns to when everything else is a bit haywire – her grounding. She doesn’t care if her books flop, she writes because that’s just what she loves to do.

I keep coming back to this blog, sometimes after a period of many many months, even though on numerous occasions I’ve considered not renewing my domain and giving up on blogging entirely. However being without this little space to write random musings felt like a real heart wrench …

 Maybe that’s because this has been my home all along?

I have never known really ‘what I want to do’, and have always deeply admired those people who have, and are able to lead very fulfilled lives as a result.

Recently someone told me that what you do when you procrastinate is what you should be doing in the first place. 

Maybe, finally, I have my answer.