Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I am sickeningly loved up at the moment. My friends, bless them, don't seem to mind. In fact, they even ask me about it and don't mind the big goofy grin I get. The Man tells me he loves me and even missed me terribly when he was away recently. Such demonstrativeness!! (Is that a word?) I am prostrated. *:) He doesn't often say these things, so he must have missed me a lot to tell me several times over.

I have always been fascinated watching couples. In fact, I did my dissertation on it. From the long term loving couple who still hold hands in the street aged 70, to the old battle-axe who practically chased her poor hen-pecked husband down the street, waving her finger above her head and yelling (yes, I'm not making that up, Fenella will corroborate), seeing couples in action is the best people-watching there is.

I wish I could see myself from the outside sometimes. I'd love to know my opinion on The Man and me. As far as I can tell, it's pretty good. We don't argue, we discuss amicably. We respect each other and each other's capabilities. We mess about together and have fun. We never (that I've noticed) snipe about anything or criticise the other. We do point out things that are pissing us off, and those things get sorted, but they are very few. We look out for each other and help each other out. We give each other space, and don't resent it when one goes out for a girly/boy's night out. We have similar levels of being tactile with each other and mess tolerance, similarly close relationships with our own families, similarly batty but brilliant mothers, so we can relate. We have (boringly) a similarly low requirement for alcohol. I am constantly amazed by how well we work together. I mean, you occasionally see a perfectly loved-up successful married couple with kids in the park, but really, who expects that?

I don't know, I keep expecting something hideous to happen to break up all this happy happy joy joy. So in the mean time, I'm just keeping faith with that really old couple that I saw walking along hand in hand. Perhaps it is actually possible....


I've been away for a week in Turkey, lazing around and doing nothing. I love the way life comes down to revolving around eating and sleeping when you're on holiday. It feels quite primitive and right - subsistence living. Once you've sorted those out, any other time you have is a bonus.

I purposely only took limited entertainments with me, because I wanted to start journalling and am amazingly good at wimping out and finding something better to do. I've been having long discussions with a friend about writing and how to write from the heart, something that she does amazingly well but I struggle with. It's to do with being brave, and writing despite your Inner Censor complaining that it's all trite rubbish.

I took The Artist's Way with me, which, despite the major drawback of being written by an American (they do get rather over-enthusiastic about things I find), did actually make some good points. It boils down to writing your Morning Pages (three pages of whatever comes into your head, which can be like a diary, or a rant, or just about anything, which serves to just Get You Writing) and having an Artist's Date with yourself once a week (which can range from going to the corner shop and buying some kid's stickers to mess about with to visiting a big gallery or going to a concert). After that there's lots of chapters about regaining your artistic confidence if you've lost it in some terrible psyche-crippling rejection incident. Luckily for me, all I've got to contend with is that pesky Censor.

There's another book which I was given for my birthday which has been a real revelation. So many of the published journals you see are so beautiful - artistic and finished - but this one, Spilling Open, is scratchy and messy in parts, but raw and honest and insightful. There are ink splots and glue marks where something has fallen off, and misspellings aplenty, but the author is so open it's impossible not to love it.

So, anyway, I'm journalling. I've done three pages, but it's a start. The next challenge is getting into a routine whereby I keep going! For me it would be an end of the day, sitting in bed sort of task, but what to do when The Man is there demanding attention? Perhaps I should just entertain him and then let him roll over and fall asleep, and spend 10mins quickly scribbling. *:)

The flat we're looking at buying does come with a large shed in the garden though. The (darling) Man has promised me I can have it for a craft room. I foresee some insulation and DIY-ery, some white paint and homemade curtains, and lots and lots of paper, paints and mess. What more does a girl need?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Bog of Eternal Stench

Following the inaugural Film and Pudding night, here is the recipe for Bog of Eternal Stench pudding, to be eaten while watching Labyrinth:

Chocolate Pudding (serves 4 to 5).

100g (4oz) self raising flour
100g (4oz) soft margarine
100g (4oz) barbados sugar
30ml (2tbsp) cocoa
2 eggs
Handful nuts (walnuts / pecans) - optional

For the sauce:
45ml (3tbsp) barbados sugar
45ml (3tbsp) cocoa
375ml (3/4 pint) boiling water
Demarara sugar for topping

Turn on oven at 180C to heat up.
Beat all pudding ingredients together until smooth and glossy.
Place in a greased 1 litre oven-proof dish and level with back of spoon.

Blend sugar and cocoa with fingertips. Sprinkle over pudding mixture and gently pour on the boiling water in a circular movement.
Place dish on a baking sheet in the oven for 35 to 40 mins. Sprinkle with demarara sugar and serve immediately, with cream or ice cream if you like.

You'll see an uncanny resemblence to the Bog of Eternal Stench when you take this chocolately yumminess out of the oven. The water you pour over the top seeps through the pudding mix to make a lovely fudgey sauce on the bottom.